On this day: Died June 1, 2002: Hansie Cronje, South African cricketer
DARWIN: All-rounder Hansie Cronje, who died on today in 2002, flirted with greatness however succumbed to temptation, exposing the darkish world of bribery in cricket earlier than his tragic demise in a aircraft crash on the age of 32.
The perennially scowling South African averaged above 36 with the bat each in assessments and one-dayers and was greater than a useful medium pacer. But it was his inspirational ability as a pacesetter which stood out.
Under the Bloemfontein-born Cronje, South Africa registered collection victories towards each different main cricketing nation besides Australia.
In his 53 assessments in cost, the Proteas gained 27 and misplaced solely 11 matches, though his hopes of main South Africa to a World Cup title by no means materialised.
“Hansie was a fantastic chief,” crew mate Gary Kirsten stated in his tribute after Cronje’s tragic early demise.
“He was an inspiration to me once I first got here into the nationwide crew and he gave me confidence. It was inconceivable to not respect him.”
Succeeding Kepler Wessels within the job, Cronje cast a fruitful partnership with Bob Woolmer, a coming collectively of an uncompromising chief and an revolutionary coach.
Their chemistry and tough-minded strategy to the job was greatest illustrated within the 1999 World Cup.
In their event opener towards India, Cronje needed to be requested by the match referee to take away an earpiece he wore to speak with Woolmer. But collectively they led the aspect by means of to the semi-final, the place they had been eradicated after a tied match towards Australia.
Two years earlier than his demise, Cronje’s admission that he had taken bribes from an Indian bookmaker to repair matches shook the game to its foundations.
Delhi Police had been probing an unrelated extortion case once they stumbled upon a tape that finally led to the unearthing of the scandal.
After initially denying fixing fees, Cronje confessed his function to an inquiry fee in South Africa and was subsequently banned from the sport for all times.
“In a second of stupidity and weak point I allowed Satan and the world to dictate phrases to me,” Cronje, a religious Christian, stated in a confession to a church chief, couching it in Biblical phrases.
“The second I took my eyes off Jesus, my complete world turned darkish.”
The lapse of judgment was all of the extra damaging coming from a charismatic chief who commanded absolute loyalty in his crew mates.
The widespread scandal additionally resulted in life bans for former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin and ex-Pakistan skipper Salim Malik, whereas a number of others had been implicated.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) subsequently ramped up anti-corruption measures however traces of the scandal proceed to hang-out the sport.
In February, extradited London-based Indian bookmaker Sanjeev Chawla, accused of involvement in an affair finally nicknamed “Hansiegate”, was taken into police custody in New Delhi. He was granted bail in May however the case continues.
The submit On today: Died June 1, 2002: Hansie Cronje, South African cricketer appeared first on The Himalayan Times.
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