Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak banned from all cricket for eight years

Ex-coach accepts five counts of breaching anti-corruption code

BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE - FEBRUARY 27: Heath Streak Head coach of Zimbabwe during the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Warm Up match between Zimbabwe and Ireland on February 27, 2018 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. (Photo by Nigel Roddis - ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Heath Streak accepted bitcoins worth $35,000 as well as a new iPhone for his wife in exchange for inside information on cricket, in a case that has seen him banned for eight years for corruption.

The former Zimbabwe captain and coach will be suspended from the sport until March 2029, after he accepted a variety of charges of breaching cricket’s anti-corruption code.

The charges included “disclosing inside information” related to a variety of series in 2017 and 2018, “in circumstances where he knew or should have known that such information may be used for betting purposes”.

He was also guilty of “directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing … or intentionally facilitating” an approach to four different players, including a national team captain, for corrupt reasons.

He also failed to disclose receiving the bitcoin and iPhone or the “receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit” that he “knew or should have known was given to them to procure a breach of the code”.

In addition, he failed to disclose to the ICC’s anti-corruption unite any approaches to engage in corrupt conduct in relation to international matches, matches in the 2017 Bangladesh Premier League, the 2018 Pakistan Super League, the 2018 IPL and the 2018 Afghanistan Premier League.

“Under the provisions of the Code, Mr Streak chose to admit the charges and agreed the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing,” the ICC said in a statement.

“He will be free to resume his involvement in the game on 28 March 2029.”

According to the ICC’s report, Streak was asked by a figure – who is referred to as “Mr X” – to provide links to team captains, owners or players, in the 2017 BPL, saying “they could earn good money as a result, which they could invest in a T20 event in Zimbabwe”.

“It appeared that Mr X wanted Mr Streak to provide him with contacts of players, team owners, etc who Mr X could then approach for inside information, such as which team would win a match, in upcoming matches,” the report states.

“Mr Streak provided Mr X with the contact details of three players in the BPL [including the details of a national captain], in circumstances where he knew or should have known that Mr X may use these details to contact these players and request inside information from them for him to use for betting purposes.

“Further, in respect of two of these players, Mr Streak actually contacted the players to effectively vouch for Mr X.”

Alex Marshall, the ICC’s head of integrity, said the length of the ban reflects the fact that Streak, who played 65 Test matches and 189 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe, had expressed remorse.

“Heath Streak is an experienced former international cricketer and national team coach, who had participated in numerous anti-corruption education sessions and was fully aware of his responsibilities under the code,” Marshall said.

“As a former captain and coach, he held a position of trust and owed a duty to uphold the integrity of the game.

“He breached the code on several occasions, including facilitating the approach of four other players. At times, he also sought to obstruct and delay our investigation.

“The offences did not affect the outcomes of any relevant matches and Mr Streak has agreed to assist the ICC anti-corruption education programme for which we are grateful.

“He has also expressed his remorse and contrition and entered this agreed sanction decision to avoid the need for a full disciplinary process. The sanction reflects this cooperation.”

The length of Streak's ban matches those which were handed to two former UAE players, Mohammed Naveed and Shaiman Anwar, after they were found guilty of corruption in a separate case, earlier this year.

Naveed this week registered an appeal against his sanction with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.