Petersen confirms reporting suspect approaches

Alviro Petersen said he had reported the approaches to the South African Cricketers’ Association and the Anti-Corruption officer after he was made aware of the fixing scandal © AFP

Alviro Petersen has become the first South African player to confirm that he had reported fixing approaches in the country’s domestic T20 competition, but has denied any involvement.

His series of tweets were in response to an article on Wisden India , which said Petersen was being investigated. They come after Gulam Bodi was banned for 20 years in January after admitting to contriving or attempting to fix matches during the 2015 Ram Slam T20 series.

“I have seen some media reports about the match-fixing scandal and my name was thrown around… herewith some facts about Bodigate,” Petersen posted.

“As far as I’m concerned I’m under no investigation. I confirm that I reported the matter to SACA CEO Tony Irish and ACSU (Anti-Corruption Officer) Louis Cole three days after I was made aware of the fixing scandal. Subsequent to me reporting the matter, two other players also came forward and reported that they were approached. I told the ACSU that all I wanted was for them to stop the fixing in the Ram Slam before it happened. I was in daily communication with the ACSU after I reported the matter. They knew about my meetings and discussions with others.”

SACA could not confirm Petersen’s claims because the body will not comment on an ongoing investigation but CEO Tony Irish told ESPNcricinfo, “We have full confidence in David Becker to run a thorough investigation.” Becker is a sports lawyer and a former ICC head of legal, and is heading this investigation.

Those conducting and involved in the investigation could also make no comment. ESPNcricinfo understands that Petersen has a lawyer, Robin Twaddle, who advised him not to comment on the matter.

Petersen’s franchise, the Highveld Lions, confirmed they are in negotiations to draw up a new contract with Petersen for the 2016-17 season. When asked if they would wait for the outcome of the match-fixing investigation before finalising their contract list, Lions CEO Greg Fredericks said they would not be able to because, “it could take months”.

ESPNcricinfo understands that at least three South Africa international cricketers are among those who have been questioned along with several franchise players. Many of them are believed to have rejected Bodi’s offer to fix matches but are guilty of failing to report those approaches.

One player who was questioned told ESPNcricinfo he spent “five or six hours with the investigators,” and believed he had cleared his name. He has “not heard anything” from them since the meeting more than a month ago and is now “waiting and waiting and waiting” to see what sanction, if any, he will face for failing to report the offer.

Under South Africa’s Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004, match-fixing and spot-fixing in sport a crime. The South African Police Service is still waiting to receive information from the investigation, after which they will decide whether to look into the matter themselves. When Bodi’s ban was announced, Haroon Lorgat, CSA CEO said he believed they caught Bodi in a “planning phase” and no matches were fixed, which would make a criminal case unlikely.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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