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July 12, 2005
Olonga is in New Zealand at the behest of the Green Party, who are proposing legislation to prevent the cricket team from touring Zimbabwe. The New Zealand government has in recent times said that they will not prevent the team from going to Zimbabwe. The ICC rules state that New Zealand will be fined at least US$2million if the tour does not take place.
Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Olonga said that the situation in his native country was no different that the apartheid regime in South Africa, and needed to be treated in a similar fashion. "This is a government that has consistently abused its own people," he said. "I'm disappointed the ICC hasn't shown more compassion with regard to what's happening in Zimbabwe."
Olonga urged ICC to change its hitherto inflexible stance with regard to teams touring Zimbabwe, keeping apartheid-era South Africa in mind. He said that when rebel tours took place, it felt like "that they were showing no concern for the people who were suffering under that oppressive regime." Olonga said that the situation was "immoral and the world somehow has to take a stance."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Graeme Smith was the last of South Africa's old guard. The roots of the new one need to grow deeper