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Aussie`s tour of Zimbabwe heats up
10 May 2007
By: James Nixon

Current Zimbabwe cricketer Vusi Sibanda has called on Australian cricket officials to not boycott their tour of Zimbabwe, while former player Henry Olonga has said the opposite in saying if Australia did tour, it would send the wrong message to Robert Mugabe's government.

Sibanda who is based in Sydney, Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald that "The players obviously have no control, so it would be pretty sad if the Australians didn't come. I certainly hope that they do play. We need to challenge ourselves against the best in the world if we are to improve, and the Australians are the best there is."

Olonga voiced his view to the ABC saying "The picture they've tried to paint to the rest of the world is that if the reigning world champions are willing to tour Zimbabwe, then there can't be too much amiss. I think that's probably one of the real dangers of the tour going ahead."

Olonga who now lives in England was one of many Zimbabwe players to wear break armbands during the 2003 World Cup to mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe.

Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer also stepped into the matter saying government officials will discuss the tour with Cricket Australia in a view to it not going ahead.

Downer said "Normally, I'm not a great fan of bringing politics into sport. But in this particular case I think it is appropriate we should take a very tough stand against Mugabe's regime and do our best to stop the cricketers."

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