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Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Cricket owes Cronje nothing
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew gives his stark verdict after Hansie Cronje loses his appeal.

A sigh of relief will have reverberated around the cricketing world at the news that Hansie Cronje, the former captain of South Africa, remains outlawed from the game.

There was just a chance, by using legal argument, that the life ban imposed on him by the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) could have been overturned.

That would have allowed Cronje to be an official coach or commentator - or even play in South Africa.

And, as well as being a slap in the face for everyone who loves the game, it could even have seen the UCBSA expelled from the ICC.

Game's reputation shattered

Just in case anyone has an ounce of sympathy left for Cronje, let us not forget that he and his cohorts damaged the credibility and reputation of the game more than ever before.

This is a man who not only admitted to match fixing, but also admitted to attempting to bribe young and vulnerable players in the South African team to underachieve.

Not once in his testimony did he volunteer information. He only admitted to evidence when it was presented by others.

This has led to a widely-held belief that what we know about Cronje, Azharuddin and others is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Spectators suspicious

Thanks to Hansie Cronje, spectators throughout the world have begun to question what they are watching, and wondering if it is genuine, or not.

Cronje will still be able to coach cricket, but only at schools that are not under the umbrella of the UCBSA.

And while he can work as a journalist, the Board will block his accreditation, so he will not be allowed to commentate on any cricket ground in the country.

As if he could! How on earth does Hansie Cronje possibly imagine himself providing expert comments on television during a test match?

What arrogance! In a nutshell, the game of cricket owes Hansie Cronje absolutely nothing, and is much the better off without him.

Jonathan Agnew
"This man is a cheat - he has wrecked the reputation of cricket"
See also:

17 Oct 01 |  Sports Talk
Cronje case: Too harsh?
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