South Africa ban four for match fixing, players express regret

Johannesburg, Aug 8 : Cricket South Africa on Monday banned four cricketers, including former Test wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile, on charges of match fixing.

Apart from Tsolekile, the other three players who have admitted to breaching the CSA's Anti-Corruption Code for Personnel are Jean Symes, Ethy Mbhalati and Pumelela Matshikwe, Sport24 reported.

Symes has been banned for seven years for failing to disclose to the CSA Anti-Corruption Officer a payment which he knew or ought to have known.

The all-rounder, however, said that he deeply regrets the fact that he conducted himself in a manner that amounts to a contravention of the ethical code of conduct of Cricket South Africa towards the end of his career.

"I regret any hurt or inconvenience that I have caused my team, my fellow players, my family and friends and specifically Cricket South Africa," he said.

Matshikwe, a bowler formerly contracted to the Lions, was banned for 10 years (having three of his 10 years suspended).

He apologised saying he was ashamed and he accepts the punishment that CSA has imposed on him. "I would like to apologise to my family, friends, the public who are fans of the game of cricket, my team-mates, Gauteng cricket, Lions cricket and especially to Cricket South Africa for my actions.

I feel ashamed and I deeply regret being involved. I understand that I have to take responsibility and I accept the punishment that CSA has imposed on me.

I am truly sorry," he said. Mbhalati, formerly contracted to the Titans, has also been banned for 10 years. He extended his apology to both Cricket South Africa as well as the public for his involvement. "I made a bad mistake which I will regret for a very long time. I would like to do all I can to prevent other players finding themselves in the difficult situation I now find myself in," he said.

Tsolekile received a 12-year ban for arranging to fix a match or matches in the 2015 RAM SLAM, failing to disclose to the CSA Anti-Corruption Officer the full details of an approach to engage in corrupt conduct, failing to disclose full details of matters evidencing a breach of the code by another participant and obstructing or delaying the investigation by destroying evidence that was relevant to the investigation.

The banning of these four players comes after investigations and the previous imposition of a 20-year ban on former cricketer Gulam Bodi by the South African Cricket board in January 2016 after he had admitted charges of contriving or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 RAM SLAM T20 Challenge Series.

Source: ANI