Newspaper's match-fixing goof-up leaves Kevin Pietersen red-faced
Kevin Pietersen was the unlikely target of the match-fixing allegations on his South African namesake Alviro Petersen.
Two dreaded words: ‘match fixing’ have made a comeback into the cricketing circles with Cricket South Africa’s recent crackdown on its players over the last one year. Harsh punishments to Ghulam Bodi and Thami Tsolekile earlier this year indicated the cricket body’s strict stand on unscrupulous acts in the game.
Recently, former South African international Alviro Petersen was accused of match-fixing during the Ram Slam T20 Challenge’s 2015 edition. While the news on the 35-year old spread like wildfire, his more popular namesake, who played for England, somehow found himself in the line of fire.
In a tweet posted earlier today, England batsman Kevin Pietersen vented his anger at Dhaka Tribune, a Bangladesh-based daily, that carried the Alviro Petersen news using Kevin Pietersen’s image. He attached a picture of the column, with the following caption: Hmmmmmm!!!! Not quite sure I'm all that happy with my image being used under this headline!!! What paper is this??????
An active celebrity on Twitter, Pietersen has been out of favour from the national side despite declaring himself fit and proving his form in the domestic circuit. His regular run-ins with the administration led to disciplinary actions against the 36-year old. Last year, he was given hope for a recall by ECB Chairman Colin Graves, but director of cricket and former teammate Andrew Strauss rejected the claims, telling Pietersen that he is not required. He played the last of his 104 Tests in January 2014.
The newspaper acknowledged the blunder and replied to Pietersen’s concern using its Twitter handle.
The actual accused, Alviro Petersen, denied the match-fixing claims, with his lawyer stating that the 35-year old “played along” with the others, helping the investigators catch hold of “ring-leader” Bodi. A statement issued by his lawyer said that "Alviro has never fixed a match, agreed to fix a match or contrived to fix a match.
"Alviro acknowledges and admits that he played along with other persons involved in the scandal so as not to alert them that an investigation was underway," the lawyer said.
"Alviro was in constant contact with the investigative team from the time he reported his knowledge of the scandal. He gave information that he had received of actual plans to influence matches to the investigative unit. When Alviro first learnt at the end of July 2016 that charges were contemplated against him, he was surprised because he felt he had co-operated with the investigative team," the statement added.
Petersen played 36 Tests for the South African side, scoring 2093 runs at an average of 34.88, with five centuries and eight fifties.