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banner Tuesday, 8 January, 2002, 16:50 GMT
No way back for Cronje
Percy Sonn
The UBCSA rejected Sonn's comments on Cronje
The United Cricket Board of South Africa have rejected a return for disgraced former captain Hansie Cronje, despite remarks from president Percy Sonn.

Sonn hinted last week that Cronje might be permitted to play a part in South African cricket despite a life ban imposed last year.

He was speaking on the eve of the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Sydney.

"He (Cronje) is a son of South Africa cricket. He is entitled to the freedom and liberties of all South Africans and there is a place for him in our cricket," Sonn said.

But his comments appeared at odds with the official line of the UBCSA.

Shaun Pollock & Graham Ford
Faith kept in Pollock and Ford
The executive committee released a statement, after a meeting with Minister of Sport and Recreation Ngconde Balfour, to refute Sonn's remarks, but refused to criticise their president.

"The UCBSA would like to reiterate its position that former captain Hansie Cronje has been banned for life by the General Council of the UCBSA.

"This decision has been upheld by the High Court of South Africa and endorsed by the International Cricket Council.

"There is no intention to reverse this decision and the UCBSA now considers the matter closed.

"The meeting was not in any way a 'disciplinary hearing', nor was Sonn called in to face the Executive Committee."

The UBCSA also backed Sonn following a selection row that flared up before the Sydney Test.

They announced that they will ask covener of selectors Rushdi Magiet why the original team sheet for the Sydney Test was publically "leaked".

Young black players who are on the fringes of the team must be given the chance to play for their country
UBCSA statement

The incident led to a row between the selectors and Sonn earlier this month.

The selectors had originally picked white batsman Rudolph but were ordered by Sonn to replace him in the team with coloured all-rounder Ontong.

The selection incident will be brought up at the body's General Council on 19 January after Magiet has submitted a report.

The UBCSA outlined their selection policy.

"Where there is an opportunity to do so, young black players who are on the fringes of the team must be given the chance to play for their country," the statement said.

"The process of selecting the national team includes the endorsement of the team by the President and no team selection is complete until it has been endorsed by the President."

The executive committee also voiced their continued support of under-fire captain Shaun Pollock and coaches Graham Ford and Corrie van Zyl.

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