JOHANNESBURG, Dec 23, (AFP): Banned former South Africa Test batsman Alviro Petersen said Thursday he hired a bodyguard because he feared for the safety of himself and his family during investigations into cricket match-fixing.
In a statement issued by his charitable foundation, Petersen claimed that the plea bargain he reached with Cricket South Africa (CSA), accepting a two-year ban, vindicated his insistence that he was not corrupt.
Petersen pleaded guilty to charges of failing to disclose approaches to engage in corrupt conduct, failing to disclose full details of evidence involving another player, and of concealing and destroying evidence.
CSA withdrew charges relating to fixing or contriving to fix matches and of accepting or offering to accept a bribe or other reward to fix or influence matches. The statement issued on his behalf said: “The events that gave rise to the charges Alviro has pleaded guilty to took place under pressured and unusual circumstances.”
Petersen admitted taking part in discussions with former international player and Lions franchise teammate Gulam Bodi, who was banned for 20 years for acting as an intermediary for illegal bookmakers.
“These discussions took place at a time when Alviro knew that the fixing scandal was under investigation and he was convinced that the fixing operation would be shut down imminently.
“Knowing that the match-fixing is controlled by criminal gangs, Alviro feared for his and his family’s safety, to the point where he engaged a bodyguard while playing for the Lions last season.”
Petersen claimed he had assisted an anti-corruption officer, “to the point that he gave him information and details of a possible fix that was going to happen hours before a game”.
The 36-Test veteran admitted that he should have reported his discussions with Bodi and that he should have made a full disclosure earlier. He said he wanted other players to learn from his experience.
The statement concluded by stating that Petersen, 35, is studying for a law degree and a management diploma and that he intended to stay fit with a view to resuming his cricket career when his ban ends in November 2018.
England fast bowler Stuart Broad has signed a new three-year contract with Nottinghamshire, the English county side said on Friday.
The 30-year-old moved to Notts ahead of the 2008 season but has featured on a limited basis at first-class level after establishing himself as a central part of the England side.
His tally of 368 Test wickets leaves him third on England’s all-time list, while he has contributed to four Ashes victories and was part of the team that won the World T20 championship in 2009.
He famously rattled through the Australian batting line-up during the 2015 Ashes at Trent Bridge, recording career-best figures of 8 for 15 as the tourists were dismissed for just 60 on Broad’s home ground.
“Whatever happens in the next few years, Stuart will go down as one of England’s great fast bowlers,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell. “He has performed well in all kinds of different conditions over a long period of time.
“He also has the ability to sense the big moments and put in match-winning performances under pressure.
“He’s still very driven, he’s going to play for at least a few more years and his experience and skill will continue to influence matches.”
Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is to join the coaching staff at Middlesex in 2017, the English county champions announced on Friday.
The 37-year-old, who played 442 matches for New Zealand over all three formats before retiring last year, has signed a three-year contract with the county which will see him become head coach for the NatWest T20 Blast campaign.
Vettori is currently the head coach of Brisbane Heat in Australia’s Big Bash League, while he holds the same position with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to be involved with Middlesex in their pursuit of a T20 title,” Vettori said.“There is talent and experience in all facets of their game and I look forward to complementing their skills and all the fantastic work the current coaching staff has done.”
Middlesex have reached the Twenty20 final only once, winning in 2008. They claimed the county championship this year for the first time since 1993.