Irrelevant matches must cease: Cronje

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2001, 23:11 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje has said if match- fixing in the game is to be permanently eliminated, "irrelevant" One-day games should be done away with. Cronje, whose admission to involvement in match-fixing early last year led to the King Commission and a later life ban from the game on the former national hero, was commenting on the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) report on match-fixing, which was released on Wednesday. He did not elaborate on what he meant by "irrelevant" games when he spoke to the Afrikaans daily 'Beeld'. "The International Cricket Council must realise that players will be threatened if they are willing to talk," Cronje said in reaction to allegations made in the report about widespread match-fixing charges, including murder. The report did not name the informants who, Paul Condon, head of the ICC anti-corruption unit, said, feared for their lives. Cronje also said South African players should become part of the executive committee and the disciplinary committees of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA). He was very explicit and had strong views on the involvement of players in the administration of cricket. "At least two players should serve in the executive committee of the UCBSA. The disciplinary committee should also include players, because they are usually very firm (in acting) against their teammates," Cronje said. Meanwhile, the communications manager of the UCBSA, Bronwyn Wilkinson, said she could say with certainty that no South Africans were on the list of individuals that Condon said he would consider investigating further because of sufficient evidence he had collected. She said a number of steps that the report is suggesting to control cricket match-fixing had already been implemented by the UCBSA. These included better security for players and control measures for access to the South African team, restricted use of mobile telephones during games, and the monitoring of phone calls to the team in hotel rooms. Many of the steps proposed by Condon were also reflected in the second interim report of the King Commission, which has since been disbanded and whose final report is awaited. At the time it was released in December, some of the measures proposed by Judge Edwin King were viewed as "draconian," but now King seems to have been vindicated by Condon's similar proposals.

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