Gulam Bodi, the former South Africa spin-bowling allrounder, is under investigation for suspected match-fixing in the Ram Slam Twenty20 Challenge last year.
Shortly after Afrikaans news outlet Netwerk24 named Bodi as the main leader behind the match-fixing operation, Cricket South Africa confirmed that he was charged under their Anti-Corruption Code.
Bodi, who played two One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International, has been charged with contriving to fix or improperly influence aspects of the T20 tournament and is provisionally suspended pending his response.
“Following our investigations and due process, we have reached a point where we can confirm that Mr Bodi is the intermediary who was charged by CSA in early December 2015 under the CSA Anti-Corruption Code,” said Haroon Lorgat, CSA chief executive.
“Mr Bodi is presently co-operating with the CSA Anti-Corruption officials. We now await his response to the charges and the matter will take its course in accordance with the process outlined in the Code.”
CSA had revealed in December that their Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), after an investigation, had charged a “perpetrator, operating as an intermediary”, under its Anti-Corruption Code.
The individual, unnamed at the time, was accused of “contriving to fix, or otherwise improperly influence aspects of the 2015 Ram Slam T20 Challenge Series and with failing or refusing, without compelling justification, to co-operate with [the] investigation”.
Bodi, 37, was born in Hathuran, a village near Surat in India, but emigrated to South Africa as a teenager. He has plied his trade for the Unlimited Titans and the Highveld Lions in South Africa’s domestic circuit and last played a domestic game in January 2015. He was also picked by Delhi Daredevils in the 2012 Indian Premier League season, though he didn’t get a chance to play.
When approached by Netwerk24 for comment, Bodi said: “No, absolutely no comment. Sorry.” His Twitter and Facebook accounts were deactivated shortly after the news became public.
Bodi may have to serve a jail sentence if the matter goes to court, with match-fixing illegal in South Africa since the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act Law was passed in 2004. The law was introduced four years after Hansie Cronje, the former captain, admitted his involvement in manipulating the outcome of certain cricket games and was slapped with a life ban from the sport.
According to the Act‚ “Any person who … accepts or agrees or offers to accept any gratification from any other person … or gives or agrees or offers to give to any other person any gratification … in return for engaging in any act which constitutes a threat to or undermines the integrity of any sporting event … including‚ in any way influencing the run of play or the outcome of a sporting event; or not reporting the act … is guilty of the offence of corrupt activities relating to sporting events”.
A legal case is also being prepared against several other domestic players for corruption during the Ram Slam tournament, but they are likely to be charged with “failure to report” illegal activity.
The penalties include a fine or imprisonment — up to a life sentence if the individual is found guilty in South Africa’s High Court. That drops to a maximum of 18 years if the case is heard in a regional court‚ and five years in a magistrate’s court.
“Our attitude to corruption will always be one of zero tolerance and we are confident that we have the necessary structures in place to effectively deal with any corrupt activity,” Lorgat had said in December.
“We will relentlessly pursue under our Code and the law of the land any persons we believe to be involved in corrupting the game and, with assistance from the Police, we will also seek criminal prosecution.”