South African batsman Alviro Petersen.
South African batsman Alviro Petersen. Eranga Jayawardena

Ex-Proteas opener banned over corruption

CRICKET: Former South African opening batsman Alviro Petersen has been banned for two years for corruption.

The 36-year-old agreed to a plea bargain with Cricket South Africa, whose investigations into match fixing are continuing.

The veteran of 36 Test matches is the sixth player to be banned, among them Gulam Bodi, who copped a 20-year suspension for attempting to rig matches in South Africa's domestic Twenty20 competition during the 2014-15 season.

Petersen admitted several breaches of CSA's anti-corruption code - four charges of failing to disclose details of an approach to engage in corrupt conduct, four charges of failing to disclose full details of evidence involving another player, four charges of failing to provide accurate and complete information to investigators, and one charge of concealing and destroying information that was relevant to the investigation.

Petersen scored 2093 Test runs at an average of 34.88, after making a ton on debut against India in Kolkata in 2009-10.

"I would like to apologise to my family, friends, the public who are fans of the game of cricket, my teammates, Gauteng cricket, Lions cricket and especially to Cricket South Africa for my actions,” Petersen said in a statement.

"At the time that the meetings with Bodi and the fixers happened, I never had any intention of fixing matches or taking money.

"I now deeply regret having participated in these meetings and not to have immediately reported them to the authorities as I am obliged to do.

"I understand that I need to take personal responsibility for my actions and I accept the punishment that CSA has imposed on me.”

Cricket South Africa said more players could yet be charged.

"Our aim to deal thoroughly with any form of corruption in the game remains steadfast and we will do everything in our power to protect the integrity of the game,” chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.

"Alviro has realised his mistakes and has acknowledged contravening the code. He is obliged under the code to have disclosed various approaches that were made to him to engage in corrupt activities.

"While having provided certain information to the investigators, he had also withheld and concealed certain material information, such as the meetings with Bodi and certain fixers. This was directly relevant to the investigation and hence why we have imposed a two-year ban, which Alviro accepts.

"I hope that other players will learn from my experience and be better prepared if they find themselves in the situation that I was in.”

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