Heath Streak clears the air, apologises over ICC charges

Streak, who bagged 455 international wickets in a career spanning 12 years, admitted to certain aspects of ICC's judgment in relation to setting up a T20 league in Zimbabwe.

Heath Streak in a file photo. (Image credit: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Apr 30, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

After being handed an eight-year ban from all cricket-related activities, former Zimbabwe fast bowler and coach Heath Streak apologized and said that he would shoulder the responsibility for his actions. The 47-year-old, however, denied claims of him being involved in any discussions that would have influenced a cricket match, like match-fixing, spot-fixing, or sharing information from changing rooms during a match. Streak also hoped that his acknowledgement of his wrongdoings would set a precedent for future stakeholders. The retired cricketer also mentioned that he has no knowledge of the person he was interacting with to be involved in betting.

“I apologise sincerely to my family, friends, the cricketing loving public and above all my fellow Zimbabweans, who have over the years shown me love and support, during the numerous trials and tribulations we have faced,” he said in a statement. 

“I want to place on record that I was not involved in any match-fixing, spot-fixing, or attempts to influence a game or share information from a change room during a match. I hope acknowledgment of my wrongdoing, wittingly or unwittingly, will set an example to current and future stakeholders,” he continued. 

“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,” he concluded.

‘Let My Guard Down’

The former cricketer had accepted all charges levelled against him during his role as the coach of the Zimbabwe national side and various other franchises from 2016-2018. Streak however denied having any knowledge that his contact was in the betting business. He said that the person had expressed interest in investing in a domestic T20 league in Zimbabwe which would be called the Safari Blast.

“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,” Streak said.

“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,” he concluded.

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