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Former South African captain Kepler Wessels
"It's been very damning evidence"
 real 28k

The BBC's Martin Turner in Cape Town
"It's alleged the cricket captain was offering his team-mates money to pay badly"
 real 28k

John McIntyre reports for BBC News
"This enquiry has brought South African cricket to its knees"
 real 28k

Friday, 9 June, 2000, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Cronje bribery scandal deepens
Hansie Cronje
Cronje: Deluge of evidence against him
Further damning allegations of corruption have been made against disgraced South Africa captain Hansie Cronje as three more players gave evidence to the match-fixing inquiry.

Seam bowler Henry Williams told the King Commission in Cape Town on Friday that he had accepted an offer from Cronje of $15,000 to play badly in a one-day international against India.

If Hansie Cronje could do it, then I could do it too

Henry Williams

And all-rounder Pieter Strydom said that he had been told by Cronje that he could make money if he played badly in a Test, but had ignored it as a practical joke.

The latest revelations follow the testimony of opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs on Thursday, who alleged that he and Williams had each agreed to accept $15,000 to play badly against India.

Four players - Gibbs, Williams, Strydom and Nicky Boje - were implicated by Delhi police when the match-fixing allegations against Cronje first broke in April.

Boje denied any approaches or involvement in match-fixing, saying he was "quite shocked" to have been implicated by the man who captained him at school, provincial and national level.

"He's a close friend. I'm a Christian and I forgive him for what he's done and for mentioning my name, " he said.

Williams told the inquiry that he had agreed to the deal because Gibbs had come to a similar agreement, and because he respected his captain's judgement.
Henry Williams
Williams: Damning allegations against Cronje

"If Hansie Cronje could do it, then I could do it too," he said.

"It was not right. I was stupid, I should have known better."

But Strydom denied had been approached, or agreed to any match-fixing during the one-day series against India.

Hansie said I could make 70,000 rand if South Africa got less than 250 in the first innings

Pieter Strydom

He said Cronje had spoken to him in Mumbai, ahead of the second Test against India.

"Hansie said I could make 70,000 rand ($10,000) if South Africa got less than 250 in the first innings. I said no - but that if I had played 80 or 90 Tests I might consider it," said Strydom.

He went on to say that Cronje was known as "a bit of a practical joker" and felt that he had "passed some sort of test" by turning the offer down.

Strydom said his captain approached him again after practice and said: "How about 140,000 rand ($20,000)?"

The all-rounder said that he had later joked with Cronje that if they had taken the offer, they could have made a lot of money. South Africa won the match, despite a first innings total of just 172.

Strydom also revealed that he had asked for odds on South Africa beating England in his rain-hit debut Test at Centurion, at the instigation of Cronje. The bookmakers were not giving odds and no bet was placed, he said.

On Thursday, Gibbs became the first person to admit to match-fixing since former captain Cronje was sacked for taking money from an Indian bookmaker.

He told the judicial inquiry into match-fixing allegations he accepted Cronje's offer of money to score fewer than 20 runs during a one-day game in March this year.
Pieter Strydom
Strydom: Cronje a "practical joker"

The opener then said that he reneged on the deal, scoring more than 70 runs, and was consequently never paid.

Williams said his offer required him to concede at least 50 runs off his 10 overs. In the event, he broke down with a shoulder injury after just 11 balls.

His startling admission rocked the King Commission which heard Gibbs' evidence on the second day of its inquiry.

In light of his confession, an emergency meeting of the United Cricket Board of South Africa decided to exclude Gibbs from the tour of Sri Lanka which is set to take place in July.

Despite his admission, Gibbs had continued to deny any involvement as late as the week before the inquiry began.

It is understood he lied to both his lawyer and the South African cricket board president Dr Ali Bacher, and was only persuaded to tell the truth after being warned he faced jail if he continued the deception.

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