A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Hansie Cronje remembered and pardoned for past mistakes

Cronje admitted to match-fixing in 2000

South African players recently paid tribute to their deceased countryman Hansie Cronje, on the 10th anniversary of his death.

Cronje, who shocked the cricketing world by admitting to match-fixing during a game in India in 2000, was banned for life from the sport, and during his testimony to the Commission of Inquiry, which was set up by the South African government, he tearfully said that “the devil made me do it”.

The Commission never came to a final verdict on the case, since Cronje was killed in 2002 when a goods plane he hitched a ride on crashed.

There was also an investigation launched into how the crash occurred, but it too ended inconclusive, even though there had been speculation that the crash had been set up by the bookmakers since Cronje knew too much.

Speaking exclusively to the Afrikaans daily Beeld, Hansie’s father, Erwin Cronje, said: “It feels as though he will appear at any moment.”

Fans of Cronje declared him the best captain South Africa ever had on Facebook, and even some of his former teammates have forgiven him for the mistakes he made.

“I celebrate and embrace today only the good memories (of Cronje),” retired fast bowler, Makhaya Ntini, told the Afrikaans daily Beeld.

Pat Symcox, stated that the Cronje saga had divided the nation and left a bad taste in many fans’ mouths, but, he also noted that it was time for the country to move on and forget the past.

Former paceman Fanie de Villiers, who feels as if Cronje did 90 per cent good and 10 per cent bad throughout his career, said: “Anyone who influenced the scales like that, will be forgiven.”

There was also a special service held at Cronje’s old school, Grey’s College, located in Bloemfontein, where a wall of remembrance was erected in his memory.

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