Before match fixing dogged the cricket world, Hansie Cronje was my favorite cricket captain who played good cricket and was a gentleman in the gentleman’s game. His suave nature and quiet demeanor reflected a calm that was obviously just a farce. He put his heart and soul into cricket and he led his team successfully. After the ban on playing International cricket was lifted from South African cricket, Hansie Cronje was the first captain to lead team South Africa and he did it style. India hosted their first International tour and, though they hadn’t played International cricket in a really long time, they gave India a hard time on the field with India just about winning the series.
Hansie Cronje was a star in the eyes of many but the skies came crashing after the betting scam rocked the world of cricket. The legend that he grew to become broke down when he confessed to the fact ‘the devils made him do it’. His involvement in the match fixing scam was confirmed and then began his rapid fall from fame. He was banned for life from cricket and he lived the life of a sinner.
Being a great leader, he stepped down with grace but was never allowed his peace. Dogged by the media and deserted by fellow team mates he led a very distanced life for accepting the truth. Refusing to lie and accepting his mistake was a good deed but the fact remains that he was part of the match fixing scam.
The scam broke out in 2000, 2 years later Hansie Cronje died in an air crash on June 4th that ended his life. Many believe that bookmakers were keen to end his life to keep him silent but the details of investigations were never revealed. The ‘devils’ that made him do it, probably took his life too. We will never know but what we do know is that the world of cricket lost a very good captain. As Pat symcox said “he was 90% good and 10% bad” We will never know what led a great captain like him to do get into the dark world of match fixing but it is time we forgave him and moved on.
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