Olonga on a ~~globetrot~~, set to move to England
Published: Tuesday, April 8, 2003, 1:54 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Aussie opposition seeks asylum for Olonga
London: Exiled Zimbabwe pace bowler Henry Olonga is expected to arrive in England this week, after he was granted a work permit to play for English social side Lashings. The Kent-based side, whose regular stars include former West Indies captains Richie Richardson and Sir Viv Richards, hope Olonga will overcome knee trouble to star in a packed summer schedule. Olonga, 26, retired from international cricket after the World Cup, and said he could not return to Zimbabwe because he feared for his safety. In the opening match of the tournament, he and Andy Flower issued a statement condemning President Robert Mugabe's government and wore black armbands to mourn "the death of democracy". Olonga has since been staying at a secret location in South Africa, but campaigns have grown in New Zealand and Australia as well as England to gain him asylum. Newspapers here reported at the weekend that a work permit was been granted to the Zambia-born bowler who was the first black player to represent Zimbabwe, appearing in 30 Tests and 50 One-day Internationals. Lashings are also trying to sign Shane Warne for the 2003 season, which includes matches against Sussex, Somerset and Kent. The Australia leg spinner was banned for 12 months from all international and first- class cricket after testing positive for a banned substance. Lashings, which bills itself "the Harlem Globetrotters of cricket", is a social side which pays good money to attract top international cricketers.