I am no crook – Petersen

Alviro Petersen File picture: Fredlin Adriaan
Alviro Petersen
File picture: Fredlin Adriaan

PE-born player denies ever taking a bribe or contriving to fix any matches

Former South Africa test batsman Alviro Petersen assured cricket fans yesterday that he has not been involved in corruption. In an exclusive interview, Port Elizabeth-born Petersen, 35, said it was important for him to relay his innocence to the cricketloving public.

On Saturday, Cricket SA charged Petersen under six different sections of its anti-corruption code.

Petersen‚ who has 14 days to respond to the charges‚ has been provisionally suspended.

But in reaction, he said: “I want to assure the public that I’ve never fixed a match, contrived or agreed to fix a match.

“I have never taken money or a bribe to fix a match, and this is an accepted fact, and I challenge anyone to make a claim to the contrary.

“I’m aware of those who have taken money and the details thereof, including amounts, and other further detail.”

The former Glamorgan, Sussex, Somerset and Lancashire player said the matter was now in the hands of his lawyer.

The charges relate to last season’s Ram Slam T20 domestic competition after which five players were banned‚ including former internationals Thami Tsolekile and Gulam Bodi.

Petersen was charged with the following breaches:

Contriving to fix or improperly influence‚ or being party to a scheme in which attempts would be made to fix or otherwise improperly influence‚ a match or matches in the 2015-16 Ram Slam T20 Challenge Series;

Seeking to accept‚ accepting or agreeing to accept a bribe or reward to fix or contrive to fix or influence improperly a match or matches in the series;

Failing to disclose to the designated anti-corruption official (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations to engage in corrupt conduct under the code;

Failure to disclose to the designated anti-corruption official (without unnecessary delay) full details of any incident or fact that may evidence corrupt conduct by another participant;

Nine counts of failing to disclose (without unnecessary delay) accurate and complete information and/or documentation; and

Obstructing or delaying the investigation by concealing‚ tampering with or destroying information or documentation.

Petersen’s lawyer, Robin Twaddle, said on Saturday that the former Lions captain was being victimised by CSA.

He also said the charges were heavy-handed.

“Alviro appears to have been singled out by CSA‚ as he is aware of five players‚ not including Bodi‚ who did receive money to fix matches‚ one of whom has not been charged by CSA,” Twaddle said.

The quartet of Tsolekile, Jean Symes‚ Pumelela Matshikwe and Ethy Mbhalati have already been handed suspensions of up to 20 years.

But the identity of the fifth player has not been disclosed.

In February, Wisden India wrote that another Port Elizabeth-born player, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, had confirmed he was being investigated, but denied accepting money.

With reference to Petersen, Twaddle said the player had been aware of the investigation and had been in constant contact with the investigative team from the time he had reported his knowledge. — Additional reporting by TMG Digital

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