Zimbabwe Board critical of Olonga's conduct

Published: Sunday, March 16, 2003, 23:14 [IST]
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Johannesburg: The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) on Sunday condemned Henry Olonga for using the World Cup platform to make a political statement.Olonga, who earned the wrath of the cricket establishment after he wore black armbands to protest against the Robert Mugabe regime, announced his retirement from international cricket after Zimbabwe's World Cup campaign finished with a defeat to Sri Lanka in a Super Six match on Saturday.

Olonga's decision and his subsequent statement detailing the reasons for taking the step was not taken kindly by ZCU."The Union notes with regret that in announcing his official retirement from international cricket, Olonga has, in a clear act of continued insubordination, gone on to yet again use the platform of the World Cup to make a political statement," the ZCU said in a statement. ZCU said Olonga's decision was in contravention of the advice from the Event Technical Committee of the World Cup.

"This is in contravention of the advice he got from the tournament's Event Technical Committee and the instruction the Union wrote to him following his statement before the Zimbabwe Group 'A' match against Namibia in Harare last month."The ZCU is also disappointed that while Olonga had seemingly followed the provision of his contract regarding making public statements and handed in his retirement news release to the team officials, he had simultaneously released to the media at the Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka match at Buffalo Park the same statement, albeit embargoed until after the match.

"Even when he was advised by the team manager against including political sentiments in his announcement, Olonga did not state that he had already released the statement." PTI

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