IPL 2021: THIS former Kolkata Knight Riders coach denies match-fixing, accepts ICC’s eight-year ban

Former Zimbabwe captain and Kolkata Knight Riders coach Heath Streak has accepted and apologized for his actions after being handed an eight-year ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for breaching its anti-corruption code. Streak was found guilty of disclosing inside information during his stints with Zimbabwe cricket team, Indian Premier League (IPL), BPL and Afghanistan Premier League.

He accepted payment in bitcoins from a potential corrupter and was found guilty of breaching five anti-corruption codes. However, Streak has said he wasn’t involved in match-fixing.

“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,” Streak said in a statement released on Thursday (April 29).

The former Zimbabwe all-rounder explained his involvement with an individual who was keen to invest in cricket in Africa but has claimed he wasn’t aware of that person’s involvement in betting.

“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 statement read.

“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’s statement added.

Streak, who was also the bowling coach of Gujarat Lions, provided details of the benefits he received during his dealings with the aforementioned person.

“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 said.

Streak is hopeful he will be allowed to return to the game after the completion of his ban. “I also hope that cricket in Zimbabwe should not be punished or suffer for my actions directly or indirectly. I commit to serving out my sanction as guided by the ICC and am committed to help them and cricket in Zimbabwe in whatever manner I can. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the development of cricket in Zimbabwe, making amends and returning to the game as and when the ICC sees it fit,” he said.


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Sagar Biswas

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