Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Cronje just wants to earn a living, court hears
Published: Saturday, September 22, 2001, 1:24 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Cronje to ask court to overturn his life ban
Pretoria: Disgraced former South African cricket skipper Hansie Cronje wants to have a life-ban against him lifted to enable him to earn a living, his lawyer told the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Cronje, who was banned for life last November after admitting at a commission of inquiry to taking some $ 100,000 and bribing other players, is taking his former bosses to court in a bid to overturn the ban."These proceedings have never been directed at enabling Cronje to resume his career as an active cricketer or to restore him to his previous position," Malcolm Wallace told the court.Wallace also argued that the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSASA) never afforded Cronje the chance to defend himself at a disciplinary hearing before being ostracised.Both bowler Henry Williams and star South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs the two players Cronje bribed to under-perform in a One-day match against India in March last year were given disciplinary hearings, Wallace noted.His client did not dispute that his conduct had been wrong, but felt he was entitled to a fair hearing on the matter, he said. Cronje, like former US president Bill Clinton, would now only be remembered for what he had done wrong, and not what he had done right said Wallace, referring to Cronje's record of being South Africa's most successful One-day cricketer.It was like (former US) President Bill Clinton who would be remembered for his shenanigans with (former White House intern) Miss Monica Lewinsky rather than his successful economic policies."In papers before the court, Cronje said there was not one single aspect of the game, which was not influenced in some way or the other by the UCBSA. "What the UCBSA seeks to achieve by this ban is to compel all the component part of (cricket's) structure to ostracise me," Cronje said.Cronje said the UCBSA's "punishments were interfering with my personal life and that of others who may not share the board's view of me." This extended to his work as well. Cronje said he had dreams of becoming a sports commentator or columnist after retiring as a national player.The best way he can make amends for his conduct is to use his talent, skills, experience and expertise to "promote the game in the field of coaching, particularly those from underdeveloped communities", Cronje stated.But in his answering affidavit, UCBSA president Percy Sonn questioned Cronje's stated desire to work in disadvantaged communities, noting that he had dragged Gibbs and Williams both coloured (mixed-race) players into the scandal."I therefore submit that governing bodies would be failing in their duties to learners if they were to expose such learners to 'role models' such as Cronje," Sonn said.Sonn said the UCBSA banned Cronje because he "was guilty of corruption of the worst kind, wholly inimical to the whole ethos of cricket". The case was continuing.