HENRY Olonga, the exiled Zimbabwe cricket player, recently wrote for a popular cricket website on what he claimed to be the state of Zimbabwean cricket.
egrettably, laboured to link the Zimbabwe government’s disastrous economic policies and tattered human rights record with local cricket basing on the re-appointment of President Robert Mugabe as patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.
Everyone, including Olonga himself, knows that Mugabe, as patron, is not in any way involved in the day-to-day running of the game. It is very dishonest for Olonga to mention side by side, the administration of Zimbabwe cricket and the handling of the national economy.
Many people, touring teams and journalists alike, remark that cricket in this country is thriving inspite of everything. The administration is highly-professional and on the playing field results might not reflect as yet, but the national team is playing quite well. There are exciting talented players coming through, a fact Olonga is aware of but chose to ignore for some reason.
I do not know of a more sincere community than the cricket world. It does not rejoice at the misfortunes of a member. One wonders who Olonga wants to please by painting a bad picture of the system that made him what he is. If Olonga has not been paid his World Cup bonus as he claims, then maybe he did not want it at the time before he left the country, especially with young players in the national team purchasing low density property many of our countrymen would not buy in a lifetime, moreover in these hyperinflationary and difficult times. Or maybe he was carried away by the excitement of leaving “Our Zimbabwe” that he never bothered to go and collect his cheque.
We all know what is happening in this country but it is wrong for people to mix issues that do not relate. I was one of the many people whose hearts swelled with pride when Olonga and Andy Flower performed that courageous act at Harare Sports Club during the World Cup but for Olonga, maybe he did it for the wrong reasons after all.