The four cricketers banned by the CSA on Monday for their involvement in spot-fixing have spoken out on the scandal.
After admitting to contravening the code, the players were identified by Cricket South Africa (CSA) as Ethy Mbhalati, Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe and Thami Tsolekile.
A hefty investigation took place after the 20-year ban on former Proteas, Lions and Titans player, Gulam Bodi in January 2016 for contriving or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 Challenge Series. During this competition, Bodi acted as an intermediary for betting syndicates, approaching certain players with a view to engaging in fixing activities.
Former Highveld Lions all-rounder Symes, banned for seven years, commented: ‘I deeply regret that at the end of my career, a career that I have devoted to the sport of cricket, my clubs, teams and fellow players, I have conducted myself in a manner that amounts to a contravention of the ethical code of conduct of CSA. In hindsight, I would have conducted myself differently. I regret any hurt or inconvenience that I have caused my team, my fellow players, my family and friends and specifically CSA.’
Pumelela Matshikwe, formerly contracted to the Lions and banned for 10 years with three of those suspended, said: ‘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 CSA 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.’
Former Titans fast-bowler Ethy Mbhalati said ‘I would like to extend my sincere apology to both CSA as well as the public for my involvement in this. 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.’
CSA refused to comment on whether or not there are more players involved in the scandal. The investigation is still ongoing.
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