23 August 2002
South African businessman Leon Dorfling, a personal and close friend of former South African test captain Hansie Cronje, is making plans to recover parts of the wreckage of the plane in which Cronje was recently killed. Dorfling, will use the aircraft parts to build a memorial to honour the achievements and passing of the former South African skipper. It is expected the memorial will be built at either George or Mossel Bay, the later which lies around 400 kms outside of Cape Town.
Source: Herald Sun
For the full story on the death of Hansie Cronje, see below.
5 june 2002
The recent death of former South African Cricket Captain, Hansie Cronje, epitomises the story of how this former legendary cricketer lived the last few years of his life...in the cricket wilderness and abandoned by international cricket circles and so called friends.
Meeting an untimely death in the belly of a South African cargo plane, atop a mountain in outback Africa, Cronje did not even have a friend he could say goodbye to during his last minutes of life. Being the only passenger aboard the plane at the time of the accident, he met a lonely end, akin to his life over the last few years, when no doubt, he probably thought about being the instigator of his own demise on more than one occassion, but overcame the torture he was going through, in the same spirit to that, which he conducted his cricket career, with tenacity, fight and perseverance of a true champion.
Although tarnished and later banned from international cricket for life, by his admission of guilt in accepting money from bookmakers, in return for contriving the result of matches whilst he captained the South African team, one must still admire the guts it took for the man to come forward and make such admissions, knowing the consequences would be severe. Whilst Cronje spoke openly and candidly about his involvement in cricket corruption, players worldwide went underground as many were implicated by Indian bookmaker and whistleblower, Mukesh Gupta. The subsequent investigation by India's Central Bureau of Investigation into the allegations raised by Mukesh Gupta, were the catalyst for the downfall of Hansie Cronje, when it was revealed a number of recorded conversations between Cronje and bookmakers was in the possession of the CBI. Faced with such evidence, Cronje quickly realised that the evidence was probably irrefutable and their would be no point in making continued denials of his guilt. Faced with the inquiry conducted by South African cricket authorities, Cronje made his admissions and accepted his fate, a life ban from all cricket involvement.
With the admissions of Cronje, the International Cricket Council moved quickly to conduct its own inquiry and investigation into cricket corruption and appointed Sir Paul Condon, to head a team of investigative specialists from around the world, in an endeavour to first find the evidence of corruption and then to act swiftly in rooting it out and keeping it out. The ICC moved quickly to ensure they interviewed all the players implicated by Gupta, but delays caused by many of these players, coupled with refusals to give evidence and advice from their lawyers, not to co-operate with ICC investigators, allowed many, if not all of those who faced allegations to quickly "bury" or avoid the truth being told. The delays ensured, a cover up of monumental proportions by those invloved in corruption. Further, when later requested by the ICC to appear before and submit himself to cross examination, Mukesh Gupta went underground and refused to testify before the ICC. Faced with Gupta's refusal, the ICC basically had no choice other than to rule their was insufficient evidence to determine the voracity of Gupta's allegations.
When Gupta refused to testify, a collective sigh of relief was let out by many prominent players around the globe, who now knew, that without his evidence, ICC investigators were highly unlikely to find the truth and establish a case against any individual. After many months of investigation, the ICC could basically do no more than confirm what everyone already knew....corruption did exist, but to what degree is uncertain and without the support of those who could provide the evidence necessary to expose "rotten" cricketers, there would be no case for anyone to answer.
A result, not unexpected, but still leaving a sour taste in the mouths of honest cricketers, fans and those who had the guts to make an admission of guilt......Hansie Cronje. Yes, there were a few other cricketers, who did admit some involvement, but not of the scope of Cronje, who it is now more than evident was more of a hero and man for doing so, when he could probably have easily either covered up his actions or like others, delayed giving evidence until Gupta's refusal to testify resulted in the truth being hidden.
In hindsight, it could be said that Hansie, may have been a fool with his honesty in coming clean, but in my view, he gained more integrity and showed much more intestinal fortitude, than the "rats" who went undeground or hid behind the advice of their silver-tailed lawyers.
Many will remember Hansie, solely for his error of judgment in accepting money from bookies and not for his deeds on the cricket pitch, for the love he showed family and friends, his generosity to the underprivileged and his true status of...A champion of South African and World cricket. Hansie Cronje, took South Africa to the forefront of world cricket at a time when South Africa was desperate for international recognition, shared the rewards with many and wrote himself into South African cricket lore forever.
He will be remebered a lot longer for his deeds on the pitch, than some of the old has beens, who have spoken out against him in recent times. The Cronje family can sleep peaceful knowing, he has gone to that big stadium in the sky where he nows sits amongst the elite of cricket past.
Statement from the Australian Cricket Board
Australian Cricket Board Chief Executive James Sutherland today delivered
the following message after the passing of Hansie Cronje on 1 June 2002.
"Hansie Cronje's death is tragic and shocking news and this is a sad time
for international cricket," Mr Sutherland said.
"The Australian Cricket Board expresses its deepest sympathies and
condolences to his family and to South African cricket players, officials
"Hansie was an exceptional cricketer and showed thousands of Australian
cricket fans his ability during South African tours to our country."
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