Twenty Years On, Cricket Still Reeling from Hansie Cronje Corruption Scandal



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It could also be 20 years for the reason that Hansie Cronje corruption scandal rocked cricket, however even now the ripples are nonetheless being felt.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Cronje being stripped of the South Africa captaincy following a rare sequence of occasions earlier in 2000.

In January, come the final day of a ‘lifeless’ Test towards England (South Africa had already gained the collection) a draw appeared inevitable after rain had washed out three days’ play.

Yet Cronje contrived a optimistic end result by getting England captain Nasser Hussain to agree that either side would forfeit an innings.

England had been left with a goal of 249 for victory after Cronje declared and finally gained by two wickets.

Traditionalists had been aghast on the interference with the ‘correct’ course of a Test, but few had been ready for what was to return.

In April, Cronje’s picture as a non secular sportsman — he wore a bracelet inscribed with the phrases ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ — was shattered forever.

An AFP report, later confirmed by the New Delhi police, stated the drive had telephone recordings of Cronje and an Indian bookmaker discussing predetermined Proteas’ performances throughout their tour of India the earlier month.

Such was Cronje’s standing at residence and overseas, the preliminary response was one among “shock and disbelief” in line with one among South Africa’s main cricket writers.

It was a sentiment shared by Dr Ali Bacher, the managing director of the United Cricket Board, the forerunner of right this moment’s Cricket South Africa.

– ‘Look for one more job’ –

“When AFP broke the story before the official press conference by the Delhi police, I remember the office receiving a call from Dr Bacher blasting the agency for ruining the reputation of one of South Africa’s most iconic personalities,” recalled Kuldip Lal, the Delhi-based cricket reporter behind the inside track.

“He threatened to sue us. I thought to myself that if the story is incorrect, a few of us may need to look for another job.”

But Cronje’s partial confession a couple of days later led to a “feeling of relief” in AFP’s Delhi bureau, with Lal including: “To his credit, Dr Bacher called the office to apologise for his earlier outburst.”

Cronje later confessed to a number of allegations on the South African government-appointed King Commission, together with makes an attempt to bribe Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams to underperform in a one-day worldwide towards India.

He additionally admitted to receiving a whole bunch of hundreds of {dollars} from bookmakers to prearrange sure situations — cricket’s complexity means playing coups are doable with out ‘fixing’ the end result — along with his Centurion effort netting him some $6,000 and a leather-based jacket.

Cronje, who insisted he’d by no means thrown a recreation, was later given a life ban from cricket but his repute remained excessive with each his former team-mates and the South African public alike.

For instance batsman Daryll Cullinan, testified Cronje, who died in a 2002 aircraft crash, had supplied the staff $250,000 to throw a match earlier than including he nonetheless considered him “as a great captain and a great leader”.

Meanwhile separate nationwide hearings and investigations led to life bans for Pakistan’s Saleem Malik and India’s Mohammad Azharuddin.

Yet their suspensions had been amongst a number of punishments subsequently overturned, though for Malik and Azharuddin the preliminary sanctions successfully ended the careers of two world-class batsmen.

The International Cricket Council responded by creating a brand new anti-corruption unit led by Paul Condon, the previous head of London’s Metropolitan Police.

But it was desperately under-staffed and 10 years in the past it was Britain’s now defunct News of the World tabloid that uncovered the willingness of Pakistan captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to interact in spot-fixing.

Since then a beefed-up ACU, revered for its work in educating gamers in regards to the risks of corruption, has had a better affect, with its investigations resulting in New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent receiving a life ban for match-fixing in 2014.

But the rise of Twenty20 franchise leagues and the event of the game past prime stage males’s cricket have created new targets for fixers.

As has occurred in tennis, they’ll now flip their consideration to much less high-profile areas of the sport, the place the monetary rewards for gamers are far much less and the temptation to cheat probably all of the better.

One fixed although is that betting on cricket in India, the game’s largest market, is prohibited, that means there is no such thing as a formal regulation, despite the fact that playing on horseracing shouldn’t be.

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