Henry Olonga was a decent(ish) bowler for Zimbabwe around the time when they reached their peak as a test playing nation at the end of the 1990s, taking 68 wickets at 38.5. But it is not his feats as a slightly wayward fast bowler that make him a Reverse Sweep hero. Nor is it his music, which isn't quite to our taste.
No, Olonga is a real authentic hero for the stand that he took, along with Andy Flower during the 2003 World Cup, which took place in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Their decision to wear black armbands to mark the 'death of democracy' in Zimbabwe was the most memorable moment of what was an overlong and fairly tedious World Cup.
It certainly provoked fury amongst President Mugabe and his shadowy henchmen. Olonga bore the brunt of the repercussions including excommunication from the team, death threats and subsequent exile. But he bore his fate with customary decency and with a smile on his face. As we said, a true hero.
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