JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa said Monday they had banned four players following a match fixing probe of the 2015 domestic Twenty20 competition.
The banned players were named as Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Thami Tsolekile, the former South African Test wicketkeeper.
“The banning of these four players follows a lengthy investigation,” said the organisation in a statement.
The player have been banned from the sport for between seven to 12 years following the probe of the domestic Twenty20 competition.
“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,” said Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
Tsolekile, who received a 12-year-ban, is said to have failed to disclose to the authorities “details of an approach to engage in corrupt conduct” in the 2015 competition.
Tsolekile, 35, toured England as South Africa’s back-up wicketkeeper in 2003 and played in three Test matches, two against India and one against England, in 2004.
He remained on the fringes of the team and toured England and Australia in 2012 and the United Arab Emirates for a series against Pakistan in 2013 without winning further caps.
Matshikwe, a bowler formerly contracted to the Lions, is said to have received a payment or incentive to fix a match.
He was given a 10 year ban, and so was Ethy Mbhalati, a bowler formerly contracted to the Titans.
Symes was handed a seven year ban for failing to disclose to the authorities a payment given to him.
“Our attitude towards any form of corruption is clear and hence why we have imposed the firm sanctions,” said Lorgat.
Lorgat said investigations were still ongoing and declined to comment on the possibility of other players being involved.
All the banned players have expressed regret for their offences.
“I deeply regret that at the end of my career, a career that I have devoted to the sport of cricket…I have conducted myself in a manner that amounts to a contravention of the ethical code of conduct of Cricket South Africa,” said Symes.
The bans came into effect on August 1.
Tony Irish, chief executive of both the South African Cricketers’ Association and the international players’ representative body, said it was a sad day for cricket but took heart from the fact that there had been a thorough investigation.
“Cricket has got these problems worldwide,” said Irish.
“The positive is that our system has detected them and there has been a successful prosecution as a result of clean players coming forward,” he added.
The bans came more than six months after Gulam Bodi, another former international player, was banned for 20 years after admitting charges of “contriving or attempting to fix matches” in South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 competition.
Bodi acted as an intermediary for international betting syndicates in approaching players involved in the tournament. –AFP