Gulam Bodi, who was banned from cricket for 20 years for his role in a match-fixing scandal in the Ram Slam competition, says his punishment was ‘harsh’.
In an interview with the Mail and Guardian on Friday, Bodi talked about how tough his life has become after being named as the ‘intermediary’ who tried to convince players to under-perform in matches during the T20 tournament last year, in exchange for money.
‘I took a lot of flak in the media when this all started,’ Bodi said. ‘Then, when the other guys were named, in a way it was only a storm in a teacup. Looking back, I think my sanction was pretty harsh.’
He claims that the person who blew the whistle on him, since identified as former Proteas opener Alviro Petersen, entertained thoughts of fixing before turning away from the dark side.
Petersen, on the other hand, has explained his involvement in the matter and believes that Bodi’s camp is trying to discredit him.
Bodi does, however, admit his regret over what happened. ‘It’s been a very big mistake in my life. The biggest mistake. Cricket is something I love and know. I was a first-class cricketer for 18 years. You can’t just kiss that goodbye.’
Bodi lives in Azaadville in the West Rand with a wife who is expecting their second child in May.
‘I’m basically buying and selling, wholesaling – cosmetics, groceries, used cars. I’ve got to try everything now because you only have cricket as a back-up. I only had cricket and, when that went, there was basically nothing.’
According to the article Bodi is not bitter or sore about what happened to him, just ‘perplexed’.