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Heath Streak apologises

by Staff reporter
30 Apr 2021 at 06:36hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE cricket legend, Heath Streak has apologised for his involvement with a shadowy character that resulted in the International Cricket Council slapping him with an eight-year ban from all cricket activities.

Streak earlier this month accepted five charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, but denied any match fixing.

The former Zimbabwe captain and coach was caught on the wrong end of the law by the ICC for communicating with Deepak Agarwal for 15 months and provided him with various information in relation to tournaments and matches he was involved with. In a statement, Streak has apologised to the cricket fraternity and the country at large.

"I apologise sincerely to my family, friends, the cricket loving public and most of all my fellow Zimbabweans, who have over the years shown me love and support during the numerous trials and tribulations we have faced," read the statement.

"In 2017, I met an individual keen to invest in cricket in Africa and in particular they wanted to sponsor a T20 Tournament in Zimbabwe, which would be called the Safari Blast. The individual was subsequently vetted and cleared through the usual protocols and to be honest I let my guard down as the friendship and potential business partnership blossomed. The nature of our relationship was fraternal and cordial at all times. I genuinely believed it was a safe space. I also hoped the relationship would be beneficial, not only to myself and to the Academy, but to Zimbabwean cricket and I pursued its growth with vigour.

"At the onset I was engaged, and paid the Bitcoin to assist in buying and building teams in different regional T20 competitions, which was successful, resulting in the purchase of a team in Dubai for this individual.

"Much later on in our friendship the only other thing I received was a bottle of whisky and my wife was gifted a phone. Several months down the line the ICC then brought to my attention the fact that the individual with whom I had been dealing, and some of the information that I had shared during our friendship/interaction may have been used for online betting.

"The ICC carried out a detailed and thorough investigation of our relationship over a two-year period. I submitted myself to the process and co-operated at every turn. At the end of the enquiry, it became evident that through my excitement and desire to bring the T20 Tournament to Zimbabwe and build a relationship with the individual, I had unwittingly flouted some of the elements of the ICC ethics code," said Streak.

"In hindsight, I should have been more cautious especially given my position and all the information and opinions to which I am privy, however insignificant they appeared to me at the time.

"As a team owner I also introduced people to the individual in the belief that I was adding value to their careers and creating opportunities. I understand fully that it may not have been my fault but was, and it is, my responsibility to uphold the ICC code. I therefore take full responsibility for my actions. I hope that my sanction may serve as a cautionary tale for all people involved in this amazing game we love, at every level, and will help them understand that they are duty bound to a higher standard of confidentiality and restraint."

Streak said he was never involved in match fixing and hoped his story would serve as a lesson for others.

"I also want to place on record to the public and fans that I was not involved in any match fixing, spot fixing or attempts to influence a game or share information from a changeroom during a match at any given time in our relationship. This position has been confirmed by the ICC itself in its own statement. I accepted the sanction by the ICC after extensive soul searching and having a better understanding of accountability. I hope my admissions and acknowledgement of my wrongdoing, wittingly or unwittingly, will set an example to current and future stakeholders in our beloved sport of cricket and I will continue to help the ICC as and when I am needed so that the next generation of players and administrators can see the potential dangers and pitfalls as well as understand the serious ramifications of their actions."

The games he provided information on included several international matches in 2018, as well as matches in Twenty20 leagues in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Streak stepped down from his entire responsibilities at the Old Mutual Streak Academy based in Bulawayo after the ICC sanction. He also requested that anything associating him to the academy, including his name, be removed and it was promptly renamed Zimbabwe Youth Cricket Academy.

Streak founded the academy, which opened its doors to the public in 2014. Indian international consultant Joseph Rego, who was the academy's chief executive officer, was named the new president and chairman of the Trust.

Rego is deputised by Bulawayo businessman Elifasi Mashaba, who is also the founding chairman of the academy and a trustee.

Streak's father Denis,Viresh Naik, David Coltart and Rajesh Modi are the other trustees.

Source - chronicle