Streak makes a scathing attack on Hoggs

Published: Friday, June 25, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

London:The former cricket captain of Zimbabwe Heath Streak has launched a severe criticism of Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) managing director Vincent Hogg.

Streak slammed Hogg for failing to tell the truth about a telephone call between them almost three months ago which resulted in his immediate sacking by an angry 12-man ZCU board of directors, a decision which set off a reaction that almost cost Zimbabwe its Test status and might yet do so.

Streak also believes Hogg played a significant part in allowing the subsequent breakdown between the directors, himself and nearly all contracted white players to take place. "No-one, Vince included, tried to persuade the board to rethink their decision," Streak said.

That sacking resulted in a strike by 15 of them, at least nine of whom comprised the current Test team, when their demand for Streak's reinstatement was refused.

The impasse grew into deepening animosity, threats of legal action by both sides, an increase in racial tensions, a series of heavy defeats for the replacement inexperienced second string and ultimately the postponement of two Test series.

Next week the International Cricket Council (ICC) will either confirm a six-month moratorium recommended by India, Australia and South Africa in order to bring the young Zimbabwe replacements up to Test standard, or take some other action.

Several Test careers of Zimbabwe players were abruptly brought to an end by the dispute and some of them were forced to find themselves cricket or other jobs in Australia, South Africa and England.

Streak said from Birmingham, where he is playing for Warwickshire: "I feel Hogg has been too weak in his convictions as managing director and that is why he has become a puppet to others in the ZCU."

It was on April 2 when Streak telephoned Hogg asking him to present to the directors his complaint about the make-up of the national selection panel and also about some of their choices. He wanted two of the selectors removed on the grounds they lacked personal first class cricket experience.

That part of the conversation is not in dispute. But just what did Streak tell Hogg what his reaction would be if his complaint was rejected?

Hogg passed on that Streak said he would retire from all cricket. But Streak claims he merely said he would consider retiring.

"We have agreed to disagree on my telephone conversation. But my opinion is that he was confused in that and also with regard to my personal letter (which followed). "He conveyed it poorly."

Streak said he was shocked to hear later of how it was handled after Hogg brought it up under 'any other business.'

"Besides the appalling behaviour (of board members), which Vince will not deny, no-one, Vince included, tried to persuade them to rethink their decision concerning a figure who has served 10 years for his country."

Streak reveals it took two months to finalise the minutes of that meeting and because of this the provincial boards were on the verge of taking ZCU to court.

"Vince has managed to evade telling the truth about what happened prior to the strike and the appalling racial vitriol that ensued.

"He has lost lots of respect for his weakness. I only hope he can rectify it all before he leaves."

In his resignation statement, issued two days after he told chairman Peter Chingoka of his decision last week, Hogg was critical of the players for striking, boycotting games and breaching their contracts. He also made a point of denying that there had been Government interference in the running of the union.

Hogg quit as managing director of the ZCU after two years and four months in the job, saying he no longer enjoyed the work. He will leave immediately before the annual meeting of the ZCU, scheduled for early August.

Streak has a three-month contract with Warwickshire until September. His future after that is uncertain.

Write Comments