• Tsotsobe in T20 fixing probe

    Former South African seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe has admitted that he is being investigated as part of the match-fixing scandal in the Ram Slam T20 tournament last year.

    Wisden India revealed on Thursday that Tsotsobe is one of the players under investigation.

    Tsotsobe is the third player to be openly linked to the investigation. Last month, The Guardian published a story claiming Tsotsobe’s teammate and captain at the Lions, Thami Tsolekile, was also involved.

    Former Lions batsman Gulam Bodi has already been banned for 20 years after Cricket South Africa named him as the ‘intermediary’ that attempted to recruit players.

    According to Wisden India Tsotsobe is alleged to have entertained an offer of money in return for under-performing during last year’s T20 competition.

    When contacted for comment by Wisden India, Tsotsobe said: ‘There’s a lot of speculation going around. I’m not going to entertain anything but Cricket South Africa can do anything they need to do to check if we did any match-fixing with the people that they are investigating. So we’ll wait for them and see.’

    He denies accepting money from Bodi, but asked whether he met with the Indian men behind Bodi’s overtures and considered their offers, Tsotsobe said: ‘That we can discuss with Cricket South Africa. If you want to know anything more about what’s going on you can ask them.’

    CSA declined an offer to comment.

    Neither Tsotsobe nor Tsolekile has represented the Lions since their tournament ended in early December. Tsolekile’s absence in subsequent matches was initially put down to an Achilles problem that was expected to heal within weeks, but Wisden India claims that Tsotsobe left Johannesburg unexpectedly and spent the next month in his native Eastern Cape.

    ‘I just feel that there’s a lot that’s going on in my life. I’ve spoken to the coach and he’s the one who gave me the time off. I don’t have to explain myself to any other person. If the CEO and the coach know, then I think I’m cool,’ Tsotsobe said.

    He confirmed that he is cooperating with the investigation.

    ‘I’ve given them everything they want,’ Tsotsobe said. ‘My phone bills, my messages, my bank accounts, everything. They said they would get back to me.’