Henry Olonga

Country: Zimbabwe
Born: July 03, 1976, Lusaka, Zambia
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Fast
Playing role: Bowler

Henry Olonga Bio

Henry Khaaba Olonga, a prominent figure in Zimbabwean cricket history, holds the distinction of being the first black cricketer and youngest-ever player to represent Zimbabwe at the international level. Throughout his career, Olonga faced numerous challenges but always managed to overcome them with his unwavering determination and incredible talent.

Born on July 3, 1976, in Lusaka, Zambia, Henry Olonga moved to Zimbabwe with his family at a young age. His cricketing journey began when he made his first-class debut for Matabeleland against Mashonaland in the Logan Cup at the age of just 17. Impressive performances in domestic cricket paved the way for his selection in the national team for the Test series against Pakistan in 1994-95.

However, his debut match was marred by controversy when he was called for throwing in his very first over. Undeterred, Olonga sought guidance from the legendary Dennis Lillee, who helped him refine his bowling action. With modifications made, Olonga returned to the international stage, and the doubts surrounding his action disappeared.

Olonga showcased his potential as a strike bowler during the 1998-99 tour of Pakistan, where he played a pivotal role in Zimbabwe’s victory in the first Test by dismantling Pakistan’s experienced top order. His raw pace and ability to take wickets made him a valuable asset to the team.

Despite his talent, Olonga struggled with inconsistency, accuracy issues, and frequent injuries throughout his career. Nevertheless, he remained a relatively permanent fixture in the Zimbabwean side from 1998 onwards. In 2003, Olonga was selected for the ICC Cricket World Cup, where he made international headlines for all the right reasons.

Together with teammate Andy Flower, Olonga wore a black armband during a World Cup match as a protest against the “death of democracy” in Zimbabwe. Their act of defiance was widely applauded, displaying Olonga’s courage and his willingness to stand up for what he believed in. However, this act had significant consequences as he was unable to participate meaningfully in the remainder of the tournament and was forced to leave his homeland due to threats against him.

Following his departure from Zimbabwe, Olonga sought refuge in England. Despite not being able to play cricket anymore, he emerged as a sought-after media pundit and commentator, sharing his insights and experiences with fans worldwide. Olonga’s bravery and resilience in the face of adversity only added to his reputation as a role model for young cricketers.

Off the field, Olonga exudes cheerfulness, humility, and a positive attitude, which has endeared him to everyone he encountered. His journey from being a talented young bowler to becoming a symbol of resistance and a voice against oppression cements his legacy as one of Zimbabwe’s most iconic cricketers.

Even though his career may not have reached the heights of some of his peers, Henry Khaaba Olonga’s impact on Zimbabwean cricket extends far beyond the cricket field. He remains an inspiration for young cricketers, reminding them that the game has the power to transcend boundaries and be a catalyst for change.

Henry Olonga Career Stats

Henry Olonga Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 30 45 11 184 24 5.41 783 23.49 0 0 17 2 10 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 50 27 14 95 31 7.3 163 58.28 0 0 9 3 13 0
FC 66 91 25 659 45 9.98 - - 0 0 - - 29 0
List A 82 47 23 255 32* 10.62 - - 0 0 - - 24 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Henry Olonga Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 30 47 4502 2620 68 5/70 6/89 38.52 3.49 66.2 3 2 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 50 49 2059 1977 58 6/19 6/19 34.08 5.76 35.5 2 2 0
FC 66 - 10048 5912 156 5/70 - 37.89 3.53 64.4 - 3 0
List A 82 - 3311 3098 92 6/19 6/19 33.67 5.61 35.9 3 2 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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