Why have SA match fixers only been banned? Lock them up!

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It saddens me to say this, but when the news broke in January that a few domestic cricket players were involved in spot fixing, I wasn’t actually surprised

Thami Tsolekile

This absolute disgrace of a human has been given a 12 year ban from cricket for spot-fixing. Thus comes after it was reported earlier this year that “ring leader” Gulam Bodi had been approaching players to fix cricket matches.

The whole spot fixing investigation seemed to be centred around The Lions, who were one of the few teams that have shone over the past few seasons in a domestic league that is going from bad to worse. But the T20 season in question, the Lions won just four of their ten games, and finished second last.

Thami Tsolekile, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Alviro Petersen, Jean Symes, Pume Matshikwe and Ethy Mbhalati were all originally under investigation earlier in the year, with only Tsolekile (12 years), Mbhalati (10 years), Matshikwe and Symes (7 years) been taken to task and given bans.

What pisses me off is that Tsolekile is 35 years old and Gulam Bodi is 37,  do you really think they give a damn about being banned from cricket? They’ve been stealing a paycheque from Cricket South Africa for years with their sub-par talent. Send them to jail for a few years or give them a fine that cripples them financially for the next decade.

Domestic cricket in South Africa is the weakest it’s ever been. On any given match day, I can walk down to Newlands and watch for free, it’s because the standard of cricket is so poor, that no-one is even bothered to watch it. So in a time of crisis, these fools decide to take the game beyond rock-bottom, and we just going to ban them from playing?! Bullshit!

Jean Symes is just about 30, while he’s not as old as Tsolekile, he too has been cashing in on the game we all dream about earning a living from. Ethy Mbhalati is 34 and Pumelela Matshikwe is 32. How can anyone in their right minds feel that just stopping them playing is a fair punishment?!!?

It’s also been said that Tsolekile has destroyed evidence in the investigation, if this is found to be correct, will the anti-corruption board stick with just the ban oe will they be taking the matter further? I said from the moment this news broke in January that it’s bigger than we think. I don’t believe for one second that these are the only players involved. If I had to have a guess, I’d say there’s more like 20-30 players involved – and this lot are clearly hiding all the information that could rat the rest out.

As a huge cricket fan, I watch every game that I can, and watching that season’s RamSlam T20, there were dozens of occasions that I sat watching and thought “there’s no way this isn’t fixed”. There were players coming into bat thinking they were Nicky Boje in the mid 90’s playing the pinch hitter role from ball one. I realise it’s T20, but no batsman comes in during the opening four or five overs and swing like a rusty gate from their first delivery. There were balls bowled that stood out for me too, deliveries similar to ones I saw when I coached a primary school’s C team.

I really want the anti-corruption board and CSA to work together on this, to get to the bottom of this nonsense and throw the book at them. Not silly punishments like banning them. Remember how Hansie was absolutely shunned and people would have stoned him in the town centre if they were allowed? Why doesn’t everyone have the same anger now? Yes, Hansie was our captain and hero – but it’s the same offense. People say “but Hansie was caught”, how is being caught and admitting to being guilty any different.

Come on guys, send these arseholes to jail for ruining the game we love.

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