HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A senior official at the Zimbabwe cricket board refused to hand over his cellphone to ICC investigators and then deleted information on it, leading to him being provisionally suspended under the anti-corruption code.
Enock Ikope, a director at Zimbabwe Cricket, admitted those actions in legal documents but claimed it was because the phone was his “private property.” Ikope said he later sent the phone to the International Cricket Council after consulting with his lawyers. He said he had deleted information that was “personal, private.”
In a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday, the ICC said Ikope is bound by the world body’s anti-corruption code as a cricket official and so was charged with three offenses relating to obstructing or delaying an investigation that related to “possible corrupt conduct.” He will now face an ICC hearing.
Ikope is the latest target of an investigation in Zimbabwe by the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit.
The ICC has already banned another Zimbabwean official, Rajan Nayer, for 20 years for involvement in a match-fixing approach made to Zimbabwe test captain Graeme Cremer last year. Nayer was a go-between for match-fixers and offered Cremer $30,000 to fix parts of a match against West Indies. Cremer refused to take part in the fixing and reported the approach.
Ikope and Nayer worked together at the Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association, where Ikope is the chairman. Nayer was the marketing manager for the association working under Ikope before he was banned for his role in attempted match-fixing.
In his legal documents, Ikope claimed the ICC investigators acted unlawfully by asking him to hand over his phone when they visited Zimbabwe to interview him. The ICC charged him with failing or refusing to cooperate with an investigation without “compelling justification,” delaying an investigation and obstructing an investigation.
“Mr. Ikope is a ZC director and chairman of Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association and, therefore, he is bound by the ICC anti-corruption code,” the ICC said.