THE International Cricket Council (ICC) is reportedly investigating an attempt to fix the recent test matches between Zimbabwe and West Indies after captain Graeme Cremer was approached with a request that he spurned before he made a report.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE / KEVIN MAPASURE
Zimbabwe hosted West Indies for a two Test series which they lost 1-0 after the second match ended in a draw in Bulawayo last month.
Sources within Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) allege that former cricket board member, Rajin Naye, who is now working for provincial side Mashonaland Eagles, offered Cremer more than $30 000 to fix the test matches but he turned him down before he alerted the coaches and the security team.
The ZC security team reacted swiftly and alerted the ICC who immediately sent their anti-corruption team to Harare to conduct investigations which they did together with the Zimbabwe side.
NewsDaySport was told that Naye was interviewed for at least five hours denying the allegations but in the end admitted that he had indeed approached Cremer with the offer.
His mobile phones were confiscated and the ICC is going through messages on the devices to try and get more information on other links that Naye might have and to ascertain whether such an offer had been made to any other player.
The matter has already been reported to government which is concerned that this could jeorpadise Zimbabwe’s hosting the World Cup qualifiers.
Sources have said that ICC is likely to come up with a report soon after which ZC will make a statement.
“He (Naye) offered Cremer money to fix the match but the captain refused to entertain him and told him that he was not into that business,” said the source.
“Naye was desperate that Cremer kept the approach to himself but he immediately informed coach Heath Streak who alerted the security team. The security team immediately started investigations and involved the ICC who have taken over the process while still working with the ZC. When he was interviewed over the matter Naye spent hours denying that he had made such a proposal to Cremer but he later admitted on camera that he had approached Cremer.”
When he was contacted by NewsDaySport yesterday, Naye denied that he was being investigated for match fixing.
“I don’t know what you are talking about. Please talk to your sources, I think they gave you a wrong person,” he said before hanging up his phone.
Naye is said to have been organising a domestic T-20 competition, whose sponsorship should be coming from India, and after this episode, it is now being viewed with suspicion.
The matter is being treated with a high level of sensitivity and ZC has tried to make sure it does not leak into the public domain before the ICC concludes its probe.
Zimbabwe was recently awarded with the rights to host the ICC 2019 World Cup qualifiers which will be played in March next year.