TELFORD VICE, Hobart
ALVIRO Petersen claims he “played along” with figures in the matchfixing scandal plaguing South African cricket, and that he knows of another player involved in the scam who has not been formally implicated.
Petersen made his allegations in a statement issued on his behalf by his lawyer, Robin Twaddle, in the wake of the former test opener being charged with corruption by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Saturday.
Five other players have admitted their guilt and been banned by CSA, among them former internationals Thami Tsolekile and Gulam Bodi.
They committed their transgressions during the franchise T20 competition in November and December – none of which, CSA have said, led to plans to fix coming to fruition.
“The charges relate to events that took place between the time of Alviro’s reporting his knowledge of the corruption scandal to the anti-corruption unit and Gulam Bodi being charged by CSA,” the statement quotes Twaddle as saying.
“Alviro acknowledges and admits that he played along with other persons involved in the scandal so as not to alert them to the fact that an investigation was underway.
“When Alviro first learnt at the end of July 2016 that charges were contemplated against him, he was surprised because he felt that he had cooperated with the investigative team as fully as he was required to.
“Alviro was in constant contact with the investigative team from the time he reported his knowledge of the scandal until Bodi was charged, and he gave information that he had received of actual plans to influence matches to the investigative unit.
“The charges follow a lengthy negotiating period between Alviro and CSA in which Alviro was offered a plea bargain.
“Whilst Alviro is willing to take responsibility for his actions over this period, although they were taken in good faith under the circumstances at the time, he could not reach agreement with CSA because he believes that the sanctions which would have been imposed were disproportionate to Alviro’s actions and do not take sufficient cognisance of the defences and mitigating circumstances put forward by Alviro.”
CSA have implicated Petersen under six different sections of the anti-corruption code, charges the statement attributed to Twaddle labelled as “heavy-handed”.
“In particular, the charges relating to contriving to fix or otherwise improperly influence, or being a party to a scheme in which attempts would be made to fix or otherwise improperly influence, a match or matches … and seeking to accept, accepting or agreeing to accept a bribe or reward to fix or contrive to fix or influence improperly a match or matches … are without merit.
“Alviro has never fixed a match, agreed to fix a match, or contrived to fix a match, and he has never sought, accepted, agreed to accept, or received any bribe or other reward to fix or contrive to fix a match, to ensure for betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a match or, for that matter, for any other unethical purpose.”
The Twaddle statement painted his client as a victim.
“Alviro appears to have been singled out by CSA, as he is aware of five players, not including Bodi, who did receive money to fix matches, one of whom has not been charged by CSA.”
Petersen, who has 14 days to respond to the charges, has been provisionally suspended, CSA’s release said, from “playing, coaching or otherwise being involved in any capacity in any match under its jurisdiction or that of the International Cricket Council or any other ICC.