Gulam Bodi’s downfall as match-fixer was orchestrated by a carefully planned trap set by Cricket South Africa’s anti-corruption unit and his former teammate, Alviro Petersen.
Petersen, the latest and most high-profile player to be linked with the match-fixing scandal in the Ram Slam tournament that rocked South African cricket, revealed this in an interview with Rapport newspaper.
His Lions teammates Thami Tsolekile and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who haven’t played cricket since the scandal came to light, have also been linked with the investigation into the matter.
Bodi was banned in January from cricket for 20 years after admitting guilt to a charge of corruption. CSA have subsequently refused to make public any more details of what transpired until the investigation has been concluded.
Petersen told Rapport how he came to be involved in the scandal, despite being asked by CSA not to divulge any information for now, but Petersen told the newspaper he feels his reputation and future are on the line.
According to Petersen, Bodi’s downfall was preceded by a meeting he had with Bodi and a ‘friend’ on 4 November last year at the Gateway shopping centre in Umhlanga. The meeting happened hours before the Lions were due to play the Dolphins in a Ram Slam match at Kingsmead in Durban.
Petersen scored an unbeaten 48 runs from 35 balls in this game, which the Dolphins won by one run.
‘He [Bodi] called me on the morning of the game and said we had to get together,’ Petersen said.
‘He was already driving from Johannesburg to Durban because he didn’t want there to be any record of him being in Durban.
I immediately called CSA’s anti-corruption unit with his information and they were on the next flight to Durban.’
They apparently decided that Petersen would set a trap for Bodi by negotiating with him over how much money he would be paid per game to under-perform.
According to Rapport’s information these figures were as high as R700 000 per game.
‘That meeting was the last of three I had with Bodi. CSA officially charged him the next day [5 November]. A day later [6 November] I had a meeting with one of the investigators at our match against the Titans in Potchefstroom and he told me it was over for Bodi.’
Petersen says the story of his involvement in the alleged match-fixing was ‘planted’ by the Bodi camp in an attempt to discredit him as the whistleblower.
‘I started working with CSA’s anti-corruption unit days before my first meeting with Bodi and they are aware of every conversation we had. Bodi doesn’t know that.’
According to Petersen he also shared his information with the famous state prosecutor Gerrie Nel.
Petersen says Bodi targeted ‘vulnerable players’.
‘He is much smarter than people realise. He approached me the first time by saying that he wanted to invest a lot of money into my cricket school.’
Petersen believes the latest accusations can ruin his career. Lancashire, the English county for which he plays, has already enquired about the rumours.
‘I asked CSA to state the facts publicly, but they don’t want to do that until the investigation is finished,’ he said.
‘I’m confident that my name will be cleared but in the meantime my reputation and future is at stake.’