I’m not a match-fixer, in­sists Alviro Petersen

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

For­mer Test bats­man Alviro Petersen re­jected yes­ter­day a Cricket South Africa (CSA) charge that he fixed matches in the na­tional Twenty20 fran­chise cham­pi­onship last sea­son. The 35-year-old captain of the Johannesburg-based Highveld Lions was charged Satur­day with mul­ti­ple breaches of the CSA anti-cor­rup­tion code and pro­vi­sion­ally barred from any in­volve­ment with the sport. “Alviro has never fixed a match, agreed to fix a match or con­trived to fix a match,” his lawyer said in a state­ment.

“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 lawyer said Petersen “played along” with those in­volved in the scan­dal and was in con­stant con­tact with the investigators, lead­ing to five other crick­eters be­ing barred, in­clud­ing “ring­leader” Gu­lam Bodi. “Alviro ac­knowl­edges and ad­mits that he played along with other per­sons in­volved in the scan­dal so as not to alert them that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­way,” the lawyer said.

“Alviro was in con­stant con­tact with the in­ves­tiga­tive team from the time he re­ported his knowl­edge of the scan­dal.

“He gave in­for­ma­tion that he had re­ceived of ac­tual plans to in­flu­ence matches to the in­ves­tiga­tive unit.

“When Alviro first learnt at the end of July 2016 that charges were con­tem­plated against him, he was sur­prised be­cause he felt he had co-op­er­ated with the in­ves­tiga­tive team.” Petersen had been sched­uled to play for the Lions in the open­ing round of the lat­est na­tional Twenty 20 cham­pi­onship this week­end. He had a highly re­spectable 36-Test ca­reer, scor­ing 2,093 runs at an av­er­age of 34.88. He made a cen­tury on his Test de­but against In­dia in Kolkata dur­ing the 2009-10 sea­son and formed a suc­cess­ful open­ing part­ner­ship with for­mer captain Graeme Smith. Petersen hit five Test cen­turies, with a high­est score of 182 against Eng­land in Leeds in 2012.

He has skip­pered the Lions for two sea­sons. Af­ter re­tir­ing from in­ter­na­tional cricket last year, he con­tin­ued to play with suc­cess for the Lions and for English county Lan­cashire, while work­ing as a tele­vi­sion and ra­dio com­men­ta­tor and news­pa­per colum­nist. As a colum­nist, the mixed-race crick­eter was a per­sua­sive ad­vo­cate for racial trans­for­ma­tion in cricket, stat­ing that black play­ers needed to be given op­por­tu­ni­ties and to be nur­tured. He set up the Alviro Petersen Foun­da­tion in 2013 with the aim of im­prov­ing the lives of dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties. The foun­da­tion in­cludes a cricket school. — AFP

RA­JKOT: Eng­land’s bats­man Haseeb Hameed bats on the fifth day of the first cricket test match be­tween In­dia and Eng­land in Ra­jkot, In­dia, yes­ter­day. — AP

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