The 40-year-old South African cricketer Gulam Bodi has been sentenced to five years in prison after the former Lions player pleaded guilty to eight charges of corruption. He is the first player to receive imprisonment under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004. This Act had been implemented after Hansie Cronje’s match-fixing scandal in 2000.
A clause in this Act makes spot-fixing and match-fixing a crime in South Africa. The maximum sentence in this Act is 15 years. However, the State only asked for a five-year prison for Bodi.
Cricket South Africa had earlier banned Bodi from playing any form of the sport after his alleged involvement in the corruption row of the 2015 Ram Slam T20 Challenge. When he had pleaded guilty to corruption, Gulam had said,
“I’ve been banned for 20 years. That’s already a long sentence. So for me not to be able to do something I loved my entire life has been terribly hard. I haven’t really settled in the last three years. It’s been a constant battle. Just recently I managed to get a job, and after three years of running around and struggling, things started slowly looking a bit better, and now this comes up. It’s completely shattered me.”
Originally, the India-born opener was to be sentenced in January however, multiple delays pushed the sentencing to October 18.
Gulam Bodi's international cricket career
Gulam Bodi had played 2 ODIs and 1 T20I for South Africa in the year 2007. The left-handed batsman played both of his 50-overs matches against Zimbabwe where he scored 83 runs. His highest score was 51 and in the T20I format, he played one match against West Indies in which he scored only 8 runs.
After being dropped from the national team, Bodi played domestic cricket in the rainbow nation. He even took part in the Champions League T20 tournament representing the Highveld Lions. However, his cricket career ended abruptly in 2015 for his unprofessional behavior.