Believed to be in the UK February 6, 2007

Douglas Hondo quits Zimbabwe

Douglas Hondo: is his career over? © Getty Images
It is being reported that Douglas Hondo has left Zimbabwe and is believed to be in the UK, turning his back on cricket after refusing to comply with a board demand to shave his dreadlocks.

Last week Zimbabwe Cricket issued an order to the team's three dreadlocked players - Tawanda Mupariwa, Christopher Mpofu and Keith Dabengwa - to have their hair cut or be dropped. All complied, albeit under protest, and one told the Zimbabwe Times that he was deeply unhappy with what he described as a "gross human-rights abuse."

There was speculation whether Hondo, who is recovering from injury, would also be asked to do the same. He has sported dreadlocks since he made his debut in 2001.

Efforts to get hold of the player have been fruitless as his mobile phone is barred for incoming calls. A reliable source told Cricinfo that Hondo left the country last week. It is not yet clear whether he is going to remain in the game.

Hondo, whose career has been hampered by injuries, spent the whole of last year battling a hamstring injury. He applied for a coaching job within Zimbabwe Cricket but changed his mind after declaring he wanted to fight his way back into the national side.

Hondo turned out for Alexandra Sports Club in the National League and was called into camp with the national side. The injury had clearly affected him as he was bowling with a short run up.

Although he has not played international cricket since January 2005, he is still one of the country's most experienced players, with nine Tests and 56 ODIs under his belt.