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Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Cricket world shocked at Cronje sacking
Bob Woolmer
Woolmer: South African cricket devastated
Former South African coach Bob Woolmer said the match-fixing allegations against Hansie Cronje could seriously damage the growth of cricket in the country.

Woolmer, now a coach at Warwickshire, Warwickshire coach Bob Woolmer said: "It will devastate cricket in South Africa."

Cronje has been sacked from the South African squad to face Australia after he admitted he had not been entirely honest with cricket board officials over allegations of match-fixing.

Woolmer worked with Cronje in the five years he was South African coach.

He said: "It will be the end of Hansie's career and it would be a real kick in the teeth for South African cricket."

It is a very sad day for world cricket indeed

Bob Willis
Former England captain Bob Willis, meanwhile, feared for the impact Cronje's dismissal will have for the game of cricket as a whole.

He said: "It is a very sad day for world cricket indeed.

"I am sure if there is any truth in these current allegations then Dr Ali Bacher will get to the bottom of things."

Willis believes also that the heavyweight series between Australia and South Africa, due to start on Wednesday, is bound to suffer because of the bombshell.

"That series will now be overshadowed by these allegations against Cronje and Herschelle Gibbs, Pieter Strydom and Nicky Boje.

"Unfortunately the cricket will take a back seat."

James Whittaker, Cronje's former captain at Leicestershire, reacted with disbelief. The former England batsman said: "He is one of the most respected and well-liked characters in the world and he is a man of immense integrity.

"It comes as a huge shock that the South African board would see fit to sack him.

"There are very few who have the amount of character he has. I am just so surprised by this news.

"He is a fantastic bloke and of course he will come through it.

"If more people brought the honesty, integrity and commitment to the game that he does to cricket it would be a much better game."

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See also:

11 Apr 00 | Cricket
SA cricket captain sacked
11 Apr 00 | Cricket
Fired Cronje 'admits taking cash'
11 Apr 00 | Cricket
South Africa's fallen hero
07 Apr 00 | Cricket
SA cricket captain charged
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