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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
South Africa v India 2000
The lonely figure of Hansie Cronje
Hansie Cronje's trudge from cricket was a shameful one
Any look-back at South Africa's most recent tour to India must be dominated by the name of one man - Hansie Cronje.

For that trip proved to be the final chapter in Cronje's Test career and sparked the match-fixing controversy which touched every corner of the cricket world.

Less than a month after the fifth and final one-day international, Cronje was sacked as South Africa skipper with his reputation in tatters.

Cronje and teammates Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom were charged with "cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy relating to match fixing and betting" by Indian police - allegations which have still not been, and probably never will be, heard in court.

Pieter Strydom
Pieter Strydom became embroiled in the world match-fixing scandal
The charges were based on a tapes of a telephone conversation, supposedly between Cronje and a bookmaker, but all four protested their innocence.

The pressure on Cronje intensified, however, and he later told the King Commission hearings, set up by the United Cricket Board of South Africa, that he had accepted money from bookmakers in return for match information.

And Gibbs and seam bowler Henry Williams admitted they accepted offers from Cronje to under-perform in the final one-day game in Nagpur in return for $15,000.

It led to them being banned for the rest of the year, even though they did not go through with their end of the deal and were not in fact paid.

Events on the field during the tour had served to confirm South Africa's growing reputation as a major force in Test cricket.

  The scorecard
1st Test (Mumbai); South Africa won by four wickets
2nd Test (Bangalore); South Africa won by an innings and 71 runs
The opening game in Bombay saw Sachin Tendulkar score 97 in India's first innings total of 225 and then take three wickets as South Africa were dismissed for 176.

But four for 24 by Shaun Pollock and three wickets from Cronje turned the match on its head as the home side collapsed to 113 all out, leaving South Africa to make 164 for six to win by four wickets.

The tourists won the second Test at Bangalore by the emphatic margin of an innings and 71 runs - a game in which Boje emerged as a spin bowling all-rounder of genuine quality.

After rushing India out for 158, South Africa batted solidly right down the order to compile a score of 479, despite Anil Kumble's six for 143, with Klusener (97), Kallis (95), Boje (85) and Gary Kirsten (79) the chief contributors.

Mohammad Azharuddin made a defiant 102 in India's second innings but they could only muster 250 as Boje spun them to defeat with figures of five for 83.

India celebrate taking a wicket
India gained some consolation with victory in the one-day series
India gained a measure of revenge by taking the one-day series 3-2.

They were games which saw some sparkling batting by both sides - notably at Kochi and Vadodam where India, batting second, made scores of 302 and 283 to win and Nagpur where they lost by only 10 runs after making 310 in reply to South Africa's 320 for seven.

The tourists returned home after losing to Pakistan in the final of a triangular series in Sharjah, Cronje's final appearance for his country after 69 Test matches and 188 one-day internationals.

See also:

24 Jul 01 |  Sports Talk
Should Cronje be allowed back?
24 Jul 01 |  Cricket
Cronje comes out fighting
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