WOULD you believe? Cricket the oh, so English game which spawned sons as famous as W G Grace, was in fact invented by – wait for it – the French! As far back as 1748 they were playing it, believe it or not!
You ever heard of famous French players? No? Well, isn’t that just typically French? But before we lose our way completely – what’s this all about?
Okay, it has nothing to do with the French except the loud-mouthed bellowing of a spectator at Twickenham, where AB de Villiers’ Proteas were thrashed by seven wickets by England, who now have the series 2-0 in their pocket with one still to play.
That’s when this loud-mouthed fan bellowed, “Hey, this isn’t cricket, chaps!” Even if he’d had too much beer, it was strangely relevant.
It was aimed, it seemed, at the 13 players on the field, but you had to wonder whether it wasn’t a cry of pain at the state the “Gentleman’s Game” has got itself into recently over the mess caused by a cricketing son of the world’s eastern hemisphere many miles from Twickenham, a fellow by the name of Gulam Bodi to be exact. What a mess cricket is in at this moment. It’s a real quagmire. Even politics can take a backseat as Bodi takes over from sports enthusiasts as a whole, the title of “Bad Man of the Moment”; politicians, even their boss, can take a breather.
Who is this Bodi character? He’s Indian originally. He played for the Proteas, our national team of course, also the Dolphins, Titans and the Lions. He was brought up in a small Indian town in Oujarat province . Emigrating to South Africa he soon established himself early on as a talented cricketer, and soon himself adopted the nickname of “Boom Boom Bodi”.
He’s now been charged by the Cricket South Africa (CSA) under its anti-corruption code. The terms of the charge allege he contrived to fix or otherwise improperly influence aspects of the T20 tournament. He has been suspended from all cricket pending his response to the charges.
One of his contacts was allegedly promised R827 000 for each “job” Bodi singled out. Bodi is alleged to have informed this Proteas player that the match-fixing organisation was targeting 2015 RamSlam games, and in his case the selected player would have to ensure his team scored less than nine runs in a nominated over.
If the approached player was able to lure another player into the spot-fixing plan, he as the agent, would receive a further R75 000 for his efforts. Depending on his response, Bodi could face criminal charges, which could be punishable by a prison sentence.
Observers are saying the outcome could be more serious than the Hansie Cronje scandal, Bodi at times having allegedly offered R800 000 a game to tailor performances to achieve a certain outcome.
Bodi himself was undoubtedly talented, with a highest score of 160 in first class matches and a bowling best of 61 wickets.
Meanwhile, with Super Rugby round the corner early games to watch out for are: Feb 26 Cheetahs v Argentina; to be followed on Feb 27 by Kings v Sharks, in PE.