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Ex-Protea Tsotsobe accused of accepting bribes, match-fixing

Proteas
JOHANNESBURG - Lonwabo Tsotsobe joined the Hall of Shame that includes a host of former teammates from the Highveld Lions when Cricket South Africa charged him “with several breaches” of that organisation’s Anti-Corruption Code on Monday.

Tsotsobe, 33, was charged in relation to the match fixing affair, which occurred during the 2015/16 Ram Slam T20 competition, and which has already led to bannings and suspensions for six other players, five of whom shared a dressing room with Tsotsobe when he was at the Lions.

According to a statement from Cricket SA, Tsotsobe has been charged with:

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Lonwabo Tsotsobe (right) prepares to bowl during a 2010 ODI match against Pakistan in Dubai. Photo: REUTERS/Nikhil

  • Contriving to fix or otherwise improperly influence, or being party to a scheme in which attempts would be made to fix or otherwise improperly influence, a match or matches in the 2015/16 Ram Slam T20 Series.
  • Seeking to accept, accepting or agreeing to accept a bribe or reward to fix or contrive to fix or influence improperly a match or matches in the Ram Slam.
  • Failing to disclose the receipt of a gift or payment that he knew or ought to have known was given to him to procure a breach of the Code or that was made in circumstances that could bring him or the sport of cricket into disrepute.
  • Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations to engage in Corrupt Conduct under the Code.

Tsotsobe, who played five Tests, 61 One-Day Internationals and 23 T20 Internationals, had long been associated with the match fixing saga and had confirmed to Wisden India a year ago that he was being investigated and that he had been co-operating with the investigators to whom, he said, he’d “given everything they want.”

Tsotsobe was ranked the no.1 ODI bowler in the world in 2010, and while he was selected for the World Cup in 2011, his role was limited to playing in just one match in that tournament.

Gulam Bodi was banned from all cricket for 20 years at the start of 2016, with CSA describing him as “the intermediary” between syndicates who sought to fix match in the domestic T20 competition two seasons ago.

In an interview with the Saturday Star recently, Bodi once again expressed remorse saying the saga had taken its toll on him and his family. “I played cricket for 15 years, the sport was my livelihood,” he said. 

“I don’t have a degree, any businesses, or anything else to fall back on. At the moment I am just doing bits and pieces to make ends meet. The last year-and-a-half has been challenging and I’m still trying to find my feet. It really hurts that people only remember Gulam Bodi the match fixer, and not Gulam Bodi the cricketer.”

Thami Tsolekile, Pumelela Matshikwe, Jean Symes and Ethy Mbhalati were all banned for periods ranging between 10 and 12 years for their part in the controversy in August last year. Last November, former national opening batsman, Alviro Petersen was also banned for two years after admitting to 13 breaches of the anti-corruption code which included failing to disclose an approach, failure to disclose evidence of others being approached and failing to provide investigators with sufficient information.

Under Article 4.7 of the Code, CSA has now provisionally suspended Tsotsobe from playing, coaching or otherwise being involved in any capacity in any match under its jurisdiction or that of the ICC or any other ICC member.

His last match as a professional was for the Lions in that season’s T20 competition in December 2015.

The Star

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