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Former cricketer on church tour
8:00pm Saturday 5th May 2012 in Local
HENRY Olonga, one of cricket’s most intruiging figures, wowed the crowds on a visit to Chippenham and Calne.
Olonga, a former Zim-babwe Test and ODI player, was invited to speak at various venues by the Emman-uel Evangelical Church.
He visited Calne Free Church on Wednesday, before spending Thursday and Friday entertaining the crowds at Chippenham Cricket Club, Hardenhuish and Sheldon schools and the evangelical church.
Maria Lewis, assistant head of Sheldon, who organised the event, said: “Pupils have been focusing on the seven Olympic values in the build up to London 2012 and Henry hit on all of them. With GCSEs only weeks away, he proved to be a great motivational speaker and has really fired up our pupils.”
Olonga, 35, was the youngest cricketer to appear for Zimbabwe when he made his debut aged 18 in 1995.
He was forced to retire early after the infamous black armband protest against Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe at the 2003 World Cup.
Now Olonga has turned his hand to giving talks and singing.
He also found time to do training drills with senior players at Chippenham CC.
New club captain Lee Ward said: “It was really good to have Henry here.
“He did an hour-long training session with our senior players, mostly doing fielding drills and some fitness work.
“Then he did a question and answer session, and talked about everything from his playing career to the black armband protest, his singing career and his work with the church.
“We had about 50 people people there and Henry stayed arund after his talk and chatted to some of the players. He signed pieces of memorabilia so we can do some fundraising for the club later in the year.
“It was a great experience for the players.”