A former England captain has appeared in court over £14 million of debts that he accrued from a disastrous property venture.
Adam Hollioake, who is an ex-captain of Surrey and the England one-day cricket team, was declared bankrupt last year, and this week he appeared in court to confirm how much money is owed to each of his 40 creditors, reported the Daily Mail.
Mr Hollioake, 40, gave up cricket and returned to Australia, where he was born, to go into a property development business in 2004.
He captained Surrey between 1997 and 2003, winning three County Championships, and led the England team in one-day internationals. He also represented his country in Test matches.
Mr Hollioake then retired after his father, John, suggested he could receive a salary of around £100,000 a year if he joined him in a property development company.
He had doubled his money on a house sale in 1994 and believed he could do it again. “I was a genius – or so I thought”, he said, according to the Mail.
However, the venture soon turned sour and from living a life of luxury, with more than one home on each side of the Australian continent, he and his family now own no property and are renting.
Mr Hollioake said last week: “The lawyers representing the creditors in court yesterday wanted to know where every cent had gone and it was not a pleasant experience. They wanted to know everything about my life, almost down to how many times I went to the toilet.”
Since his bankruptcy, he said, attempts had been made ‘by enemies’ to paint him as a criminal, but he insisted: “I’m no crook. My life is an open book.”
He opened his wallet and added: “This is all I have left – just a few dollars. Yet there have been claims that I’ve ripped people off, run away with their money, got it all tucked away, secretly loaded myself up.”
He said he was a victim of the global financial crisis, adding: “What happened was mostly out of my hands, although I accept that I did not apply the same professionalism in my business affairs as I did in my cricket.”
He now reportedly admits that he made a ‘massive error’.
His firm was liquidated in September 2010 and among his creditors is former England and Surrey teammate Alec Stewart, whose claim is estimated to be more than £400,000.
“Alec understands the position I got myself into, as do the other creditors, apart from one who is determined to stamp me into the ground,” Hollioake said.
Hollioake’s determination to fight the damage to his reputation was not helped when it was revealed that he had tried to leave the country without the permission of his bankruptcy trustee, and had been stopped by Australian Federal Police.
He said: “In fact, I had no idea I wasn’t allowed to leave after being declared bankrupt.
“I was actually on my way to Papua New Guinea to do some charity work, but when it was pointed out to me that travel was not allowed without explicit permission I realised I had made an innocent error.”
He added: “In two years I’ll be free of bankruptcy and the first thing I plan to do is to shake the hands of people who have lost money through my property ventures.
“I am trying to establish whether I am legally entitled to try to pay them back after I have been dismissed from bankruptcy but either way I feel very badly about what has happened and I hope that I can clear the air with those creditors one way or the other.”
Hollioake has even taken up cage fighting in an attempt to scrape some money together. He said: “Cage fighting doesn’t pay all that well. It hurts, physically, at times, but I haven’t got my head knocked off yet.”