NE Sports Desk
The cricket world has been rocked after former Zimbabwe national team allrounder and coach Heath Streak was handed an eight-year ban for corruption.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani labelled the episode one of the country’s ‘darkest days’ after Streak admitted five breaches of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption code.
Heath, considered one of Zimbabwe’s greatest ever fast-bowlers, will be banned until March 28, 2029.
“This is a very sad and shameful episode that might well go down in history as the darkest day in Zimbabwean cricket,” Mukuhlani said in a statement.
“Streak was a powerful figure adored by many and held up as an idol for future generations of cricketers.
“But, as we and the rest of the world now know, Streak was also a corrupt, greedy and selfish character, who regrettably abused his status and position in pursuit of dirty benefits.”
Zimbabwe cricket endorses strict Heath ban
Mukuhlani said he backed the punishment handed down to Heath and would work with the ICC to stamp out any wrongdoing.
“We will continue to work actively within our structures and with the ICC to combat criminality in all of its forms and to ensure that cricket remains clean locally and globally,” he added.
Streak, who played 65 Tests and 189 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe from 1993-2005, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
The charges against him included revealing inside information which could be used for betting purposes and failing to disclose a payment in bitcoins from a potential corrupter to anti-corruption officials.
The games in question include several international matches in 2018, as well as games in Twenty20 leagues in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Former Zimbabwe sport minister David Coltart expressed his shock about his friend.
“I am deeply saddened by this report as Heath Streak has been a good friend for many years. I am grateful that he has admitted his breach,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Repentance is the first step towards rehabilitation.
“There can be no excuses for this type of behaviour. Corruption has deeply affected Cricket internationally and within Zimbabwe and must be ruthlessly rooted out wherever it is found.
“That said I stand ready to assist Heath redeem his otherwise outstanding record & contribution.”