By Eddie Chikamhi
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have heaped a lot of praise on Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer for the role he played in unmasking the treasurer and marketing manager of Mashonaland Cricket Association, Rajan Nayer, as a corrupt individual who tried and failed to fix a match involving the Chevrons and the West Indies last year.
Nayer was found guilty of attempted match-fixing, after pleading guilty to the charge, and handed a 20-year ban from the game by the ICC.
Nayer admitted to breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code when he tried to offer Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer $30 000 to manipulate the Test series against West Indies last year.
The administrator had connived with some Indian businessmen in October last year to try and induce Cremer to take the money in exchange for fixing the matches in the series.
Nayer tried to fool Cremer by suggesting that the offer was part of a package offered by the Indian businessmen to sponsor a proposed domestic Twenty20 tournament.
However, Cremer turned down the offer and immediately reported the approach to the ZC Anti-Corruption manager, Robson Manjoro, who then took up the case with ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit.
Nayer admitted to breaching Article 2.1.4 (directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging Cremer to fix the matches) and, the range of permissible sanctions for a breach of the Article is a period of ineligibility of a minimum of five years and a maximum of a lifetime.
Cremer said he was disappointed by the approaches from the high-ranking official. “I was appalled to be approached by someone so closely connected to the game and there was no doubt in my mind that I had to report it as soon as I could.
“We receive education around this which you never expect to have to use, but it certainly helped when it came to knowing what to do.
“I think it is important that corrupters receive strong sanctions as it sends out a message to others who might consider getting involved. For any cricketer who might find themselves in my position, my message is really simple — report it. The ICC will take any report seriously and will deal with you professionally and with respect. If we are to kick corruption out of the game, we must all play our part,” said Cremer.
Nayer has been on provisional suspension since January this year and, according to the ICC, his ban will be backdated to the start of his provisional suspension on January 16, 2018.
The ban will be lifted on January 16, 2038. ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit general manager Alex Marshal welcomed the sanctions.
“I welcome the result of the investigation and the substantial sanction imposed upon Mr. Nayer. It is important that the seriousness of his offences was reflected in the length of the ban.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to Graeme Cremer, who has acted with the utmost professionalism throughout this process. Immediately after he received the approach from Mr. Nayer he reported it to the ICC and we were able to get an investigation underway swiftly.
“Graeme has been involved and updated throughout the investigation and has played a critical role in ensuring that corruption has no place in our sport.
“I would also like to extend my thanks to Zimbabwe Cricket with whom we have worked closely throughout the investigation,” said Marshall.