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The BBC's John McIntyre
"Gibb sat nervously before the cameras"
 real 28k

Mihir Bose, Daily Telegraph Sports Investigator
"What's interesting is how South African people are backing Cronje"
 real 28k

Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Bribery admission rocks Cronje inquiry
Hansie Cronje
Hansie Cronje: Has yet to give evidence
A top South African Test cricketer has accused his former captain Hansie Cronje of offering him a bribe to throw a match.

Herschelle Gibbs told 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.

In testimony on the second day of the government inquiry into the match-fixing scandal, Gibbs said he went on to score 74 runs off 53 balls and was not paid.

The confession casts doubt over Gibbs' cricketing future, with the chief of the South African selectors, Kepler Wessels, warning that the opening batsman was now in "serious trouble".

"Hansie appeared in my room with a big smile on his face saying that someone was prepared to offer me $15,000 for scoring less than 20," the opener said.


Hershelle Gibbs
Gibbs: Thought of parents
"I thought of my mother - my parents were getting divorced, my father had a part-time job and I would have to look after my mother - so I said yes.

"Hansie said the same bloke would give (room mate) Henry (Williams) $15,000 if he went for not less than 50 runs in his bowling. The team was to get less than 270," he said.

Gibbs said the targets before the fifth one-day international were not met with the team scoring more than 300 runs.

Earlier on Thursday, Derek Crookes told the commission, headed by retired Judge Edwin King, he believed another Cronje offer of $250,000 to lose a game against India in 1996 was "immoral" and could "jeopardise" his career.

Immoral offer

His story backed up the one told by Pat Symcox on the opening day of the hearing, relating to a game which was played in Bombay at the end of the tour.

Crookes said he had been approached by Cronje on a flight to Bombay the previous day and gained the impression that the disgraced former captain had already spoken to several other players.

Crookes told the commission: "I thought it was immoral, the wrong thing to do and could jeopardise my career."

Crookes alleged that Cronje wanted no-one to find out about the offer.

"It was one of the reasons why I stood up. I had just got married and wasn't prepared to hide anything from my wife," said Crookes.



I thought it was immoral, the wrong thing to do and could jeopardise my career

Derek Crookes
Referring to the conversation on the flight to Bombay, Crookes said his first reaction was disbelief.

"I asked him if he was joking. He said I should think about it overnight."

The offer had then been put to the team at a meeting that evening.

Although Crookes could not recall whether all the players were present, no management were there, he said.

Opposition to plan

Again Cronje had advised the players to think about it overnight, but at a meeting on the morning of the game the offer was rejected.

Crookes said he, Hudson, Daryll Cullinan and David Richardson, had led the opposition to accepting the offer.

"Hansie said we were either all in or all out," said Crookes.

"If one of us was out we were not going to do it."

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See also:

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Symcox in new Cronje revelation
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Cronje inquiry goes public
10 Apr 00 | Cricket
SA demand 'Cronje tapes'
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Cronje blames Satan
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Woolmer backs Cronje recall