‘Damaging to the reputation of cricket’: Gulam Bodi banned 20 years for attempted match-fixing

Bodi, who represented the Proteas in three international matches in 2007, was charged on several counts of contriving or attempting to fix matches in last year’s RAM SLAM T20 competition and confessed his involvement.

Indian-born South African cricketer Gulam Bodi was banned on January 25, 2016 for 20 years after he admitted charges of contriving or attempting to fix matches in South Africa's domestic Twenty20 competition. / AFP / ANESH DEBIKY
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Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat warned of an ongoing corruption threat to the global game after Gulam Bodi was banned for 20 years for attempted match-fixing.

Bodi, who represented the Proteas in three international matches in 2007, was charged on several counts of contriving or attempting to fix matches in last year’s RAM SLAM T20 competition and confessed his involvement following an investigation by CSA’s anti-corruption and security unit.

Several players are understood to have rejected Bodi’s overtures, though it is not clear whether all of those came forward to report the approach.

Lorgat confirmed that the probe is still ongoing and it seems certain that enquiries are continuing into other individuals.

Read more: Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews will appear before police over match-fixing scandal

That he was speaking at a hastily-convened press conference during the fourth Test between England and South Africa at Centurion, contained a bitter irony.

It was at this ground in 2000 that England won a Test match tainted by the corruption of former Proteas captain Hansie Cronje, who later shocked the world he was working with match-fixers.

“I think it’s damaging to the reputation of cricket. This is not unique to South Africa,” said Lorgat.

“We’d be naive to think that it might not be the same syndicates that operate in different countries. It’s quite likely it’s the same people.

“Once you tighten up at international level the corrupt activity does not disappear, it goes somewhere else.

“It had to go into the domestic game, hence why each member board, including the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) put in units to tackle or monitor such activity at domestic level.

“All of us in the cricket community must learn from this experience and remain vigilant.”

Bodi was previously best known in England as the man whose selection ahead of Kevin Pietersen for Natal, under South Africa’s quota system, persuaded the latter to switch allegiance to the Three Lions.

Now the 37-year-old has joined a reviled list of players to drag their sport through the mud.

Whether any others join him remains to be seen. At least one other former international has been named in the press, while Bodi’s activities could also extend to last year’s Africa T20 Cup.

Lorgat declined to give any more details about the process save to confirm the case remained active.

“There are always elements in such an investigation that are ongoing and the investigation is not concluded,” he said.

“We won’t confirm or deny any name that is speculated on. I think the media at times do not exercise the best responsibility, in fact they make the investigation more difficult.

“But we won’t stop short until we have concluded every last shred of evidence. That could take us weeks, months, if not years.

“The confessions made by Mr Bodi suggest we have got him in a planning phase, that no fixes had been active.

“But if there is a player’s name involved or an official’s name involved we’ll follow that evidence.”

Bodi, who could also be subjected to a criminal investigation, will be banned from all organised cricket at home or abroad for at least 15 years.

The last five years of his ban are suspended and will depend on his level of co-operation in the matter at hand, as well as his participation in education programmes for current and future players.

“There are no winners in this sort of ill-fated and unfortunate matter. However, We expect that that Mr Bodi himself will learn and will actively assist us in reminding players of the dangers of corrupt behaviour,” said Lorgat.

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