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News

Andy Flower calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe

Andy Flower, the former Zimbabwe captain whose black-armband protest was one of the highlights of the 2003 World Cup, has called on sporting authorities to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe

Cricinfo staff
15-Mar-2007


Andy Flower during his black-armband protest in 2003 © Getty Images
Andy Flower, the former Zimbabwe captain whose black-armband protest was one of the most memorable images of the 2003 World Cup, has called on sporting authorities to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe following the brutal police attacks on members of the opposition, including their leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
"People have been killed and tortured in Zimbabwe," Flower told The Daily Telegraph. "But when you see how badly the leader of the official opposition has been beaten, it shows just how out of touch with the reality the government, the Zanu PF thugs, are. They will do anything to stay in power. Robert Mugabe has never changed since he took over in the early 1980s."
Flower, along with team-mate Henry Olonga, chose Zimbabwe's opening match in the 2003 tournament, played in Harare, to make their own silent protest against what they described as the "death of democracy". Both subsequently left Zimbabwe and now live in England.
"The protest I made four years ago was a personal decision," he said. "You can question whether it is appropriate for players to be representing their country in an international tournament at this time. But I can understand why they want to play international cricket and to make the best of their opportunities.
"Maybe some sort of sporting sanctions or other sanctions would be a more powerful tool in bringing pressure to bear on the government rather than expecting a team of cricketers, most of them 20 to 23 years-old, to be making those sort of decisions."