Gulam Bodi has admitted he is struggling to adapt to life after CSA imposed a 20-year ban on him for match-fixing.
Bodi, who was playing for the Lions at the time, admitted to contriving or attempting to fix matches during the Ram Slam T20 Challenge in 2015.
Five of the 20 years will be suspended, if Bodi doesn’t commit further offences – and participates in anti-corruption programmes.
‘I played cricket for 15 years, the sport was my livelihood. I don’t have a degree, any businesses, or anything else to fall back on,’ the 38-year-old Bodi told the Saturday Star.
‘At the moment I am just doing bits and pieces to make ends meet. The last year and a half has been challenging, and I’m still trying to find my feet.
‘It really hurts that people only remember Gulam Bodi the match-fixer, and not Gulam Bodi the cricketer. Now, even the people I hang around with make jokes about it and it hurts. When there is a cricket game on, they will ask me, “what’s the result going to be?” I know they’re joking, but it hurts.
‘I have learnt that no matter how much good you have done, people will only remember the one bad deed. Cricket consumed my life, it was everything to me. Not many people know this, but before I retired from the game, I contemplated taking up umpiring because I love the sport so much.
‘I wanted to be involved in any way possible because it is all I have ever known.’
The hard-hitting left-hander played two ODIs and one T20I for the Proteas in 2007 – and averaged 32.47 during a first-class career that spanned almost two decades. He represented the Delhi Daredevils during the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League.
‘I want to say sorry to all the franchises and teams that I have represented around the world, my team-mates, the public who are fans of cricket, my family, my friends, my colleagues, and everybody that I hurt. I’m really sorry for my actions,’ he added.
‘It was really difficult for me to keep silent for this long. I made a mistake.’