Zimbabwe: Angels Emerge in Streakgate's Cloud of Shame

16 April 2021

THE lure of the money, and expensive gifts, might have sucked Heath Streak into a dark world, which would cost him his legacy but, for others, the risk was just too much.

So, in a week when the cricket world has been undergoing another soul-searching exercise, after Streak was slapped with an eight-year ban by the International Cricket Council, it's refreshing to note there were others, who resisted the advances.

Reports are now emerging that blacklisted Indian bookmaker, Deepak Agarwal, the man who lured Streak, to his downfall, did not always get it his way.

He is also blamed for dragging former Bangladesh captain, Shakib Al Hasan, into the underworld, leading the all-rounder to be handed a two-year ban, from the game.

However, according to reports from the Indian sub-continent, not everyone violated the ICC anti-corruption codes and Sikanda Raza, the Zimbabwe international, was mentioned as one of those who informed authorities, when he was approached.

Explosive Bangladesh opener, Tamim Iqbal, is also another international cricketer, who refused to be sucked into the scam.

Iqbal was questioned by an anti-corruption team, which was investigating Shakib's case, and he is said to have told them he informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board, about the approaches.

"I just asked him professionally about the T20 offer." Agarwal said.

Streak's transgressions are centred on disclosing inside information, and facilitating corrupt approaches, for betting purposes.

The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit said this happened over a period of 15 months, between 2017 and 2018, during his time as coach of the Chevrons and some cricket clubs in India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

"Zimbabwe Cricket welcomes and endorses the ICC's decision to ban former Zimbabwe captain and coach, Heath Streak, from all cricket activities for eight years," ZC chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, said.

"For a sporting discipline that prides itself, as the gentlemen's game, this is a very sad and shameful episode that might well go down in history as the darkest day in Zimbabwean cricket.

"As he represented, and captained Zimbabwe before later coaching the national side over the years, Streak was a powerful figure adored by many and held up as an idol for future generations of cricketers.

"In doing this, he held a position of trust and owed a duty to uphold the integrity of the game.

"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.

"He has let cricket down, he has let down the teams and players he coached, he has let the nation down, he has let down the fans - including impressionable children - who loved and idolised him.

"While we have been left to pick up the pieces from the damage, it is our hope that the punishment meted out on Streak will help to reinforce the measures that the ICC and ZC, have been taking to root out any wrongdoing in cricket."

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