Turmoil in Zimbabwe

Andy Flower wore black armbands over their red and green uniforms. "In doing so, we are mourning the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe,'' they said.-— Pic,. AP

The match saw Zimbabwe brushing aside the challenge from World Cup minnows Namibia. However, the mood in the home camp, at least among two senior cricketers, leading batsman Andy Flower and paceman Henry Olonga was not a happy one.

The violence is rocking the country. Farms owned by white people are coming under increasing attacks, under President Robert Mugabe's controversial regime, that crushes any sign of protest. Democracy is the biggest casualty and this has pained the two cricketers.

And they wanted the world to take note of their protest. Andy Flower and Olonga wore black armbands over their red and green uniforms. "In doing so, we are mourning the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe,'' they said.

"We are aware that hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans may die in the coming months through a combination of starvation, poverty and Aids. We are aware that many people have been unjustly imprisoned and tortured simply for expressing their opinions about what's happening in the country.''

There now are question marks over the future of the two players, but they were making a statement. The 34-year Andy has been the most influential cricketer in Zimbabwe's cricket history, but that did not prevent his local club from dropping this illustrious batsman. For standing up, for what he believed, was a just cause. The two cricketers faced disciplinary hearing before the ICC after Zimbabwe reported the matter to cricket's parent body.