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22 June 2024

South Africa bans Bodi for 20 years for match-fixing

Haroon Lorgat, Cricket South Africa chief executive, speaks during a media conference at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (AP)

By Agencies

Former South African international cricketer Gulam Bodi was on Monday banned for 20 years after he admitted charges of contriving or attempting to fix domestic Twenty20 matches.

The ban, which will take immediate effect, was announced by Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat during the fourth and final Test between South Africa and England at SuperSport Park.

Lorgat said aspects of the investigation were still ongoing. He refused to confirm or deny names of other players who have been reported to be under investigation, but said: "We are fortunate that several players rejected his approaches."

He said the South African police had been informed in terms of anti-corruption legislation.

Lorgat hinted that some players might be charged with failing to report approaches by Bodi.

Lorgat did not reveal if any players were being investigated for their potential roles in the saga, but CSA did confirm "certain aspects of the investigation are on-going".

"Our code is clear on the obligation of a player to report any approaches. If it is found that a player has failed to report we would look at the facts and decide on a proportional sanction," he said.

Bodi, who was born in India and moved to South Africa as a teenager, played two one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match for the national side in 2007.

Bodi, 37, played in two one-day internationals for South Africa, both against Zimbabwe, in August 2007.

He played in a single Twenty20 international against the West Indies in December of the same year and was a member of South Africa's squad for the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, although he did not play in a game. His last appearance in a domestic game was in January 2015.

"There is no doubt that Mr Bodi's actions have threatened the integrity and image of the game we love and he must be handed a strong punishment. We have had many discussions with Mr Bodi and he accepts the folly of his actions," said Lorgat.

Five years of Bodi's ban are suspended on condition that he commits no further offences and actively participates in corruption-related education programmes.

Lorgat said the examples of Pakistan's Mohammed Amir and English county player Mervyn Westfield showed that it was possible for players found guilty of corrupt activity to help in educating players about the dangers of corruption.

Cricket has been hit by several separate incidents of match-fixing in recent years.