Henry Olonga August 11, 2012

'Play golf, not cricket'

Interview by Jack Wilson
Words of wisdom about the game? Henry Olonga's got them

First stump I sent cartwheeling
I remember it well. I was playing a school practice game at home in Zimbabwe when I was 12. It was an inter-school game and I remember running up and sending it flying out of the ground. It's always a nice feeling as a fast bowler.

First call-up for Zimbabwe
It was a very humbling experience to be asked to play for the country. On the morning that I got the nod to play, I had a mixture of emotions. You experience a sense of pride, excitement and nerves. It was a great time for me as a young player, as you always dream of playing at the highest level. I remember we played Pakistan, and I think we won the game pretty convincingly.

First Test match five-wicket haul
It was back in 1998 - and it came just when I needed it. I was under a bit of pressure as I'd been told by the people in charge that I had to get a five-for to keep my place in the team. If I didn't get it, I'd be dropped. We were playing India in Harare and I got Sourav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin out to take 5 for 70 in the first innings. The performance earned me a few more games for Zimbabwe. It was a special moment for me as I pulled off what I had to just when I needed it most.

First bowling boots
They were a pair of Gunn & Moores I had as a kid. They were made out of some quite bizarre material. It must have been something like pig leather!

First bit of advice for a young fast bowler
Simple - don't play the game! Play golf, there's more money in it and it's not as big a strain on your body.

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