South Africa wicketkeeper gets 12-year ban for match fixing

Thami Tsolekile_1Thami Tsolekile, a South African wicketkeeper that toured England with the Proteas in 2012 and was centrally contracted as recently as 2013/14, has been banned from cricket for 12 years.

Tsolekile is one of four players caught up in the match fixing scandal linked to Gulam Bodi, who was banned for 20 years by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on January 25, 2016. However, CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has confirmed that the investigation is ongoing and that more players could be sanctioned.

The matches in question were part of South Africa’s Ram Slam Twenty20 competition in 2015, with Ethy Mbhalathi, Pumelela Matshikwe and Jean Symes named as the other players involved. All four players have accepted bans starting on August 1, with Mbhalathi and Matshikwe banned for 10 years and Symes facing 7 years on the sidelines.

The longer ban handed to Tsolekile relates to contriving to fix matches, withholding details from the CSA and destroying relevant evidence. Mbhalathi and Matshikwe failed to provide complete information to the CSA and took payment to fix one or more matches. Symes, an all-rounder for the Lions, did not disclose to the board that a payment was given to him to procure a breach of the Code.

Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive of CSA, said: “Whilst there has been no evidence to suggest that an actual fix in any match was carried out, these players all participated in material discussions about match fixing. In fact, they all went further and accepted, or agreed to accept in the future, sums of money which they knew or ought to have known was given to them to partake in activity that would amount to a breach of the Code, or bring the game into disrepute.

“Our attitude towards any form of corruption is clear and hence why we have imposed such firm sanctions. To their credit, all of these players eventually admitted their misconduct and co-operated with the investigators. They have also shown remorse for their actions. Importantly, each of them has indicated a willingness to engage in anti-corruption education to assist us to prevent this kind of conduct in the future.”

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