Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former South Africa cricketer Gulam Bodi has issued a heartfelt apology for his involvement in a match-fixing scandal.
Bodi was banned for 20 years by Cricket South Africa in January after he admitted to contriving or attempting to fix matches during the 2015/16 Ram Slam T20 Challenge, which is South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 competition.
However, five of the 20 years will be suspended should Bodi not find himself in hot water for committing the same crimes and also if he participates in anti-corruption programmes.
“I want to say sorry to all the franchises and teams that I have represented around the world, my team-mates, the public who are fans of cricket, my family, my friends, my colleagues, and everybody that I hurt. I’m really sorry for my actions,” he told Sameer Naik of the Saturday Star. “It was really difficult for me to keep silent for this long. I made a mistake.”
The 38-year-old also conceded that his actions have come back to haunt him as it has had a detrimental effect on his personal life.
“I played cricket for 15 years, the sport was my livelihood. I don’t have a degree, any businesses, or anything else to fall back on,” he said. “At the moment I am just doing bits and pieces to make ends meet. The last year and a half has been challenging, and I’m still trying to find my feet.
“It really hurts that people only remember Gulam Bodi the match-fixer, and not Gulam Bodi the cricketer. Now, even the people I hang around with make jokes about it and it hurts. When there is a cricket game on, they will ask me, ‘what’s the result going to be?’ I know they’re joking, but it hurts.
“I have learnt that no matter how much good you have done, people will only remember the one bad deed. Cricket consumed my life, it was everything to me. Not many people know this, but before I retired from the game, I contemplated taking up umpiring because I love the sport so much. I wanted to be involved in any way possible because it is all I have ever known.”