Four South African cricketers, including former test wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile, have been handed bans ranging from seven to 12 years for attempting to fix matches, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Monday.
Tsolekile, who played the last of his three Tests against England at Port Elizabeth in 2004, received a 12-year ban for “contriving to fix a match or matches” in the 2015 Twenty20 domestic competition, the board said in a statement.
Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Jean Symes were also sanctioned for accepting money from ex-international Goolam Bodi who was banned for 20 years in January for attempting to fix matches in the Twenty20 tournament.
All the players bar Mbhalati were team mates of Bodi, perceived as the go-between between corrupt betting syndicates and cricketers, at the Johannesburg-based Lions franchise.
Matshikwe and Mbhalati was banned for 10 years for receiving payments, although three years of Mbhalati’s sentence were suspended.
Symes received a seven-year ban for also receiving a payment and failing to disclose details of the approach to engage in match-fixing.
“There is no evidence that this is widespread. We are fully confident that it is contained but will continue investigating,” CSA chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat told a news conference at Newlands.
Details have also been passed to the South African police, he said. The bans follow a lengthy investigation by CSA’s anti-corruption unit.
“We take our work seriously. We need something serious to trigger an investigation. We do not engage in witch hunts. Our primary responsibility is to protect the integrity of the sport and no stone will be left unturned,” its chairman Bernard Ngoepe 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.
Tsolekile played three Tests for South Africa in 2004.
South Africa’s government made match-fixing illegal and punishable with a prison sentence following the Hansie Cronje scandal.
Cronje was a respected captain of the national side before being banned for life in 2000 after attempting to fix matches on the orders of an Indian betting syndicate. He died in a plane crash in 2002.