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Cricketers on their milestones

Henry Olonga

'Play golf, not cricket'

Words of wisdom about the game? Henry Olonga's got them

Interview by Jack Wilson

August 11, 2012

Comments: 9 | Text size: A | A

Henry Olonga speaks against New Zealand's tour of Zimbabwe at a press conference , Christchurch, July 12, 2005
Henry Olonga: took a five-for in the nick of time © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Henry Olonga
Teams: Zimbabwe

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by first_slip on (August 13, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

Can you call Golf as a sport? if it is you cant compare with Great Game like cricket i am sure. Thumb Down Mr.Olonga. you are wrong.

Posted by grahaam on (August 12, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

A good man who will one day be re-united with his country,as a hero, after the bravery he showed with A Flower. I think you last bit about golf is more in humour than anything else.

Posted by Nerk on (August 12, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

Cricinfo need to start a 'spot the joke' segment. I'm quite sure that it would prove quite a challenge to many fellow commenters. Also Mayur Baruah, I thought Olonga quit playing for his nation because he believed that democracy was a good thing, as opposed to a dictatorship. Obviously I have been misinformed. The black arm band he wore at the 2003 world cup was symbolic for the death of his bank account.

Posted by ian_ghose on (August 12, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

@Mayur Baruah - Do you play cricket for your country? No? Why not? Did none of the cricketers in your country encourage you to play cricket, for your country? Or did you not find any cricketer in your country who seemed worth emulating. I understand that ignorance is the currency of your land, but I can tell you...Golf is more gentlemanly than cricket ever was and ever will be....

Posted by thenoostar on (August 11, 2012, 23:21 GMT)

Sound Advice! Some good young cricketers from NZ have chosen golf and done much better than they would have playing cricket. Facts you can play golf until you are over 40, lots of lucrative tournaments the world over and you are less likely to sustain degenerative arthritis at an early age.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

shocking .... the last part

Posted by thalalara on (August 11, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

Hey please give me an opportunity , I'm also equally talented to get an interview and share my experiences.I can also give tons of advices plssssssss!

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

Henry..this is bad..encourage them to play Cricket for their country NOT money..thank god you never returned to the gentleman game of Cricket...

Posted by Nutcutlet on (August 11, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

The lovely Henry - one of the nicest guys to play the Game! I'm glad to know that he he did have the thrill of seeing a stump flying. What was it one wag said? 'If he was any faster, he'd be innocuous!'

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