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Zimbabwe Cricket bans fan for attempting to get player to spot-fix

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has banned a fan from all cricket activities for five years after he unsuccessfully tried to influence a Zimbabwe international player to get involved in a spot-fixing deal.

Edward Walter Mupangano, a 27-year-old cricket fan from Harare who in the past also had playing trials with a local club, received the sanction after he approached Luke Jongwe on 4 August 2022 and sought to introduce him to an Indian bookmaker who allegedly wanted the player to bowl in a pre-arranged manner during an international match in return for a payment amounting to US$7 000.

The facilitator himself would allegedly receive US$3 000 if the planned corrupt activity was successful.

Jongwe immediately reported the approach.

Following an investigation, Mupangano accepted a charge of violating the ZC Anti-Corruption Code for being allegedly party to an effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspects of a cricket match.

As a result of his admission, ZC has banned him for five years from all ZC-affiliated cricket venues and/or events.

ZC believes cases such as this demonstrate the urgent need for Zimbabwe to have a legal instrument to make fixing and any other sporting corruption a criminal offence.

“It is our view that harsh sanctions, including custodial sentences, will go a long way in helping cricket to curb one of the biggest threats to its credibility,” ZC Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said.

“Criminalising match-fixing and spot-fixing will send a strong warning to offenders and would-be offenders that corruption has no place in cricket and those who engage in it should be jailed or put out of the game.”

In the meantime, ZC will intensify its anti-corruption education drive within its structures and continue working with the ICC to ensure that cricket locally and globally is not tainted.

“The integrity of ZC and the game itself is of paramount importance and, therefore, the need to maintain high levels of honesty and professionalism at all levels of the game cannot be overemphasised,” ZC Managing Director Givemore Makoni said.

“Let me take this opportunity to place on record our thanks to Luke Jongwe for reporting the approach – this is what is expected of all participants in cricket if we are to keep our game clean.”