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Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Cronje case: Too harsh?
Former South Africa cricket captain Hansie Cronje has had his appeal against a lifetime ban from playing cricket dismissed.

Will the ruling help wipe out corruption in cricket or has Cronje been used as a scapegoat?


Cronje had hoped to get his lifetime ban overturned based on the premise that the ruling has affected his personal life and right to make a living.

But Pretoria High Court has dismissed the former captain's appeal, and instead made several small changes to the ban conditions, allowing him to take part in certain coaching and media activities.

Cronje is now free to coach in schools but is unable to return in any capacity to the national team.

He can also undertake work as a journalist and commentator, although it looks likely that the United Cricket Board of South Africa will limit his access to the press box and broadcast facilities.

Does Cronje's punishment fit the crime or has he been treated too harshly?


He is fortunate that the law has not taken harsher action against him
Mukesh Kasanjee, South Africa

Anyone can make a mistake. He's also confessed his crime. It's time now that he was given another chance. He's a wonderful player and for the sake of cricket he should be called back to the national side.
S.M.Husain, England

A mistake? He was fully aware of his actions. As a captain, a hero and a man of God he had a duty to uphold his status - but he chose to cheat and took the money. His punishment fits the status he abused.
Nigel, UK/SA

Cronje has dishonoured the game of cricket for the sake of a few dollars. This has had the effect of bringing the game into disrepute worldwide. Therefore in my opinion he got what he deserved.
Phil T, Oman

I don't think Cronje has been treated harshly at all. In fact, I feel that he is fortunate that the law has not taken harsher actions against him.
Mukesh Kasanjee, South Africa

The punishment is too harsh. He should be allowed to play active cricket again. Don't forget he contributed so much towards cricket in general. Also, he has already apologised for his crime.
Shailesh Pandey, India

Why does he have to suffer when other players who have been involved in bribery are allowed to play? I also think that it's ironic that someone from Australia thinks it's a fitting punishment when members of the Australian team have been accused of match fixing and nothing was done about it!
Karen, US

He should be allowed to coach and pass on what he knows (about cricket) to youngsters
Adesh Sochan, Trinidad & Tobago
In another section of 'Sports Talk' on the BBC that discusses the 'Return of Mike Tyson', we see almost everybody applauding the return of a convicted rapist who has served time in jail. In the world of cricket, however, we are condemning a man who has publicly apologized and undergone retribution in front of the whole world. Aren't we adopting double standards here?

If cricket were to generate revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars for every match, I guess we would be willing to welcome Cronje with open arms. Everybody needed a scapegoat and found one in Cronje, whereas people like Shane Warne and Mark Waugh have been shielded by their own cricket boards because they are superstars. Every human being makes mistakes and needs to be forgiven. Hansie Cronje is no exception and deserves a second chance to get on with his life.
Sathya Kothandram, Cincinnati, USA

I don't think Cronje has been particularly harshly treated - the appropriate comparison is probably with Ben Johnson who was completely frozen out after his doping scandal, and Cronje's deeds weren't much better.

That said, letting him pay back by coaching is at least one "constructive" way for him to really pay back those he betrayed - although only at the lowest level - never as national coach. Letting him earn money in the media is in my opinion less palatable. But then, what kids want to be coached by a cheat - even though he is a good cricketer.
Jarle Brinchmann, Norwegian in Germany

Cronje's international career may be over, but he should be allowed to coach and pass on what he knows (about cricket) to youngsters. Given South Africa's past racial history and subsequent reconciliation, forgiveness for his indiscretion should be possible.
Adesh Sochan, Trinidad & Tobago

A man is not judged by one act of his life
Adrian Zahid, USA
The only thing that Hanse has going for him is that in the end he came clean. I admired the man as a player but feel that his punishment is fitting. The rife corruption in world cricket over the years came close to destroying the game. Even now, an unexpected result is viewed with some suspicion. Perhaps it's a bit harsh not letting him coach kids, but if this demonstrates the severe consequences of such errant actions to other players, then it will be a good thing.
Idris, UK

Cronje has been treated more than fairly. In fact, he has gotten off lightly. In a country where just about everyone complains about corruption, how can he be allowed back? Especially as he is seen to be living well (a R1m house) and being offered high profile media interviews. So what is the message if they allow him back?
Kerry, South Africa

I think that Cronje should be allowed to return to the South African side to play cricket. It is true that he made a serious error in judgement and accepted money, however a man is not judged by one act of his life. He should be allowed to come back and be given a chance to redeem himself. What a story it could be of a man who was cast out of the game because of a mistake but came back to lead SA to victory in the world cup, 2003.
Adrian Zahid, USA

When Tyson is allowed to come back after biting ears of his opponent, Cronje should be allowed to play!
Uthams, USA

He committed a wrong doing, but not a crime! Surely he has paid for his mistake through the international cricket world shaming him. Let him pass on what he has learnt to our youngsters and let's forget and forgive!
Gail, South African

The ban should not be for life. He has cheated - he admitted it and has suffered the consequences and paid the penalty. Perhaps sportsmen found guilty of taking drugs should have a life ban rather than only a couple of years. If they can go back to their sport so should Hanse. I wish him all the best.
Val, UK

It's a bad idea for him to be allowed back into anything connected to cricket
Lesley, South Africa

Cronje's punishment is fitting. Imagine if a soccer player admitted he took money to fix matches, would he play again? And as for teaching children, what is he going to teach "How to get away with it" !
Mal Walker, Australia

He has been treated very fairly; in fact he has got off lightly. If he was not punished it would have made a mockery of the rules. As a captain and ambassador he has set a bad example and it would encourage others to cheat, as they know nothing major is going to happen to them. I think it's a bad idea for him to be allowed back into anything connected to cricket especially not to coach any team, school or national.
Lesley, South Africa

He has been treated very fairly, in fact he has got off lightly. If he was not punished it would have made a mockery of the rules, and as a captain and ambassador he has set a bad example. I think it's a bad idea for him to be allowed back into anything connected to cricket, especially coaching, at school or national level.
Lesley, South Africa

This is all seems to say to me that he's happy to "admit his guilt" and "deal with the consequences" at the time, but now that a period of time has gone by he is suddenly starting to realise exactly what the consequences are. Personally I think that his ban should stand, as to reduce or overturn the decision would send the wrong message out about how the sport deals with those that have broken its rules.
Matt, England (Reading)

He has suffered enough
Ali Rehman, Pakistan

Cronje has not been treated too harshly at all. He may appear to be because the other nations are treating their errant players too leniently, Australia being the worst culprit.
Ramana, UK

I don't think that anyone should have a life ban on sports. Cronje has done a lot for South African cricket and also cricket in general. It would be a loss to the cricketing world if he was not able to contribute - also cricket is big enough to give individuals a chance to make amends.
Neil, UK

Cronje hasn't been treated harshly. Let nobody be mistaken as to what he done. As captain of one of the best teams in the world he fixed aspects of the game, and influenced others to do so all for the sake of dirty money.
Ian Batch, England

I appreciate his courage to stand tall on his decision of accepting bribes while we see many players still cheating on their countries and at the same time rejecting the claims. He knew he had done bad and therefore he knew he had to suffer the consequences but I guess now he has suffered enough and therefore should be given a second chance by overturning his life ban to a fine.
Ali Rehman, Pakistan

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