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Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Donald stands by banned Cronje
Donald and Cronje
Cronje was Donald's captain for South Africa
Allan Donald believes Hansie Cronje could have returned to play provincial cricket had his appeal against a life ban been overturned.

A judge upheld Cronje's ban from the game at Pretoria High Court on Wednesday.

"Hansie wanted to at least play club cricket, but he could easily have coached or even played at provincial level again," Donald told BBC Sport Online.

"He was keen to get back and play but officials both in South Africa and worldwide would have found that hard to allow."


I hope that one day he can be involved again and give his input to the team
Allan Donald

The United Cricket Board (UCB) was ordered to allow Cronje to attend matches as a spectator, but his use of press facilities remains at the board's discretion.

As Cronje's former team-mate at club and international level, Donald hopes his childhood friend will not be too disappointed after being allowed to work in the media.

"At least he can start working in television, be allowed into grounds and near the players again.

"He can start working again basically, and people are going to be queuing up to sign him."

Woolmer
Woolmer says Cronje has been punished enough

Cronje is believed to have been offered a deal by South African broadcaster SuperSport to work on domestic matches.

Donald said he did not think the board would ever soften its stance against the disgraced former captain, but hoped that things would change in the future.

"I can't see the UCB allowing him back.

"They've made their point clear - they don't want him to play again or get near the South African squad," he said.

"But I hope that one day he can be involved again and give his input to the team.

'Overly punished'

"Lots of South Africans would love to see him back but, understandably, fans worldwide would probably have difficulty with it."

Former South Africa coach Bob Woolmer felt that Cronje would be glad that he could be involved in the game again but said he had been punished enough.

"The judgement didn't surprise me and I think Cronje will be a little bit relieved that he is still involved in cricket," he told BBC Sport Online.

"I don't like to see people overly punished, as I believe Cronje has been in this instance.

"I have a view that people who have done wrong have the opportunity to be rehabilitated."

Will Hansie Cronje's ban be lifted?

The Sonn affair

Judge upholds ban

South African reaction

English reaction

Cronje profile

The corruption story

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See also:

17 Oct 01 | Cricket
17 Oct 01 | Sports Talk
17 Oct 01 | Cricket
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