Alviro Petersen has represented South Africa in 36 Tests, 21 ODIs and a couple of T20Is    Getty Images
Alviro Petersen has represented South Africa in 36 Tests, 21 ODIs and a couple of T20Is Getty Images

Johannesburg: Former South Africa opener Alviro Petersen has rubbished claims of accepting bribes to fix matches, but admitted to playing along with those involved in the match-fixing scandal in the domestic T20 tournament. Petersen comments came after he was charged with six breaches of the Cricket South Africa’s anti-corruption code. Petersen’s lawyer Robin Twaddle confirmed the news and said that his client rejects a plea bargain as he regards the charges as heavy-handed, and would instead welcome a tribunal. Twaddle further informed that Petersen was surprised to know the charges levied against him at the end of July despite the cricketer being cooperative with the investigation.

“Alviro acknowledges and admits that he played along with other persons involved in the scandal so as not to alert them to the fact that an investigation was underway. Alviro was in constant contact with the investigative team from the time he reported his knowledge of the scandal until Bodi was charged and he gave information that he had received of actual plans to influence matches to the investigative unit,” Twaddle was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. Earlier in March, Petersen revealed that he had reported fixing approaches but did not consider himself under investigation. Petersen had also maintained that he blew the whistle on Gulam Bodi and five other players, who were all banned for between seven and 20 years.

Since then, the 35-year-old has been involved in a lengthy negotiating period with CSA during which the board offered him a plea bargain. “Whilst Alviro is willing to take responsibility for his actions over this period, although they were taken in good faith under the circumstances at the time, he could not reach agreement with CSA because he believes that the sanctions which would have been imposed were disproportionate to Alviro’s actions and do not take sufficient cognisance of the defenses and mitigating circumstances put forward by Alviro,” Twaddle added. READ: Alviro Petersen, Ashwell Prince s record First-Class partnership and other statistics

Petersen, who was due to play for the Lions franchise in the domestic T20 competition from Saturday, has been suspended by the CSA 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.” He now has 14 days to officially respond to the country’s cricket board.