South African Cricketer Named in Match Fixing Scandal
Former wicketkeeper for the Proteas cricket team, Thami Tsolekile has been named by The Guardian as one of several players who have come under the radar for allegedly fixing matches in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 series. Tsolekile, who currently plays for the Highveld Lions, is alleged to have been paid about R75,000 to influence some parts of the Ram Slam. If he is found guilty of any wrong-doing, he could face at least a five year ban. He could also face criminal charges under South Africa’s Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
The publication of Tsolekile’s name comes on the heels of the news in mid-December that Cricket South Africa had suspended an “intermediary” who was “contriving to fix, or otherwise improperly influence aspects” of the Ram Slam – the country’s top domestic Twenty20 competition. Since then, the “intermediary” has been named as former Proteas batsman Gulam Bodi. He has been charged for offering players money for underperforming during the series.
Cricket South Africa chief executive, Haroon Lorgat said that Bodi is “presently cooperating with the CSA Anti-Corruption officials.”
“We now await his response to the charges and the matter will take its course in accordance with the process outlined in the Code,” he added.
Brodi has, meanwhile, been temporarily suspended, which means that he may not be involved in any capacity in any match or function “other than authorized anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programs” which as supported by the CSA, the National Cricket Federation or the ICC.
Another four local cricket players are facing possible charges.
The 35 year old Tsolekile was captain of the Highveld Lions during the Ram Slam 2015 event, but has not represented his team since the tournament came to an end in December. In 2004 he played three Tests and was a centrally contracted player up to 2014. In 2012, he took part in an Australian tour.
When asked to comment on the charges brought against him, Tsolekile told the media: “No, I don’t know anything about that. And I don’t want to comment anything about that.”
The latest match fixing scandal could be the biggest to rock South Africa since the Hansie Cronje saga, where the captain of South Africa’s national team was accused of match fixing and banned from the game for life. The 2000 – 2013 scandal became one of the biggest to hit international cricket.