By Zwe Sibanda
Heath Streak, the former Zimbabwe captain and coach who received an eight-year ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for breaching the anti-corruption code, has apologised and taken full responsibility for his actions but asserts he was not involved in any attempts to fix matches.
“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,”
Streak admitted to disclosing inside information pertaining to international matches involving a 2018 Zimbabwe-Bangladesh-Sri Lanka tri-series, a Zimbabwe-Afghanistan series in 2018, the 2018 IPL and the 2018 Afghanistan Premier League but claims he did not influence any matches directly.
In a statement released by Streak on Thursday morning, he detailed his engagement with an individual keen to invest in cricket in Africa, admitted he should have been more cautious, with his actions and hoped his sanction would serve as a cautionary tale, for others.
“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,” said Streak. “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.”
He also stated to the public and fans that he was not involved in any match fixing, spot fixing or attempts to influence a game as confirmed by the ICC itself in its own statement.
He confirmed aspects of the ICC’s verdict but did not admit to knowing the person he was dealing with, understood to be Deepak Agarwal, who was involved in 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.
Streak’s matter with the ICC is closed and he will continue to work on the anti-corruption education program to prevent administrators and players falling into the same trap he did.