Zimbabwean fast bowler Henry Olonga has gone into hiding to dodge his country's secret police, according to a British newspaper.
Seven plainclothes officers from Zimbabwe's secret police arrived on Friday in East London ahead of Zimbabwe's game against the Sri Lankans on Saturday, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
Olonga had been told that the officers intended to "escort him home", where a likely charge of treason awaited, the newspaper reported. The punishment for treason in Zimbabwe is death.
"He was pretty shaken but he seemed to be coping as well as anyone can in a situation like that," a teammate said after the match, which Zimbabwe lost by 74 runs.
England remains Olonga's most likely destination, as long as political asylum is granted, the newspaper added.
Earlier the 26-year-old bowler announced his retirement from international cricket: "I have been receiving threatening emails since the protests, which I believe have made it dangerous for me to return to Zimbabwe. It is with great sadness that I am officially announcing my retirement from international cricket."
During a first round World Cup match, Olonga and fellow teammate Andy Flower wore black armbands to mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe. - Sapa-AFP