Hansie Cronje


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A South African cricketer who captained the national men's cricket team in the 1990s. Cronje was an all-round sportsman of excellence in his schooldays, representing the Orange Free State at both cricket and rugby. He came from a prominent cricketing background, his father and elder brother having played the first-class game. Cronje's distinguished playing record, as both batsman and captain, was ruined by his admission in April 2000 that he had accepted up to $15,000 from a bookmaker in London, England, for what he termed ‘forecasting’ results of one-day matches in India. In June of that year he confessed to receiving monies from other bookmakers during the previous four years; by October of that same year he was banned from playing cricket for life. He was killed in a plane crash in 2002, the only passenger on a cargo flight. Rumours have circulated that his death was ordered by a betting syndicate. Cronje's downfall is a reminder of the less romantic side of cricket, in which the game is embroiled in corrupt practices and held—and this relates particularly to the one-day game in which outcomes can be manipulated and matches are of short duration—in the ruthless grip of gambling organizations.

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