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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 09:41 GMT
Olonga eyes musical career
Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry Olonga hopes to travel to England to begin a new career in music, according to reports.

Henry Olonga
The idea is to make a double CD of classical music with an eclectic edge
Henry Olonga
The 26-year-old told The Times newspaper he had been offered a chance to play county cricket with Essex, but now wanted to explore new options.

He has been banned by his club side in Zimbabwe and announced his retirement from international cricket following the national team's exit from the World Cup.

Olonga's passion is singing and he is hoping to link up with composer and condutor Barrington Pheloung, who has written music for TV series Inspector Morse and film Hilary and Jackie.

"Barrington offered me a contract to work with him on our last tour of England in 2000 after he'd heard me sing on the BBC," he said.

Olonga believes he would be in danger if he returns to Zimbabwe after protesting about government policies during the World Cup, along with teammate Andy Flower.

There have been suggestions that he could face treason charges, but team manager Babu Meman said "I think it's all lies."

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union have, however, repeated their criticism of Olonga.

"The Union notes with regret that in his statement announcing his official retirement, Olonga has, in a clear act of continued insubordination, gone on to yet again to use the platform of the ICC Cricket World Cup to make a political statement," a ZCU press release read.

30 caps, 68 wickets at 38.52
184 runs at 5.41
50 caps, 58 wickets at 34.08
95 runs at 7.30

Olonga plans to stay in South Africa initially, before travelling on to Britain.

"I'm hooking up with a friend here, but if necessary I'll keep moving as you never know.

"You have to remember that the ANC and Zanu-PF are bed-fellows. I'll only feel completely safe once I get to England."

But an African National Congress (ANC) dismissed his fears.

"His suggestion that his life could be in danger in South Africa is insulting. Olonga is either delusional or supremely ill-informed.

"The ANC wishes Olonga every success with his future career."

Links to more Zimbabwe stories


Have Your Say on Zimbabwe
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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