FORMER Zimbabwe cricket team captain Prosper Utseya has been caught in the eye of a storm after it emerged that the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Level 2 coaching certificate he possesses was allegedly forged.
Utseya – who captained the national team from 2006 to 2010 -presented a CSA Level 2 certificate signed on May 6 2009, in order to apply for a place for a Level 3 course in Australia, but a coaching background check indicated that he was not part of the class in question.
Investigations by Standardsport also ascertained that he never attended the three-week course which was conducted at the Maritzburg Oval in Kwazulu Natal (KZN), South Africa.
CSA’s coach education manager, Anton Ferreira, confirmed that there were eight graduates from that course and Utseya was not among them: “I double-checked with KZN Inland and on our central data base – there is no record of him,” Ferreira said.
“Although I have been told he was in Maritzburg around that time playing club cricket for the university.
“It looks like an authentic certificate,” Ferreira said, having identified his own signature at the bottom alongside that of the supervising coach who conducted the course, Paul Attkins. I have no idea how it was done – a fancy scanner, perhaps and some forgery?”
There were two other Zimbabweans on the course however, one of whom – Prosper Tsvanhu – a former local first class cricketer and Zimbabwe Cricket staffer, also confirmed that his namesake was never in their class and to his knowledge, had never enrolled for the course.
Utseya enjoyed a 12-year international career spanning 164 one-day internationals and four Test matches until he was banned from playing by the ICC for having a suspect bowling action.
He attempted to reinvent himself as a medium pacer and was included in Zimbabwe’s squad for the 2015 World Cup, but never played. At the age of 30, his playing days were over and he was advised to consider coaching as an alternative, joining the national Under-19 cricket team set-up as bowling coach.
When contacted for comment, Utseya claimed to have a CSA Level 2 coaching certificate – the same one Ferreira claims is not authentic.
“I have a Level Two coaching certificate with Cricket South Africa which I got in 2009.”
When asked whether it was legitimate or a fake, Utseya said: “Obviously people will say whatever they want. I know there are people out there who are trying to tarnish my image. I’m qualified to coach and I won’t comment any further on the issue.”
Zimbabwe Cricket board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said they were not aware of Utseya’s coaching qualifications as they appointed him based on his record as a former national team player.
“I’m not aware of Utseya’s qualifications. In any case when we appointed him it was not based on the strength of his coaching certificates, but because of his record as an ex-player, who we would then later develop into a coach.” Mukuhlani told Standardsport yesterday.
Last year Utseya torched a storm after claiming that he was a victim of racism and levelled a string of allegations against a fellow former national team captain, the then Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Alistair Campbell.
The 31-year-old spinner said Campbell had a “personal agenda against him which influenced his non-selection [in the playing XI] at the 2015 World Cup”.