News 5th March 2016

South African cricketer reveals match-fixing approach

Former South African international cricketer Alviro Petersen has revealed that he reported a match-fixing ‘matter’ to appropriate authorities three days after being made aware of a ‘fixing scandal’. Petersen’s comments, which were made on his Twitter account, follow media reports that he is ‘under investigation in the match-fixing scandal that has rocked South African cricket’. Petersen denies these allegations.

Writing on his Twitter account, Petersen said ‘I have seen some media reports about the match fixing scandal and my name was thrown around…’ before saying that he would list a number of ‘facts’ about ‘Bodigate’. In January this year, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed that former South African cricketer Gulam Bodi had been ‘been charged with contriving to fix, or otherwise improperly influence aspects of the 2015 RAM SLAM T20 Challenge Series’. After admitting the charges, Bodi received a 20 year ban.

In a series of tweets Petersen wrote that, as far as he was concerned, he was not under investigation. He then confirmed that he had reported the ‘matter’ to the CEO of the official players union, the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), Tony Irish as well as its anti-corruption officer Louis Cole, three days after he ‘was made aware of the fixing scandal’.

Petersen then claimed that, ‘subsequent to me reporting the matter, 2 other players also came forward and reported that they were approached, before saying that he was ‘in daily communication with the ACSU [Anti-Corruption and Security Unit] after i [sic] reported the matter. They knew about my meetings and discussions with others.’ Petersen finished his string of tweets by saying that he couldn’t currently go into specific detail at the moment.

Under Article 2.4.4 of CSA’s Anti-Corruption Code (the Code) for Participants, ‘failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under this Anti-Corruption Code’ shall amount to an offence under the Code.

The Code also explains that ‘the assessment of whether there had been ‘unnecessary delay’ in each case will depend on its own circumstances, but it is always unacceptable (and will therefore constitute ‘unnecessary delay’) for a Participant to wait until after the match in respect of which he/she was invited to engage in Corrupt Conduct before reporting that approach to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official.’ Peterson stated that he reported a match-fixing ‘matter’ to authorities three days after being made aware of a ‘fixing scandal’. It is unclear whether this constitutes an ‘unnecessary delay’ under the Code.

Under Article 8.1, neither CSA nor SACA can publicly identify anyone being investigated or alleged to have committed an offence under the Code. CSA can also not comment publicly on the specific facts of a pending case except in response to public comments made by (or on behalf of) anyone involved in the case or his representatives.

As per Article 8.2, CSA ‘shall use its best endeavours to ensure that persons under its control do not publicly identify any Participants who are alleged to have committed an offence under’ the Code. According to ESPNcricinfo, Petersen’s lawyer, Robin Twaddle advised him ‘not to comment on the matter’.

ESPNcricinfo has also reported that it ‘understands that at least three South Africa international cricketers are among those who have been questioned along with several franchise players’ in relation to the match-fixing case. The Wisden India, which originally reported that Petersen was being investigated, have said that six RAM SLAM players, including three former South African internationals, are being investigated.

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