SA cricketers face ‘lengthy bans’ for fixing

Alviro Petersen . Picture: Gallo Images

A report suggests the chickens are coming home to roost for a number of implicated former Lions and Protea players.

The Sunday Times has reported that the latest development in the cricket match-fixing scandal that has implicated top Lions players Thami Tsolekile and Gulam Bodi is that several top players might be banned from cricket for 20 years or more.

At least one former Protea player is allegedly facing a lifetime ban.

Bodi has already confessed to his involvement in fixing and been banned for 20 years.

According to the paper’s sources, investigations into former test batsman Alviro Petersen and bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe are now complete, along with other less well known provincial players. Petersen is now in Manchester, playing for Lancashire. He has consistently maintained his innocence.

Last month, Saturday Citizen reported that Tsolekile, the ex-Lions captain, allegedly met with bookies – and Bodi’s lawyers were believed to have a copy of a recording between them and the player, which they were using as leverage.

Investigators studying the Gulam Bodi cricket match-fixing case were said to be in possession of a recording allegedly detailing a meeting between Tsolekile and Indian bookies, three informed sources confirmed to Saturday Citizen.

The recording, in which Tsolekile allegedly discusses other players who are in on the scam, was apparently sent to one of the players who was approached by Bodi, possibly as a warning for them to keep quiet.

It was, instead, handed in to the anti-corruption and security unit at Cricket SA (CSA).

Bodi’s lawyers were also believed to have a copy of the recording and looking at using it as leverage to prevent their client from being criminally prosecuted or to even get his sentence reduced.

Investigators were reportedly also homing in on a meeting Tsolekile had with the alleged bookies at a Rivonia strip club, with telephone records apparently showing he was there until 4am one morning in September.

The recording was apparently made of a subsequent meeting.

The match-fixing investigation has seen Tsolekile, who captained the Highveld Lions in the RamSlam T20 Challenge at the end of 2015 – but has not played for them since – go underground.

Saturday Citizen was unable to contact him for comment, but he had previously denied any involvement in corruption.

The former test wicketkeeper/batsman has not been seen at the Wanderers all year and team-mate Tsotsobe, who has previously admitted to being under investigation but denied having taken money to underperform, has also not been seen there since the end of the T20 competition.

The 35-year-old Tsolekile played three Tests for South Africa, the last one against England in 2004.

CSA said they were unable to comment on the matter as there was an ongoing investigation. Bodi was banned from the sport for 20 years, five of which are suspended, after earlier this year admitting to charges of contriving or attempting to fix matches in South Africa’s 2015 Ram SLAM T20 tournament.

He was charged with several counts of contriving or attempting to fix matches on December 31 2015 following an investigation conducted by CSA’s anti-corruption and security unit.

Bodi played two one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match for the national side in 2007.

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