By Tavengwa Mukuhlani (Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman)
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) welcomes and endorses the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s decision to ban former Zimbabwe captain and coach Heath Streak from all cricket activities for eight years after he accepted five charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
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.
The integrity of ZC and the sport itself is of paramount importance and, therefore, the need to maintain high levels of honesty and professionalism at leadership and all levels of the game cannot be overemphasized.
We wish to take this opportunity to warn offenders and would-be offenders that corruption has no place in cricket and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
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.