Explosive report proposes bans for crooked cricketers

26 June 2016 - 02:01 By LIAM DEL CARME
Alviro Petersen former Proteas player is being investigated for local T20 corruption scandal.
Alviro Petersen former Proteas player is being investigated for local T20 corruption scandal.
Image: Supplied

Top South African cricketers are facing life bans and possible criminal charges in the biggest cricket scandal to rock the country since the Hansie Cronje match-fixing saga in 2000.

The Sunday Times has learnt from well-placed sources that at least one former Proteas player will be slapped with a life ban for his role in the local T20 corruption scandal.

Others are said to face lengthy bans of up to 20 years.

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Gulam Bodi, the all-rounder who won three caps for South Africa in 2007, confessed to his role in the scandal and has already been banned from the game for 20 years.

Two cricket officials close to the Cricket SA probe said investigations were "winding down" and that others involved would be named soon.

Proteas players Thami Tsolekile, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Alviro Petersen, along with provincial players Jean Symes, Phume Matshikwe and Ethy Mbhalati, were investigated.

CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said yesterday that he wanted the investigation concluded quickly.

CSA spokesman Altaaf Kazi said the organisation had " no information to reveal on anything until the investigators come back to us".

One of the cricket administrators the Sunday Times spoke to said there had been frustration with the delay in the investigation.

"Not all the players have fully co-operated with the investigation," he said.

It has been reported that Bodi and others were allegedly paid to illegally influence the competition.

One of the sources told the Sunday Times that Petersen had been questioned by an investigator who travelled to Manchester where the former test batsman plays for Lancashire.

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He said players under investigation had their passports confiscated, but that Petersen was allowed to travel.

In March Petersen pleaded innocent on Twitter, suggesting he had alerted authorities three days after becoming aware of the scandal. Investigators, however, might not be satisfied that he did so quickly enough to comply with CSA's code of conduct.

Tsolekile yesterday said he was not aware of the current status of the investigation.

"I'm not in a position to talk right now. Probably later on. In a few weeks I'll be able to explain," he said.

Tsotsobe said he was not allowed to "say anything".

Arthur Turner, who represents Petersen and Tsolekile, said his company had to take a neutral stance.

"There could be a clash of interest. They have legal representation handling the issue," said Turner.

"The sooner they bring this to conclusion the better.

"I suppose the biggest threat to modern-day sport is match-fixing and drugs.

"I just hope South Africa's players learnt a very, very serious lesson.

"All it's done is reopen the old wounds from 2000. That's all it's done," said Turner in reference to the Cronje match-fixing scandal.

- Additional reporting by Telford Vice and Khanyiso Tshwaku

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