Alviro Petersen, the former South Africa opener, has emerged as the most high-profile cricketer under investigation in the match-fixing scandal that has rocked South African cricket.
According to Wisden India, Petersen is one of five players from the Lions franchise, three of whom are former South African cricketers, who are being investigated for considering middleman Gulam Bodi’s plans of fixing certain aspects of last year’s Ram Slam T20 competition. It is believed that one player from the Titans franchise is also being investigated in this match fixing scandal.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Thami Tsolekile are the other two former South African players under the scanner, with two other Lions players also being interrogated although they did not participate in the Ram Slam T20 event. All these five Lions players are former teammates of Gulam Bodi, whose last game for the franchise came in January last year.
Petersen, who retired from international cricket last January after opening the batting for the Proteas in 36 test matches, is believed to have met with the Indian gentleman behind Gulam Bodi’s overtures. Petersen is also believed to have turned whistleblower and revealed the incident to Cricket South Africa’s Anti-corruption unit.
Petersen, however, does not look overly perturbed by the scheme of things. His contract with the Lions expires at the end of the season and the former opener is keen to extend his contract, suggesting that he is calm about the investigation and does not expect a lengthy ban.
When Wisden India approached the 35-year old for a comment and asked whether he considered offers to spot-fix matches and also acted as whistleblower, here was his reply: “Wow, I could have been richer then. Apparently you can make a lot of money from fixing games. lol.”
It has been reveald that four Indian gentlemen, one of whom with links to the Hansie Cronje saga more than a decade ago, had met Bodi as early as this time last year in connection to fix certain matches of the Ram Slam T20. The offers put forward to players ran into hundreds of thousands of Rands.
In January, Bodi was banned from all cricket-related activities for 20 years by CSA, five of which are suspended. Even if none of the games are found to have been fixed, the investigation led by David Becker, who prosecuted the tainted Pakistan trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, will investigate the case to determine which players should be charged with which offences.