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Saturday, 1 June, 2002, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
'Cronjegate': A timeline
Cronje
Hansie Cronje in the dock after the allegations surfaced
Following Hansie Cronje's death, BBC Sport Online looks back at the match-fixing saga which ended his cricket career.

  • April 2000:
    Delhi Police reveal they have a recording of a conversation on a mobile phone during the one-day series between India and South Africa in March.

    It is alleged the taped voices are South Africa captain Hansie Cronje and a representative of an Indian betting syndicate.

    The voice alleged to be Cronje's, divulges information about the team, including a suggestion that off-spinner Derek Crookes would open the bowling later in the series. The two individuals also agree Herschelle Gibbs should not score more than 20 runs.

    Cronje brought himself on first change and bowled 10 overs for 69 and Gibbs scored 19 in the third match in Faridabad. Crookes opened the bowling the final match.

    Crookes later admitted his astonishment at being asked to open. He conceded 53 runs in six overs.

    Delhi police confirm Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom are also under investigation.

  • April 7:
    Cronje: "I am stunned. The allegations are completely without substance. I have been privileged to play for South Africa since 1992 and I want to assure every South African that I have made 100% effort to win every match that I have played.

    Ali Bacher, United Cricket Board managing director, backs his captain: "I have spoken to Hansie and he says it is absolute rubbish. He is known for his unquestionable integrity and honesty."

  • April 9:
    Cronje adds: "I have never received any sum of money for any match that I have been involved in and have never approached any of the players and asked them if they wanted to fix a game."

  • April 11:
    Cronje calls Ali Bacher at 0300 to inform him he had not been "entirely honest" about his comments of two days ago.

    He admits to having accepted between US$10,000 to $15,000 from a London-based bookmaker, for "forecasting" results, not match-fixing.

    Cronje: "I admit I made an error of judgment and never through it would lead to this." He is sacked as South Africa captain and Shaun Pollock elevated from position of vice-captain.

    Bacher: "We are shattered. The United Cricket Board and the government have been deceived."

  • April 15:
    Doubts now surround England's victory in the last Test at Centurion, where Cronje took the unexpected step of forfeiting an innings.

    Daryll Cullinan later said: "I would like to think that Hansie was acting in the best interests of the game and doing something for the public, but it totally went against the guy I knew. He wasn't in the habit of giving something to the other side or making a game of it."

  • April 16:
    It is revealed that South Africa came closer than originally believed to accepting a $250,000 bribe to throw a one-off international against India in Bombay in 1996. Cronje had initially said the team "laughed it off." But South African team-mates said the offer was discussed in three team meetings before being declined.

    Jonty Rhodes, Dave Richardson and Andrew Hudson were vehemently against it. Brian McMillan said: "Yes, it was bashed around. Some guys are always keen at the end of their careers. It is always a carrot, it is a lot of money."

  • April 17:
    The Guardian newspaper reports that Cronje allegedly accepted an 85,000 bribe as an advance to fix one-day matches in India, according to evidence obtained by Indian police.

  • June 2:
    Cronje blames his errant behaviour which led to the match-fixing scandal on Satan.

    In a bizarre confession, which was made to evangelist Ray McCauley, Cronje admits to having "taken his eyes off Jesus" when Satan approached him.

  • June 7:
    Former South African Test spinner Pat Symcox alleges that the team were offered around $250,000 (150,000) to lose a one-day game, on the first day of the King Commission hearings in Cape Town.

    The inquiry into the Hansie Cronje scandal begins with a stern warning from the investigating judge that witnesses face prosecution if they fail to answer satisfactorily "any question lawfully put to them".

  • June 8:
    Herschelle Gibbs accuses his former captain Cronje of offering him a bribe to throw a match.

    Gibbs tells the King Commission he had agreed to Cronje's offer of $15,000 to score fewer than 20 runs in a one-day match in India earlier this year.

  • June 10:
    Cronje is offered immunity from prosecution, if he makes a full disclosure of his role in match-fixing.

    The South African government suggests the deal after further damning allegations were made against Cronje during three days of evidence to the King Commission.

  • June 15:
    Cronje admits taking large sums of money for giving information to bookmakers and asking his team-mates to play badly.

    But he tells the King Commission South Africa had never "thrown" or "fixed" a match, under his captaincy.

  • June 23:
    Cronje is led away in tears after completing his evidence to the King Commission match-fixing inquiry in Cape Town.

    He breaks down at the end of three days of cross-examination by a panel of lawyers, during which he confessed to receiving around $140,000 from bookmakers.

    But he said: "I hope I can put the money to good use to try to redress the wrongs I have done to my game and my country."

    Cronje earlier admitted hiding money from his wife at their home and trying to convince her that other cash had been earned legitimately from benefits and bonuses.

  • June 26:
    Cronje begs for forgiveness for his involvement in illicit gambling deals. In a statement, published in the Cape Times newspaper, he admits full responsibility for his actions and apologises to the nation.

    "There is no excuse and I have let the (United Cricket Board), the team, the fans and the game down," he said.

  • June 27:
    Former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Paul Condon becomes the International Cricket Council's new anti-corruption investigator.

  • August 2000:
    Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams are banned from international cricket for the rest of the year for their involvement in the Cronje scandal.

    The punishment, handed out by the United Cricket Board of South Africa, follows admissions made by the two players to the King Commission - but does not apply to domestic cricket.

  • October 7:
    Nelson Mandela chastises Cronje for his role in South Africa's match-fixing scandal.

    "It is my duty to say to him 'you have made a serious mistake'," Mandela said after a 45-minute meeting held at Cronje's request.

  • October 11:
    Cronje is banned from cricket for life by the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) as a result of his admission that he received money from bookmakers.

    "The UCBSA council hereby intends to ban Hansie Cronje for life from all activities of the UCBSA and its affiliates," a statement said.

  • October 14:
    Cronje's lawyer Les Sackstein responds immediately by saying that legal steps are being considered to challenge the ban as unlawful.

    Sackstein points out that the ban prevents Cronje earning a living in the media or even coaching under-privileged children.

  • November 2:
    The under-pressure UCB soften their stance on the ban, admitting that Cronje may be allowed back into the sport in future.

    "We acknowledge that, with effort, people are able to rehabilitate themselves over time and there may be an opportunity for the UCB to take cognisance of this possibility in the future," says UCB president Percy Sonn.

  • December 10:
    Cronje's lawyers lodge a court application to overturn the life ban.

    "We've always held the view that what they (the UCB) did was unlawful," Sackstein says.

  • February 22:
    After a three-month campaign by Cronje's lawyers to declare it unlawful, the King Commission comes to an abrupt halt, with Judge King reserving judgement on whether Cronje told the truth.

    "At the moment that is something I have to decide upon," he says. "It is something that is exercising my mind."

    "I have been informed by (chief prosecutor) Shamila Batohi, who has led the evidence at the commission, that there is no evidence implicating any other member of the team, former member of the team, administrator or official.

    "These persons must be regarded as having been cleared."

  • April 1:
    The UCB stance softens further, with Cronje told he may coach in private, away from the auspices of the board.

  • July 2001:
    As preparation for Cronje's appeal gathers pace, speculation that he could return to competitive cricket is quelled but Cronje does reveal that he hopes to coach the national side in the future.

    "I think that one day when it comes along I would certainly like to have that, because I certainly tried my entire career to make South Africa the number one cricket playing country in the world," he tells BBC Radio Five Live.

  • September 26:
    Cronje opens his campaign to get a life ban overturned in the Pretoria High Court. Although not present at the hearing, Cronje submits an affidavit, Cronje accuses the UCB of interfering with his personal life and with his attempts to earn a living.

  • September 27:
    On the second day of the hearing, United Cricket Board senior council Wim Trengove reveals that Cronje - previously banned from all cricket-related activities- was "free to practice as a journalist by attending a match as a spectator and reporting for the print medium."

  • October 17:
    The court rejects Cronje's appeal, but says he can take part in certain coaching and media activities.

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