I'm not a match-fixer, insists Petersen

Alviro Petersen (AP)
Alviro Petersen (AP)

Johannesburg - Former Test batsman Alviro Petersen rejected a Cricket South Africa (CSA) charge that he fixed matches in the national Twenty20 franchise championship last season.

The 35-year-old captain of the Johannesburg-based Highveld Lions was charged Saturday with multiple breaches of the CSA anti-corruption code and provisionally barred from any involvement with the sport.

"Alviro has never fixed a match, agreed to fix a match or contrived to fix a match," his lawyer said in a statement.

"He has never sought, accepted, agreed to accept or received any bribe or other reward to fix or contrive to fix a match.

"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."

The lawyer said Petersen "played along" with those involved in the scandal and was in constant contact with the investigators, leading to five other cricketers being barred, including "ringleader" Gulam Bodi.

"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."

Petersen had been scheduled to play for the Lions in the opening round of the latest national Twenty 20 championship this weekend.

He had a highly respectable 36-Test career, scoring 2,093 runs at an average of 34.88.

He made a century on his Test debut against India in Kolkata during the 2009-10 season and formed a successful opening partnership with former captain Graeme Smith.

Petersen hit five Test centuries, with a highest score of 182 against England in Leeds in 2012.

He has skippered the Lions for two seasons.

After retiring from international cricket last year, he continued to play with success for the Lions and for English county Lancashire, while working as a television and radio commentator and newspaper columnist.

As a columnist, the mixed-race cricketer was a persuasive advocate for racial transformation in cricket, stating that black players needed to be given opportunities and to be nurtured.

He set up the Alviro Petersen Foundation in 2013 with the aim of improving the lives of disadvantaged communities. The foundation includes a cricket school.

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