Get breaking news alerts from myKhel

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X

World Cup flashback: When Andy Flower & Henry Olonga took on Zimbabwe’s repressive regime during WC 2003

World Cup flashback: When Andy Flower & Henry Olonga took on Zimbabwe’s repressive regime during WC 2003

Bengaluru, April 23: Those were the years when dictator Robert Mugabe was still going strong in Zimbabwe. The country was under the scanner on the international stage because of its human rights records and by playing a co-host to the 2003 World Cup, the South African nation came under more focus.

In the months in the run-up to the WC, Zimbabwe’s right to play a host came under increasing questioning and England took a lead in the protest by deciding against travelling to Harare to play Heath Streak’s side mainly because of security concerns, letting go four crucial points that denied them a place in the Super Six stage eventually.

The authorities were worried that by allowing Zimbabwe to stage a few games in the WC, the protesters in the country were being given an opportunity to stage protests and capture more global attention and leading to more trouble in return. There was already an instance of a protestor losing life in Bulawayo while protesting outside a ODI game.

Flower, Olonga took on their country’s regime

But none was really prepared for what was coming. Shortly before Zimbabwe played their first match against debutants Namibia in Harare, two of their key players Andy Flower and Henry Olonga issued a statement to the media in which they announced their plan to wear black armbands to “mourn the death of democracy” in their own country.

The plan was executed when Flower walked out to bat in the match’s 22nd over wearing a black armband while Olonga, the pacer, was seen sporting his on the players’ balcony. It was a major victory as Zimbabwe’s repressive authorities could not do anything immediately given the international traction the protest had received by then.

British journalist Donald Trelford slammed the ICC and ECB over the issue in the Daily Telegraph and praised the two players who, according to him, “shine out like diamonds in a pile of mud”.

The duo was always aware of the consequences but unfazed as well. Olonga openly said people could take him out. Flower was though a tad luckier since attempts to drop him (Olonga had been dropped) saw his team-mates threatening to strike. Nevertheless, both players bowed out of international cricket at the end of the tournament in which Zimbabwe finished sixth.

 
For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS
For Daily Alerts

Love Cricket? Prove it! Play myKhel Fantasy Cricket here

Story first published: Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 18:56 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 23, 2019
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more