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Monday, 3 June, 2002, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
School remembers Cronje
Rescue workers at the scene in the Outeniqua mountains
Cronje's plane was shattered by the impact
A memorial service for former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje is to be held at his former school in Bloemfontein.

The service at Grey College has been organised following 32-year-old Cronje's death in a plane crash.

It is throught that his funeral will take place on Wednesday, also in Bloemfontein, but details have yet to be confirmed.

The crash happened on Saturday in mountains near the city of George, about 500 kilometres east of Cape Town, killing all three people on board.

Investigators have now retrieved the cockpit vice recorder and flight data recorder from the Hawker Siddeley 748 cargo plane.

"The investigation continues, but the probable cause of the crash will not be known for some time," said Trevor Davids, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority.

  Hansie Cronje factfile
1987-88: Made his first-class debut for Orange Free State
1991-92: Made Test match debut for South Africa against Windies
1992-93: Hit his maiden Test century against India
1993-94: Had his first taste of Test captaincy, losing to Australia in Adelaide
1994-95: Officially appointed South Africa captain against New Zealand
1995: Joined Leicestershire as overseas player
1999: Captained South Africa to the semi-final of the World Cup in England
2002: Killed in plane crash

Cronje was one of cricket's most controversial figures, having been banned from the game for life after admitting that he accepted money to fix matches.

At the time of the crash, he was trying to rebuild his life in a new job as financial director of a construction company.

Tributes have poured in for Cronje, including one from former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Dr Ali Bacher, head of the 2003 Cricket World Cup organising committee said: "He was a natural born leader of men and his greatest attribute was his terrific ability to inspire and motivate his teammates.

"It is also important to record that Hansie Cronje's honesty at the King Commission of inquiry (into match fixing) facilitated a process for world cricket to address the problem and start stamping it out."

But the England and Wales Cricket Board decided it would be inappropriate for its players to wear a black armband during the Test match at Edgbaston against Sri Lanka because of the damage Cronje did to the game's reputation.

"The issue was discussed between the England team management and senior executives of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"While everyone accepts this is a human tragedy and Hansie had many fine qualities as a cricketer, ultimately he will be remembered as someone whose actions brought disgrace upon the game and we thought it would be inappropriate to honour him in this way," said ECB spokesman Andrew Walpole.

Cronje's priest, Pastor Ray McCauley, has, however, recalled him as a "person with a huge, big heart", always ready to visit orphanages and schools.

And the South African media has also tried to take a positive view of Cronje's life and cricket career.

"He was a charismatic, natural leader and a great sportsman," said an editorial in The Citizen newspaper.

"As his country's most successful cricket captain, he borught pride and joy to millions."

BBC News' Clarence Mitchell
"Cronje was trying to make up for his mistake"
Ali Bacher managing director of South African UCB
"I'm devastated"

Cronje dies

The aftermath

Cronje profile


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