~~UCBSA hasn~~t softened Cronje stand~~

Published: Monday, April 2, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Cape Town: United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA's) lawyer has denied media reports that The Board has softened its stance on banned former national captain Hansie Cronje. In an article headlined, ''Cricket body relents on Hansie'', Tuesday's 'Cape Times' newspaper said the UCBSA was taking a ''less severe approach'' on the former national captain. ''... Cronje may take part in cricket activities in South Africa as a private coach, provided he does so outside the ambit of the UCBSA's activities,'' the paper reported. However, UCBSA lawyer Alex Abercrombie said the organisation's outlook on the Cronje affair remained unaltered. ''There's been no change at all in what the resolution said originally,'' Abercrombie told Reuters. ''He's even allowed to come and watch cricket matches, as long as it's as an ordinary spectator.'' ''If the Cricket Board is prepared to discuss things, it can contact us,'' Cronje's lawyer Les Sackstein told the 'Cape Times'. ''Hansie's interests would be protected at all costs.'' However Sackstein declined to comment on the issue when contacted by Reuters. Last October, the UCBSA banned Cronje for life as punishment for his role in cricket's global match-fixing crisis. The UCBSA's October resolution read ''The UCB council hereby intends to ban Hansie Cronje for life from all activities of the UCB and its affiliates (South Africa's 11 provincial unions).'' Cronje admitted to the South African King Commission of inquiry in June that he had taken approximately $ 100,000 from bookmakers to manipulate matches. But Cronje's lawyers challenged his life ban in court papers lodged in December, to which the UCBSA responded last week. (c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions

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