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Ashley Mallett
"I was not too happy from a coaching aspect"
 real 28k

Steve Waugh
"It was a very hard Test match and to me it was played at 100 per cent"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 08:52 GMT 09:52 UK
Cronje faces fresh controversy
South African Cricket Board chief Ali Bacher
Ali Bacher: Fresh headache for the South African board
Former South African captain Hansie Cronje is at the centre of fresh allegations concerning his team selection and tactics during a Test match against Australia in January 1998.

The Australians won the game at the Sydney Cricket Ground by an innings and 21 runs despite Cronje's 88 in South Africa's first innings.



South Africa folded so badly, it was embarrassing

Ashley Mallett

But former Australian spinner Ashley Mallett, who acted as an adivisor for South Africa during the tour, has revealed his concerns about the team's performance.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: "At the time I sensed something was wrong. In the light of recent revelations, lots of little things began to add up."

Money

Cronje lost the captaincy last month after admitting that he received money from an Indian bookmaker in exchange for information.

His revelation sparked an emergency meeting of the International Cricket Council, who are to introduce new measures to combat match-fixing, and Cronje is to face a judicial hearing in South Africa next month.


Hansie Cronje playing for South Africa
Cronje - Batted well in South Africa's first innings
Mallett faxed South African Cricket Board president Dr Ali Bacher about his concerns last week.

"Officially Australia won the game but, really, South Africa folded so badly, it was embarrassing. I believe this match is one that needs investigation," he said.

South Africa batted first at the Sydney Cricket Ground after Cronje won the toss and were all out for 287. Australia replied with 421 - Mark Waugh making exactly 100 - and then ran through the tourists for just 113 with Shane Warne taking six for 34.

Suspicious

Mallett believes the amount of leg-stump bowling to Waugh was suspicious and also claims South Africa's bowlers took it easy on last man Glenn McGrath, whose innings of 14 was his highest Test score at that time.


Australian batsman Steve Waugh
Waugh - "Astounded" by allegations
"If there is any concern about this game, anything untoward, it should be investigated," he added.

The match was current Australian skipper Steve Waugh's 100th Test and he decribed it as a "really tough game".

"I had a sore wrist and sore legs from the battering Allan Donald gave me when I was trying to get a hundred for Australia, so if that wasn't cricket played at 100 per cent, then I'm a real bad judge - and I've played a lot of cricket," Waugh added.

"Let's get the concrete proof and then we can make some comments. Until then, I think people should keep quiet."

The Australian Cricket Board has backed Mallett, however, but insists the matter does not require action by them.

"Ashley has done the right thing. We assume this will be dealt with in the right manner in South Africa," said a spokesman.

Waugh, meanwhile, has dismissed quotes attributed to former Pakistan batsman Salim Malik that both sides accepted money to lose a match in 1994.

"All I can say is that I'm as certain as I can be that no Australian has ever been involved in match fixing or bribery. I've said it before and I'll stick by it."

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See also:

10 Apr 00 | Cricket
SA demand 'Cronje tapes'
08 Apr 00 | Cricket
SA cricket captain charged
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