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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Cronje tributes flood in
Former South African captain Hansie Cronje
Cronje was rebuilding his life as a businessman

News of Hansie Cronje's death in a plane crash has left the cricket world in a state of shock.

Tributes have poured in from around the world of cricket for the 32-year-old former South Africa captain.


Former South Africa president Nelson Mandela said: "Here was a young man courageously and with dignity rebuilding his life after the setback he suffered a while ago.

"The manner in which he was doing that, rebuilding his life and public career, promised to make him once more a role model of how one deals with adversity."

Current South Africa president Thabo Mbeki added: "(His) prowess inspired our youth to greater heights. We shall remember his moments of sheer brilliance on the cricket pitch."

Nelson Mandela
Mandela: Courageous and dignified

Nottinghamshire coach Clive Rice told BBC Sport Online: "It is absolutely tragic that this has happened.

"He was a good player, a very good captain and despite what he did, I thought he was a hell of a nice guy. A fantastic bloke, in fact."

Former South Africa coach Bob Woolmer was also generous in his tribute: "He was the best captain I ever worked with - a true leader of men. He was hard, fair, kind and generous and destined for greatness.

"In the last two years of his life, he changed inexorably and he found out who his true friends were."

Former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels, from whom Cronje took over as skipper, said: "It is a tragic end to what has been a very unfortunate two years for him.

"He had an excellent work ethic (as a player) and he was the sort of guy you never had to worry too much about. You knew he was doing the right thing.
Notts manager Clive Rice
Clive Rice: Cronje was good company

Current South African opener Gary Kirsten said: "I knew him better than most and he was a good friend, he was good for my career and he got the best out of me.

United Cricket Board of South Africa president Percy Sonn added: "Hansie was an excellent cricketer and a very popular and successful captain, who led his team to some great achievements and who gave much to cricket in this country during his career."

Australia Test captain Steve Waugh said: "I always admired Hansie as an opponent and enjoyed his friendship.

"Unfortunately, he didn't finish his career as everyone would have hoped but now it is timely to forgive him his shortcomings and remember the good times."

Pakistan captain Waqar Younis said: "I think the match-fixing controversy and stigma associated with him is now buried with his death.

Kepler Wessels
Wessels handed on the captaincy to Cronje
"We should remember him for his positive contributions to South African and international cricket. I think he was a very dedicated cricketer and captain.

"I found him to be a gentleman and good ambassador for his country whenever I got a chance to play against him."

One of Waqar's predecessors as Pakistan captain, Javed Miandad, went on: "He may have been a fallen hero but no one can take away the fact that he was a great cricketer and sportsman for his country."

Pakistani wicketkeeper Rashid Latif said: "There is no doubt he tainted an otherwise brilliant sporting career but if anything he needs to be remembered for finally is speaking the truth."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"It's a tragic end"
Former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels
"He was making a new life for himself"
Former South Africa coach Bob Woolmer
"I'm shocked, numb and devasted"

Cronje dies

The aftermath

Cronje profile

SPORTS TALK

IN PICTURES
Links to more Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.


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