By Eddie Chikamhi
The International Cricket Council have revealed some match-fixers targeted the United Arab Emirates’ tour of Zimbabwe, two years ago.
The Chevrons comprehensively won the ODI series 4-0.
UAE player, Qadeer Ahmed Khan, who was this week banned for five years by the ICC, was at the centre of the controversy.
According to the investigations, by the ICC, no Zimbabwean players were involved in the shady deals.
This was the first time the UAE played a Full Member side, in a bilateral series and, as was largely expected, Zimbabwe outclassed the visitors.
According to investigations conducted by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, Khan was approached by match-fixers, and offered 60 000-70 000 dirhams (approximately US$18 000) to “do bad bowling,” during the series.
However, it could not be established if he took the money or bowled as ordered.
The 35-year-old was found guilty of failing to report the corrupt approaches to the ICC.
He was also guilty of disclosing inside information, about the UAE team, when they played Netherlands, when he knew such information could be used for betting purposes.
Former Zimbabwe international and coach, Heath Streak, was handed an eight-year ban by ICC, for breaching the anti-corruption code.
He also provided an Indian bookmaker with information, which he knew could be used, for betting purposes.
Khan admitted to breaching six counts of the ICC anti-corruption code.
Former UAE player Mehardeep Chhayakar was also charged with six counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
Chhayakar also connected him with another known corrupt person, identified in the investigations as “Mr Y”.
Khan was initially interviewed by the ACU in October 2019, in relation to an investigation into potential corrupt conduct, under the Code.
Attempts were also made to interview him, again, in April 2020.
However, the interview ended abruptly with Khan refusing to take any further part in the session.
In his initial interviews, Khan admitted he was aware of his obligations, under the Code, including, in particular, to report to the ACU, any approaches or invitations, he received to engage in corrupt conduct.
Khan further confirmed he was aware that failing to report to the ACU, an approach or invitation to engage in corrupt conduct, was itself a breach of the Code.
The investigators found out that Khan was a serial cheat and had planned to corrupt the outcome, of the series in Zimbabwe, among other corrupt activities.
“About a week to 10 days before Mr Khan travelled to Zimbabwe, in April 2019, to participate as a member of the UAE squad in the Zimbabwe v UAE series, (Mr Z) and (Mr Y) approached him and offered him 60,000-70,000 dirhams (approximately US$18 000) to “do bad bowling” in the Zimbabwe v UAE series,’’ the ICC said in their judgment.
‘’In particular, they asked him to give away 70/80 runs while bowling.
“He accepted that he did not report the approach received from (Mr Z) and (Mr Y) to the ACU as he was required to do under the Code.
“He continued to communicate with (Mr Z), notwithstanding the fact that (Mr Z) had previously approached him to be involved in fixing, because (Mr Z) was his friend.
“This contact usually took place in the lead up to series/tournaments that the UAE was to play in, and normally involved requests from (Mr Z) to meet.”
Khan was part of the UAE team that played in the World Cup Qualifier, hosted by Zimbabwe, in 2018.
He was also charged for providing information to his associate, when UAE played the Netherlands.
Khan also suggested that corruption could be rife in the game.
“He had provided inside information to (Mr Z), at (Mr Z’s) request, in August 2019, namely which overs he would be bowling if he played in the Netherlands v UAE series that month.
“If the information he had given to (Mr Z), which was effectively information he would normally share with his friends, amounted to Inside Information then he would have to face consequences for that.
“He had failed to report the request from (Mr Z) for Inside Information in relation to the Netherlands series.
“He questioned why the ACU had acted against members of the UAE team, prior to the start of the ICC World T20 Qualifiers in October 2019, because if it had not, he said that the ACU would have been able to collect a lot of information about corruption (i.e. inferring that the ACU’s action in questioning members of the UAE team had disrupted planned corruption).
“He may have more information to give to the ACU but he wanted to speak to his family first.” The Herald