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The BBC's John Mcintyre in Capetown
"He poured out his heart"
 real 28k

Hansie Cronje
"I was not honest and I apologise unreservedly"
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Hansie Cronje
"Once we set foot on the field we could not go through with it"
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Hansie Cronje
"I was not asked to throw the Centurion test against England. The result was genuine"
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Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Cronje admits taking bribes
Hansie Cronje giving evidence to the King Commission
Hansie Cronje giving evidence to the King Commission
Disgraced former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje has admitted taking large sums of money for giving information to bookmakers and asking his team-mates to play badly.

But he told the King Commission into match-fixing allegations South Africa had never "thrown" or "fixed" a match, under his captaincy.

He also claimed ex-international captains Mohammed Azharuddin and Salim Malik were both aware of approaches made to him by bookmakers with a view to fixing matches.

Following Cronje's appearance on Thursday however, in comments published by the Indian news agency, PTI, Azharuddin denied such claims and said he did not know the person referred to by Cronje.

Meanwhile, India's top investigating agency, the CBI, said it would look into the allegations made against Azharuddin.

Cronje claimed he was offered 10,000 US dollars to throw a one-day international in 1995 and was asked on the morning of the match by Pakistan's Salim Malik whether or not contact had been made by a man he said was know to him only as John.

Until now I have not named or implicated any other person and I fear that revelations in this statement may put me in danger

Hansie Cronje
He added that after the third Test of a series against India in 1996 Azharuddin set up a meeting between him and another man who gave him 50,000 dollars and subsequently asked him to speak to his team-mates with a view to throwing a match for a payment of 200,000 dollars.

Cronje said he never approached his team, but as South Africa lost the match, he pocketed the money anyway.

Cronje also told the inquiry he gave a bookmaker information during the final Test between South Africa and England held at Centurion Park in January 2000 - upon which suspicion has fallen since the match-fixing scandal broke.

Cronje said he later received around 5,000 and a leather jacket, "on consideration of future information".

But he insisted the outcome of the rain-affected match which England, in which both sides forfeited an innings in order to make a game of it, was "in no way manipulated".

Cronje had earlier told the King Commission he was "severing all links with the game" and will not play cricket again at representative level.

'Enormous debt'

He admitted being untruthful to the United Cricket Board of South Africa about match-fixing allegations and said it was "time to try to repay part of the enormous debt I owe to cricket".

He added: "Until now I have not named or implicated any other person and I fear that revelations in this statement may put me in danger. I have already received death threats."

Hansie made his pledge at the start of his testimony to the commission which has already heard from several high-profile South African cricketers that Cronje approached them with offers of money to throw matches.

I was not asked by him to throw or fix the match. The declaration was a genuine attempt to breathe new life into the match

Hansie Cronje on the Centurion Test
During his statement, which lasted 45 minutes, he told how a bookmaker, whom he named "Marlon Arinstan", the correct spelling of which he didn't know, had approached him on the eve of the final day of the England Test, and asked him to call England captain Nasser Hussain up to his room.

Cronje said he refused the request because he did not want Nasser Hussain involved.

He said: "Marlon said if we declared and made a game of it he would give 500,000 rand to a charity of my choice, and give me a gift."

He said he had been paid 50,000 rand after the match but the charity donation, never materialised.

He said: "It was wrong to take any money from Marlon.

"I was not asked by him to throw or fix the match. The declaration was a genuine attempt to breathe new life into the match."

In his testimony, Cronje urged the United Cricket Board of South Africa not to close the door on the careers of Herschelle Gibbs, Henry Williams and Pieter Strydom, who have previously admitted agreeing to Cronje's requests to play badly.

The former South African captain will return to the witness box on Tuesday.

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15 Jun 00 | South Asia
Azhar denies Cronje claims
14 Jun 00 | Cricket
Aussies demand proof
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