An intellectually impaired Indian origin cricketer in South Africa was beheaded in a ritual of sacrifice allegedly by his close friend.

The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Nawaz Khan. The police have arrested three people, including the victim's close friend Thandowakhe Duma, in connection with the case and started an investigation, PTI reported.

Duma, 21, confessed to the police that he had lured Khan to a forest area near his (victim) house and beheaded him with a bush knife. Duma said he offered Khan's head to a healer to get rid of the problems he (Duma) has been facing.

The healer tried to flee after Duma's arrest, but the police arrested him with the help of the community at a housing settlement in the town of Umzinto.

The police arrested two others after they found Khan's mobile phones with them. The duo claimed that they had bought the phones from the alleged killers of Khan.

Khan had been rewarded with the title of Cricket South Africa's award for intellectually impaired Cricketer of the Year in 2013, her mother Zakia Khan said. He was an inspiration to other cricketers  with intellectual or physical impairment.