His name has been swirling around behind closed doors since the news of the saga first broke. Almost a year and a half after the investigation first began, Lonwabe Tsotsobe has been officially charged. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe became the latest player to be charged by Cricket South Africa (CSA) for several breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code for Personnel.
The charges come on the back of a lengthy investigation which first began in late 2015. It has already seen Gulam Bodi, Jean Symes, Pumi Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati, Thami Tsolekile and Alviro Petersen banned for charges relating to the code following misconduct during the 2015 domestic T20 competition.
The 33-year old is, arguably, the most high profile casualty from the fixing fall out. Once ranked number one in the world in one-day cricket and a regular in the national team, he fell by the wayside towards the end of 2013.
While many believed that the left-armer would manage to return to his glory days, it was not to be. He turned out for a South African A side back in 2015, but that Summer – and his decisions during that time – would be the final nail in his coffin.
It is understood that Tsotsobe has often had a troubled relationship with those trying to offer him assistance – the governing body and those who keep the best interest of the country’s players at heart.
According to sources, Tsotsobe has, on more than one occasion and prior to the match-fixing saga, refused to engage with anyone offering assistance on a number of issues, even when the people in question travelled to a relative’s residence to help him.
Tsotsobe has been “provisionally suspended from playing, coaching or otherwise being involved in any capacity in any match under its jurisdiction or that of the ICC or any other ICC member”.
Tsotsobe faces the following “significant charges”:
• Contriving to fix or otherwise improperly influence, or being party to a scheme in which attempts would be made to fix or otherwise improperly influence, a match or matches in the 2015 RAM SLAM T20 Challenge Series;
• Seeking to accept, accepting or agreeing to accept a bribe or reward to fix or contrive to fix or influence improperly a match or matches in the 2015 RAM SLAM T20 Challenge Series;
• Failing to disclose the receipt of a gift or payment that he knew or ought to have known was given to him to procure a breach of the Code or that was made in circumstances that could bring him or the sport of cricket into disrepute; and
• Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations to engage in Corrupt Conduct under the Code. DM
Photo: Lonwabo Tsotsobe of South Africa ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix