Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has been hit with an eight-year ban from all cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Streak, who is the country’s all-time leading wicket-taker, accepted five charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, following allegations of providing inside information on matches he was involved with, resulting in the issuing of the suspension.
It was found that the 47-year-old had engaged with an Indian man referred to as ‘Mr X’ whilst coaching Zimbabwe and various domestic teams in Twenty20 leagues around the globe from 2016 to 2018, passing on inside information about matches and player contact details, including that of a national captain, in return for gifts.
The ICC ruled that the information disclosed was likely to be used for ‘betting purposes’ in relation to matches in the 2018 Tri-Series involving Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Zimbabwe versus Afghanistan series in 2018, the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) and the 2018 Afghanistan Premier League (AFL).
During his playing career, Streak won 254 international caps and spent time on the books of county cricket clubs Warwickshire and Hampshire.
“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,” explained Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit.
“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.”
Further charges included the failure to disclose approaches from those who may bring the ‘sport of cricket into disrepute’, along with the payments and gifts received, including $35,000 worth of Bitcoin and an iPhone for his wife.
Streak also admitted to the charge of obstructing or delaying the investigation, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information, by deleting a series of WhatsApp messages with the aforementioned Mr X.
After agreeing the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing, Streak will be free to return to the sport on 28 March 2029.