The Zimbabwe crisis June 25, 2004

Streak launches attack on Hogg

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Heath Streak: mixed messages? © Getty Images
Heath Streak, Zimbabwe's deposed captain, has launched a stinging attack on Vince Hogg, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union's outgoing managing director, accusing him of "failing to tell the truth" about a telephone conversation the pair had on April 2.

Streak claims that the call triggered the ZCU's decision to dismiss him, setting in motion a chain of events which led to the sacking of more than a dozen rebel players and which continues to threatened Zimbabwe's future in international cricket.

Streak said that he held Hogg, who stepped down from his role last week, responsible for the escalation of the crisis. "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," Streak told the AFP news agency.

In the conversation the pair had on April 2, Streak says that he asked Hogg to present to the board his objections to two of the national selectors, who he wanted removed, and some of the choices they had made. Both parties agree on that recollection. But whereas Hogg told the board that Streak would resign if his demands were not met, Streak maintains that he merely said that he would consider resigning.

"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. He conveyed it poorly. Besides the appalling behaviour [of the board], 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 added that it took almost two months for the minutes of that meeting to be finalised, and that had only come about because one or two provincial boards threatened to take the ZCU to court.

In his resignation statement, Hogg said that the rebel players had been wrong to take the course of action they did, and that contrary to what many have said, the ZCU had not at any time come under the political influence of the government.

"Vince has managed to evade telling the truth about what happened prior to the strike and the appalling racial vitriol that ensued," Streak concluded. "He has lost lots of respect for his weakness. I only hope he can rectify it all before he leaves."

Streak's comments were broadly supported by Henry Olonga, the former Zimbabwe fast bowler who was forced to flee the country after last year's World Cup. "He [Hogg] could have been more pro-active in forcing what was right and wrong," Olonga told the BBC. "We didn't hear too much coming out of Vince. In one sense he was reduced to having no real say in the big issues, but for all intents and purposes he wasn't allowed the free rein he ought to have had. I'm not saying he was targeted by the ZCU, but he's been fairly quiet over the demise of Zimbabwe cricket."