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HIGH COURT: Heath Streak seeks liquidation of Zimbabwe Cricket; ex-national team coach owed $128,000

By Sports Reporter


FORMER Zimbabwe national cricket team coach Heath Streak has filed an application with the High Court for the liquidation Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), arguing that the cash strapped local cricket body is no longer able to pay its debts.

Streak, who is being represented by prominent Harare lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa, the senior partner at Titan Law, went on to propose the appointment of a Winsley Malitala of Petwin Executor and Trust Company as a provisional liquidator.

The former national team captain and coach, who was early this year fired as Zimbabwe coach cited the ZC board as the first respondent in his application which was filed on Thursday morning.

The Ministry of Youth, Sports Arts and Recreation headed by swimming legend Kirsty Coventry together with the country’s supreme sport’s governing body the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and the Master of High Court are cited as the other respondents in the application.

The 44-year-old Bulawayo-born former cricketer said ZC was not able to meet its financial obligations after it recently failed to settle his severance package amounting to $128,672.95 since he was unceremoniously sacked from his role back in March.

Streak also revealed that members of his then coaching staff during his tenue as Zimbabwe coach, who include former fitness coach Sean Bell, ex-batting Lance Klusener and former Zimbabwe ‘A’ coach Wayne James are also yet to receive their dues.

The quartet, who were all fired in March following Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup are owed a combined total of US$198 695.77.

Ex-Zimbabwe Cricket national head coach Heath Streak

“This is an application in terms of Section 6 of the Insolvency Act (Chapter6:07) for an order of liquidation of the 1st Respondent (ZC) in that the 1st Respondent is unable to pay its debts as and when they become due in the normal course of business,” Streak said in the application in possession of NewZimbabwe.com.

“Furthermore, it is just and equitable that the 1st Respondent be wound up, and creditors be paid off their debts.”

He added: “The Application is a creditor of the 1st Respondent and is owed the sum of US$128 762.95.

“He is also aware that’s Messrs Lance Klusener, Sean Bells and Wayne James who are all cricket coaches and whose contracts of employment have been terminated illegally by the 1st Respondent are owed the sums of US$11 757.93, US$43 999.23 and US14 175.66 respectively. Consequently, the applicant has locus standi judicio to prosecute this matter in his capacity as creditors,” he said.

Streak said ZC’s insolvency was the main reason he is seeking the cricket body’s liquidation as its liabilities currently exceed its assets.

“Despite demand, the 1st Respondent has failed or neglected to pay the debts in question,” Streak said in the application.

“I am legally advised which advice I adopt as mine, that the debtor is deemed to be unable to pay its debts upon proof that the debtor is generally unable to pay debts which are due and payable or upon proof that the debtor’s liabilities exceed the value of debtor’s assets.

“It is clear that the 1st Respondent is generally unable to pay its debts as and when they become due.”

The legendary former cricketer also took at the ZC board blaming them for the financial problems bedeviling the domestic game.

Zimbabwe recently played their two most recent series – a T20I triangular involving Pakistan and Australia, and an ODI series against Pakistan – without a number of senior players, who made themselves unavailable for selection after ZC failed to meet their deadline for a payment plan for two months’ outstanding salaries and their match fees dating back to their tour of Sri Lanka in July, 2017.

The players only returned to action after the International Cricket Council (ICC) released of funds to ZC to enable the board to pay outstanding dues owed to its players and staff, including the players’ match fees.

“The Board of Directors have run the affairs of the 1st Respondent in a reckless and negligent manner such that it has failed to pay its employees and creditors on time,” said Streak.

“The 1st Respondent has mismanaged loans and grants that were advanced to it by the International Cricket Council and has failed to make any meaningful payments.”

He added: “The 2nd Respondent’s Board of Directors currently comprises of person who do not meet the minimum qualification for the Board of Directors.

“More-over the said Board of Directors have no proven track record or experience in sports administration later alone in cricket.”.

The action taken by Streak comes barely three weeks after ICC chief executive David Richardson revealed that Zimbabwe was recently on the verge of being put on notice for suspension from ICC because of its financial problems.

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