A former Proteas player is likely to be charged soon with match fixing, according to a leading cricket commentator.
Neil Manthorp first broke the news in his column in the Business Day, saying ‘a legal case is being prepared against a significant number of domestic players for corruption during the recent Ram Slam Twenty20 tournament.’
In a subsequent interview on Cape Talk radio, Manthorp said that the player ‘was not a household name’.
‘There have been many players over the years who have played one or two games for the Proteas. It is not on the scale of the Hansie Cronje affair,’ he said.
Others may be charged with the lesser crime of ‘failure to report’ suspicious or illegal activity.
‘There are players involved who could be considered ‘innocent’ in that they did not do anything. But they are required to report suspicious activity,’ he said. ‘I feel sorry for them in a way, having to grass up your mates, but that is what you have to do.’
It is understood the nature of the fixing was in ‘spreads’ whereby, for example, a number of runs would be scored between a certain number of overs. ‘You just need a captain and a bowler, and he gets the bowler to bowl a couple of wides, or doesn’t put over in a certain area. It’s easily done.’
Manthorp said CSA was putting together a ‘very, very strong case’, but he felt encouraged by the development.
‘Every developed country has a T20, and there is corruption in every one,’ he said. ‘Sometimes you feel there is a lack of will and determination the catch the bad guys and do something.
‘If CSA can make an example of these players, they can make our game the cleanest in the world.’
Cricket South Africa revealed in mid-December that a ‘perpetrator’ had been charged with ‘contriving to fix, or otherwise improperly influence aspects of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge Series and with failing or refusing, without compelling justification, to co-operate with an investigation carried out by CSA’s Designated Anti-Corruption Official.’
Their press release noted that the perpetrator, who they described as an intermediary, would be required to respond to the charges.
On Tuesday, a CSA spokesman declined to say whether this had been done, or add any further statement as to the state of the investigation.
CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has stated on several occasions that ‘Our attitude to corruption will always be one of zero tolerance.
‘We will relentlessly pursue under our Code and the law of the land any persons we believe to be involved in corrupting the game and, with assistance from the Police, we will also seek criminal prosecution’.