Cricket South Africa today banned four former cricketers, including former Test wicket keeper Thami Tholekile, for attempting to fix cricket matches.
Cricket South Africa today banned four former cricketers, including former Test wicket keeper Thami Tholekile, for attempting to fix cricket matches. The players have been banned for 7-12 years, the country’s cricket board said today. The board said that Tsolekile has been banned for 12 years for “contriving to fix a match or matches” in last year’s domestic Twenty20 competition. Other players who have been banned include Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Jean Symes for accepting money from ex-international player Goolam Bodi, who was previously banned for 20 years, to manipulate matches.Bodi had admitted that he acted as an intermediary for international betting syndicates.He used to approach players to fix activities during the tournament.
The cricketers have been found to be guilty of breaching the anti-corruption code of Cricket South Africa. Symes, an all-rounder who once played for the Lions, was banned for seven years. Matshikwe, Lions’ former bowler, was banned for 10 years, while Mbhalati, who was previously contracted to Titan, was also banned for 10 years. The players were banned after a year-long investigation. A statement by Cricket South Africa said that the investigation was still under way. This may lead to ban on some more players. The four players have accepted the bans which will come into effect on 1 August 2016.
Commenting on the bans, CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “It is our stated position that any form of corruption in the game will be dealt with severely. We will leave no stone unturned and we will do everything in our power to protect the integrity of the game..Corruption is a very serious matter and for this reason we have devoted extensive time and resources to fully investigate every shred of evidence. We are still finalizing certain aspects of the investigation.”
“Whilst there has been no evidence to suggest that an actual fix in any match was carried out, these players all participated in material discussions about match fixing. In fact, they all went further and accepted, or agreed to accept in the future, sums of money which they knew or ought to have known was given to them to partake in activity that would amount to a breach of the Code, or bring the game into disrepute,” he added.