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Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story Hardcover – 19 Jul 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 281 pages
  • Publisher: VISION SPORTS PUBLISHING; 1st Edition edition (19 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905326815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905326815
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

One of the most compelling stories I have ever read, and one that is certainly quite unlike any other cricketer's autobiography. 4.5/5
--CricketWeb, July 27, 2010

Truly gripping... an amazing tale.
--Sport Magazine, July 30, 2010

About the Author

Henry Olonga was Zimbabwe's first black cricketer and the youngest ever player to represent his country at international level. A fast bowler, he made his test debut aged 18 years old against Pakistan in 1995 and recorded career best figures of 5 for 70 against India in 1998. Following his black armband protest in 2003 he settled in England where he worked for Channel 4 and BBC's Test Match Special and played for the Lashings World XI cricket team. Since then he has embarked on careers in art, cinematography, public speaking and music. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this book off the back of seeing Henry Olonga interviewed on TV last month. To be honest, although I am a sports fan, I am not particularly a fan of cricket, but I was struck by hearing this articulate sportsman speak of his stand against government oppression in his homeland of Zimbabwe during the cricket World Cup.
The book does focus on much more than the event for which Henry has become known - everything is covered - love, friendship, faith, conflict, and of course cricket before finally focusing on Henry's decision to play in a black armband in protest about what was going on in his country.
I did wonder whether not being a cricket fan would mean that my interest throughout the book would wane, but it didn't at all. I felt as though I was getting to know who this man was (and he does highlight what he believes to be his own shortcomings throughout as well as his strengths, which is refreshing).
I would recommend buying this book - whether you are a sports fan or not. You will find yourself encouraged that there are people who take seriously what was said that "all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing".
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Format: Hardcover
For those of us - most of us - who endanger life and property every time we throw a ball or swing a golf club, Henry Olonga is that supremely frustrating of creatures, the all-round sportsman. Who's that up front in the 100m sprint? Henry, taking the honours with style. Match winning tries by the handful for the First XV? That must be Henry. Thirteen Overs, Five Maidens, Eight for Seventeen? And just to rub it in, 103 Not Out in reply? Olonga again, this time as captain of his senior school XI against an English touring team. Not only that, he sings, acts, and paints as well. Anyone know an affordable assassin?

He is not the only one, of course. The sports pages are filled with stories of first class cricketers who play scratch golf, athletes who have to make an agonising choice between top flight rugby and top league football, runners who swim, swimmers who sprint. What marks Henry out, and has no doubt saved him from that assassin, is that it hasn't gone to his head. Anyone who has met him will confirm that he is modest, grounded, honest, and generous. Oh, and funny into the bargain. Quite an achievement, considering what he has been through.

This book tells the story of Olonga's journey through the world of Zimbabwean sport, where everything is political, and where the politicians are world class b......s. From all-round sporting excellence at school, he chose cricket as the sport in which he hoped to make his living. A difficult decision, since even fifteen years after independence, cricket would not have been the natural choice for a young black man. The entire national team was white, as were many of the administrators. There still existed in that senior generation, if not apartheid, a certain "apartness".
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Format: Hardcover
The book is the most fantastic, gripping tale of a man who braved the elements and got to the top of international cricket. This however is not the special part, it is the courage that he showed for standing up for what is right where no man would.
A compelling tale of a man who risked everything to gain nothing other than the fact that he new that stood up for what is right, and did not let evil stand without trial in his beloved Zimbabwe.
Brilliant book, I would recommend it to anyone, not just cricket lovers.
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Format: Hardcover
Henry Olonga, by his own admission, was not an outstandingly brilliant international cricketer. However, he is rightly known for being one of the bravest in recent times, thanks to his protest, together with Andy Flower, against the tyrannical regime of Robert Mugabe. This book takes their 2003 protest as its starting point, against which Olonga's upbringing and development as a sportsman is placed. Knowing the actions he and Flower took, the stories of his earlier life and his achievement in being the first black cricketer to represent Zimbabwe are given a much more poignant context. There is much here that is deeply troubling; his kidnapping, the threats he has received since his protest, the racism he has endured, and the insight into modern Zimbabwe, but that is set against a story of talent and development in cricket and music that is quite remarkable. The writing is good, though at times a little prosaic, but the importance of his story more than makes up for it.
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Format: Hardcover
I heard Henry speak at a function a few months ago, basically giving a shortened version of his life-story.

He is truly inspiring, and a remarkable man.

BUY THIS BOOK - you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
This is a gripping story which will thrill the hearts of all sports enthusiasts and those wishing Zimbabwe a happier future.
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Format: Hardcover
This autobiography is basically all of Olonga's life, not just his cricket career, or just about his brave stand against Mugabe's regime at the 2003 World Cup. It's interesting to hear about life growing up in Zimbabwe and the racism in society and sport that he experienced and observed in whites and blacks.

I would say you need to like cricket to get through this book since there is a lot of narrative about tournaments and matches which I can see would be a bore to those who don't care for the sport. I even skipped a few paragraphs where Olonga lists his bowling averages and various match results. A 4-star book from a 5-star man!
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