In April this year, the International Cricket Council (“ICC”) announced that Heath Streak, Zimbabwe’s all-time leading wicket taker, had been banned from cricket for eight years following his admission that he had been involved in corrupt conduct, contrary to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code for Participants.
It transpired that Streak had had a series of WhatsApp conversations, lasting 15 months, with a “Mr X” who said he was interested in organizing a Twenty20 league in Zimbabwe. The lure of potentially bringing a big-money IPL style tournament to Zimbabwe seems to have proved too seductive for Streak. During the course of their conversations, Mr X made clear to Streak that he was involved in betting on cricket. Mr X paid two Bitcoins to Streak, which Streak converted into $35,000, as well as gifting a new iPhone to Streak’s wife. In return, it seems, Streak passed inside information on upcoming matches to Mr X and introduced Mr X to active cricket players when he knew that Mr X was likely to use these introductions to gain further inside information.
David Hopkins has written about the case for LawInSport, considering the facts of the case, the identity of Mr X, the relevant provisions of the Anti-Corruption Code and analysing the sanction that was imposed, by way of agreement. The full article is available here.