Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former South Africa left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe has been handed an eight-year ban for his involvement in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 Challenge corruption scandal.
In a statement released on Cricket South Africa’s website, it was revealed that Tsotsobe pled guilty to 10 charges in total.
“Tsotsobe has admitted one charge of contriving to fix a match in the 2015 RAM SLAM; two charges of failing to disclose to the CSA Anti-Corruption Officer the full details of an approach to engage in corrupt conduct; two charges of failing to disclose full details of matters evidencing a breach of the Code by another participant; three charges of failing or refusing to co-operate with an investigation (including failing to provide accurate and complete information); and two charges of obstructing or delaying the investigation by destroying evidence and concealing information that was relevant to the investigation,” the statement said.
The 33-year-old is the seventh player to be indicted in the scandal after Gulam Bodi, Alviro Petersen, Thami Tsolekile, Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe and Ethy Mbhalati, who received bans ranging from two to 20 years.
It is understood that Tsotsobe will be the last player banned as Judge Bernard Ngoepe, the independent chairperson of Cricket South Africa’s anti-corruption unit, brought the investigation to an end.
“The investigative team have completed a thorough and far-reaching investigation,” he said. “I am satisfied that all the culprits have been duly prosecuted under the Code and, unless we receive or uncover any new or previously undisclosed information, we believe we can now bring this matter to a close.”
Cricket South Africa reiterated that none of the matches during the 2015 Ram Slam T20 Challenge were fixed, but they confirmed that there were attempts to do so.
“Mr Tsotsobe has ultimately admitted his mistakes in contravening the CSA Anti-Corruption Code and, whilst no fix actually took place, it is clear that he was active in plans to participate in spot fixing and hence the sanction imposed on him,” the board’s CEO, Haroon Lorgat, said.
Speaking about his actions, Tsotsobe offered an apology and cited financial difficulties as the reason why he decided to get involved in the corruption scandal.
“I wish to apologise to cricket lovers all over the world. I was, at the time, in a very vulnerable financial state and this dilemma too easily persuaded me to participate in spot fixing,” he said. “There are no words to describe the regret I have in relation to my actions and I hope that the cricket world could consider my apology and understand my deepest feeling of remorse.”