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Dreadlocked Zimbabwean Cricketers Submit To Scissors As Ordered

Cricket fans in Zimbabwe were expressing outrage Thursday that Zimbabwe Cricket, which governs the sport in the country, ordered national team members participating in the World Cup of Cricket in Jamaica to shear off their dreadlocks.

The order struck many as curious given that Jamaica is the home of the dreadlock hair style made popular worldwide by the late reggae musician Bob Marley.

Critics said the move represented an infringement on the freedom of expression of the athletes and said Zimbabwe Cricket should stick to promoting the sport. The order affected players Tawanda Mupariwa, Keith Dabengwa and Stuart Matsikenyeri.

Zimbabwe Cricket spokesman Lovemore Banda said national team managers sought uniformity of appearance for the relatively young team, in a rebuilding phase.

Team captain Prosper Utseya said the players complied with the order but were not pleased with the decision. That was not the only bad news: Zimbabwe was eliminated from World Cup play by Pakistan in a rain-drenched match on Wednesday.

Commentator Wellington Dangarembizi told Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe why he disagreed with the Zimbabwe Cricket edict.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...