After being accused of participating in match-fixing by Cricket South Africa (CSA), former Proteas opening batsman Alviro Petersen has vehemently denied those charges. Instead, he claimed to be the whistle blower on the scandal and was only playing along with the other conspirators in order to not raise suspicion regarding the investigation.
The 35-year old rejected CSA's charges of accepting money or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 edition of Ram Slam T20 Challenge, South Africa’s premier domestic tournament in the shortest format. He also insisted in knowing at least one player who was allegedly involved in the conspiracy and is yet to be charged by the board.
In a statement, Peterson’s lawyer Robin Twaddle maintained, “Alviro has never fixed a match, agreed to fix a match or contrived to fix a match. He has never sought, accepted, agreed to accept or received any bribe or other reward to fix or contrive to fix a match or to ensure for betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a match or, for that matter, for any other unethical purpose.”
“Alviro acknowledges and admits that he played along with other persons involved in the scandal so as not to alert them to the fact that an investigation was underway. Alviro was in constant contact with the investigative team from the time he reported his knowledge of the scandal until (Gulam) Bodi was charged and he gave information that he had received of actual plans to influence matches to the investigative unit.”
Petersen, a veteran of 36 Tests and 21 ODIs, opened up on being approached for fixing matches earlier this year. However, the right-hander insisted that he never accepted the money and reported the matter to South Africa Cricketers' Association (SACA) as well as the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).
Apart from Bodi, the likes of Thami Tsolekile, Jean Symes, Ethy Mbhalati and Pumelela Matshikwe were also banned for between 7 and 20 years. Petersen has until the 26th of November to officially respond to CSA’s charges. In the interim, he has been suspended from participating in all cricket activities.
Calling for an in-depth understanding of his client’s situation, Twaddle wrote, “Whilst Alviro is willing to take responsibility for his actions over this period, although they were taken in good faith under the circumstances at the time, he could not reach agreement with CSA because he believes that the sanctions which would have been imposed were disproportionate to Alviro's actions and do not take sufficient cognizance of the defenses and mitigating circumstances put forward by Alviro.”