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Wednesday, 19 April, 2000, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
'Cronjegate': A timeline
Cronje
Hansie Cronje in the dock after the allegations surfaced
BBC Sport Online takes a closer look at 'Cronjegate' and the events leading up to one of cricket's darkest hours.

  • April 2000:
    Delhi Police reveal they have a recording of a conversation on a mobile phone during the one-day series between India and South Africa in March.

    It is alleged the taped voices are South Africa captain Hansie Cronje and a representative of an Indian betting syndicate.

    The voice alleged to be Cronje's, divulges information about the team, including a suggestion that off-spinner Derek Crookes would open the bowling later in the series. The two individuals also agree Herschelle Gibbs should not score more than 20 runs.

    Cronje brought himself on first change and bowled 10 overs for 69 and Gibbs scored 19 in the third match in Faridabad. Crookes opened the bowling the final match.

    Crookes later admitted his astonishment at being asked to open. He conceded 53 runs in six overs.

    Delhi police confirm Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom are also under investigation.

  • April 7:
    Cronje: "I am stunned. The allegations are completely without substance. I have been privileged to play for South Africa since 1992 and I want to assure every South African that I have made 100% effort to win every match that I have played.

    Ali Bacher, United Cricket Board managing director, backs his captain: "I have spoken to Hansie and he says it is absolute rubbish. He is known for his unquestionable integrity and honesty."

  • April 9:
    Cronje adds: "I have never received any sum of money for any match that I have been involved in and have never approached any of the players and asked them if they wanted to fix a game."

  • April 11:
    Cronje calls Ali Bacher at 0300 to inform him he had not been "entirely honest" about his comments of two days ago.

    He admits to having accepted between US$10,000 to $15,000 from a London-based bookmaker, for "forecasting" results, not match-fixing.

    Cronje: "I admit I made an error of judgment and never through it would lead to this." He is sacked as South Africa captain and Shaun Pollock elevated from position of vice-captain.

    Bacher: "We are shattered. The United Cricket Board and the government have been deceived."

  • April 15:
    Doubts now surround England's victory in the last Test at Centurion, where Cronje took the unexpected step of forfeiting an innings.

    Daryll Cullinan later said: "I would like to think that Hansie was acting in the best interests of the game and doing something for the public, but it totally went against the guy I knew. He wasn't in the habit of giving something to the other side or making a game of it."

  • April 16:
    Chris Lewis reveals in the News of the World newspaper he was told of three England players, "household names" as he described them, who had accepted money from bookmakers to influence cricket matches.

    It is revealed that South Africa came closer than originally believed to accepting a $250,000 bribe to throw a one-off international against India in Bombay in 1996. Cronje had initially said the team "laughed it off." But South African team-mates said the offer was discussed in three team meetings before being declined.

    Jonty Rhodes, Dave Richardson and Andrew Hudson were vehemently against it. Brian McMillan said: "Yes, it was bashed around. Some guys are always keen at the end of their careers. It is always a carrot, it is a lot of money."

    Rajesh Kalra, an associate of Chawla arrested last week, is reported to have given Indian police the names of three players involved in match-fixing.

  • April 17:
    Having asked Lewis for the names of the three England players alleged to have taken money to influence matches, the ECB pass the information on to Scotland Yard to investigate further.

    The Guardian newspaper reports that Cronje allegedly accepted an 85,000 bribe as an advance to fix one-day matches in India, according to evidence obtained by Indian police.

  • April 18:
    Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower says he was not surprised by the match-fixing claims, admitting: "When we've beaten teams over the past few years, we've asked ourselves, 'Did that look a bit dodgy?' These things are obviously going on."

  • April 19:
    Lewis hits back at the England and Wales Cricket Board, insisting he had passed them the names of the three players last year, long before the story appeared in the newspapers.

  • April 20:
    South African cricket chief Bacher says two matches in last year's World Cup were fixed.

    No names are mentioned, but he claims that the match between Bangladesh and Pakistan raised the most concern.

  • June 2:
    Cronje blames his errant behaviour which led to the match-fixing scandal on Satan.

    In a bizarre confession, which was made to evangelist Ray McCauley, Cronje admits to having "taken his eyes off Jesus" when Satan approached him.

  • June 7:
    Former South African Test spinner Pat Symcox alleges that the team were offered around $250,000 (150,000) to lose a one-day game, on the first day of the King Commission hearings in Cape Town.

    The inquiry into the Hansie Cronje scandal begins with a stern warning from the investigating judge that witnesses face prosecution if they fail to answer satisfactorily "any question lawfully put to them".

  • June 8:
    Herschelle Gibbs accuses his former captain Cronje of offering him a bribe to throw a match.

    Gibbs tells the King Commission he had agreed to Cronje's offer of $15,000 to score fewer than 20 runs in a one-day match in India earlier this year.

  • June 10:
    Cronje is offered immunity from prosecution, if he makes a full disclosure of his role in match-fixing.

    The South African government suggests the deal after further damning allegations were made against Cronje during three days of evidence to the King Commission.

  • June 12:
    South African cricket chief Ali Bacher claims that two matches in the 1999 World Cup held in England were fixed.

    Bacher tells the King Commission that matches between India and Pakistan, and between Pakistan and Bangladesh, were fixed.

  • June 15:
    Cronje admits taking large sums of money for giving information to bookmakers and asking his team-mates to play badly.

    But he tells the King Commission South Africa had never "thrown" or "fixed" a match, under his captaincy.

  • June 22:
    Cronje says that Mohammad Azharuddin may have been unaware of a bribery offer in India.

    He told the King Commission Azharuddin was not party to the discussions Cronje had with bookmaker Mukesh Gupta.

    Cronje had said in earlier testimony that Azharuddin had introduced him to Mr Gupta, in an Indian hotel in 1996.

  • June 23:
    Cronje is led away in tears after completing his evidence to the King Commission match-fixing inquiry in Cape Town.

    He breaks down at the end of three days of cross-examination by a panel of lawyers, during which he confessed to receiving around $140,000 from bookmakers.

    But he said: "I hope I can put the money to good use to try to redress the wrongs I have done to my game and my country."

    Cronje earlier admitted hiding money from his wife at their home and trying to convince her that other cash had been earned legitimately from benefits and bonuses.

  • June 26:
    Cronje begs for forgiveness for his involvement in illicit gambling deals. In a statement, published in the Cape Times newspaper, he admits full responsibility for his actions and apologises to the nation.

    "There is no excuse and I have let the (United Cricket Board), the team, the fans and the game down," he said.

  • June 27:
    Former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Paul Condon becomes the International Cricket Council's new anti-corruption investigator.

  • August 2000:
    Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams are banned from international cricket for the rest of the year for their involvement in the Cronje scandal.

    The punishment, handed out by the United Cricket Board of South Africa, follows admissions made by the two players to the King Commission - but does not apply to domestic cricket.

  • September 2000:
    The chief prosecutor to the King Commission returns to South Africa with transcripts of alleged telephone conversations between Cronje and a London-based bookmaker.

  • 7 October 2000
    Nelson Mandela chastises Cronje for his role in South Africa's match-fixing scandal.

    "It is my duty to say to him 'you have made a serious mistake'," Mandela said after a 45-minute meeting held at Cronje's request.

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