Image courtesy of: NDTV
Disgraced Kenya all-rounder Maurice Odumbe has insisted that he was never involved in match-fixing and “never stole anybody’s money”.
Odumbe was banned for five years after he allegedly accepted US$50,000 to fix a match against Zimbabwe in 2004.
“I never stole anybody’s money, yet I was given five years,” Odumbe was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “I was banned for inappropriate contact, it was never match-fixing, but they don’t seem to want to get it right. I think ‘match-fixing’ sounds much sweeter.”
Odumbe was found guilty on 12 counts of corruption and his affiliation with Jagdish Sodha, who is a known bookie, left Justice Ahmed Ebrahim with no choice but to ban him for five years.
However, Odumbe claims that he had no idea whatsoever that Sodha was a bookie.
“The only way probably I would have known is if he had approached me, and said, ‘Look, can you do A for me?’ In fact, there was a time even when the investigators came talking to me, they asked me the same question: ‘How could you not know that he was a bookmaker?’ I said, ‘Ah, well, it’s not written on his forehead,” he said.
Odumbe also stated that Cricket Kenya “left my head on the chopping board”.
“If you look around, all over the world, the local boards have always stood by their players,” he added. “But in my case, my local board, they left my head on the chopping board. Sometimes people even wonder, is it a question of colour, or what is it?”