Petersen comes clean on his own terms

Times Media


TELFORD VICE, Cape Town

HAVING ignored requests to confirm whether he was involved in the match-fixing investigation, Alviro Petersen came clean on Friday.

But, in doing so, he defied his lawyer’s advice and hid behind the protection offered by social media.

That happened after Petersen was named as a possible whistleblower or a double agent by website Wisden India in a report that did not name sources and was published on Thursday – a day after Times Media had tried to get a straight answer out of Petersen himself.

That attempt, and another made on Friday, was met with silence.

Instead, Petersen spoke on his own terms – and thus avoided questioning – in a series of tweets, each of them prefaced by the word “Fact”.

“As far as I’m concerned I’m under no investigation,” Petersen began.

“I confirm that I reported the matter to (SA Cricketers’ Association chief executive) Tony Irish and (Cricket SA’s anti-corruption officer) Louis Cole three days after I was made aware of the fixing scandal.

“Under the anti-corruption code you have to report any knowledge of corruption, and I did that as required by the code.

“Subsequent to me reporting the matter, two other players also came forward and reported that they were approached.

“I told the (anti-corruption unit) that all I wanted was for them to stop the fixing in the (2015 franchise T20 competition) before it happened …

“I was told that this could become a criminal matter under SA law.

“I was in daily communication with the (anti-corruption unit) after I reported the matter. They knew about my meetings and discussions with others.”

Petersen’s lawyer, Robin Twaddle, said he had not seen the tweets. Asked if he had advised Petersen not to comment, Twaddle said, “I have because the investigation is ongoing. We’ve been requested by CSA to not say too much while the investigation is ongoing.”

Irish had empathy for Petersen but did not condone his outburst.

“We know the investigation is slow but that’s because it needs to be thorough,” Irish said. “We understand that that can give rise to frustrations but also that it doesn’t help to make any public comment that can lead to further speculation.”

Petersen’s comments are unlikely to be well received by CSA, who ignored requests for comment. “It’s not a smart move,” an insider said.

The saga has already seen Gulam Bodi banned for 20 for his role as a middleman between fixers and players. Other players have been named in the media without confirmation of their involvement.

Irish said he had “a lot of confidence in David Becker”, the former International Cricket Council (ICC) head of legal who is running the probe.

Becker was in charge of the ICC’s investigation into spot-fixing claims made against Pakistanis Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif in 2010.

Following a subsequent criminal case all three were jailed in England, where the offences were committed.

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