It is with a heavy heart and anguish that I come before all of you mindful and aware that I have let a lot of people down through my actions and omissions. Whatever my intentions were, I understand that when one agrees to be bound by a set of rules there can be no excuse for not following them and as I engaged the ICC. Over the past two (2) years, during this very difficult process. I realised the marked difference between fault and responsibility.
I apologise sincerely to my family, friends, the cricket-loving public and most of all my fellow Zimbabweans who have, over the years. shown me love and support during the numerous trials and tribulations we have faced. In 2017, I met an individual keen to invest in cricket in Africa and in particular, they wanted to sponsor a T20 Tournament in Zimbabwe which would be called the Safari Blast.
The individual was subsequently vetted and cleared through the usual protocols and to be honest, I let my guard down as the friendship and potential business partnership blossomed. The nature of our relationship was fraternal and cordial at all times. I genuinely believed it was a safe space. I also hoped the relationship would be beneficial not only to myself and to the Academy but to Zimbabwean cricket and I pursued its growth with vigour.
At the onset I was engaged, and paid the Bitcoin, to assist in buying and building teams in different regional T20 competitions. which was successful, resulting in the purchase of a team in Dubai for this individual.
Much later on in our friendship, the only other thing I received was a bottle of whisky and my wife was gifted a phone. Several months down the line the ICC then brought to my attention the fact that the individual with whom I had been dealing, and some of the information that I had shared during our friendship/interaction may have been used for online betting.
The ICC carried out a detailed and thorough investigation of our relationship over a two (2) year period. I submitted myself to the process and co-operated at every turn. At the end of the enquiry, it became evident that through my excitement and desire to bring the T20 Tournament to Zimbabwe and build a relationship with the individual, I had unwittingly flouted some of the elements of the ICC ethics code.
In hindsight, I should have been more cautious especially given my position and all the information and opinions to which I am privy, however insignificant they appeared to me at the time. As a team owner, I also introduced people to the individual in the belief that I was adding value to their careers and creating opportunities. I understand fully that it may not have been my fault but was, and it is, my responsibility to uphold the ICC code.
I, therefore, take full responsibility for my actions. I hope that my sanction may serve as a cautionary tale for all people involved in this amazing game we love, at every level, and will help them understand that they are duty-bound to a higher standard of confidentiality and restraint. I also want to place on record to the public and fans that I was not involved in any match-fixing, spot-fixing or attempts to influence a game or share information from a changing room during a match at any given time in our relationship. This position has been confirmed by the ICC itself in its own statement.
I accepted the sanction by the ICC after extensive soul searching and having a better understanding of accountability. I hope my admissions and acknowledgement of my wrong-doing, wittingly or unwittingly, will set an example to current and future stakeholders in our beloved sport of cricket and I will continue to help the ICC as and when I am needed so that the next generation of players and administrators can see the potential dangers and pitfalls as well as understand the serious ramifications of their actions. I have agreed to help the ICC in their investigations and anticorruption education program as well.
I take this opportunity to once again sincerely apologise to my supportive family, friends and all cricket fans who have been affected by my poor judgment and lack of discretion. I respectfully request that any pain or angst felt be directed at me and that my family and friends are not vilified for my actions. I also hope that cricket in Zimbabwe should not be punished or suffer for my actions directly or indirectly.
I commit to serving out my sanction as guided by the ICC and am committed to help them and cricket in Zimbabwe in whatever manner I can I look forward to continuing to contribute to the development of cricket in Zimbabwe, making amends and returning to the game as and when the ICC sees it fit.