Thatscricket - News - Cricket: 'Cronje was banned because he was a cheat'
Published: Saturday, September 22, 2001, 1:24 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Cronje is a 'self-confessed cheat': UCBSA
Pretoria: Banning Hansie Cronje from cricket was not unconstitutional because it was based on the fact that he was a cheat and not on reasons of race, sexual orientation or gender, a South African court heard on Thursday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Advocate Wim Trengrove argued on behalf of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCB) that the Pretoria High Court should uphold the life ban it slapped on former South African cricket captain Cronje after he admitted taking money from bookmakers.Cronje is challenging the ban on the basis that it flew in the face of South Africa's Constitution but Trengrove denied this was the case."Cronje was not banned because he is black or a woman or homosexual but because he is a cheat," he said in arguments to persuade the court to uphold the ban.His lawyer told the court on Wednesday that all his client wanted to do was make a living, but that the UCBSA ban prevented him from doing so."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 Wallis told the court, referring to Cronje's ambitions to coach cricket or work as a commentator or columnist.Replying to a question by Judge Frank Cohen on Thursday, Trengove said the ban did not preclude Cronje from coaching a national cricket player at a cricket school, as long as the school had no links with the UCBSA or its affiliates.Neither, he said, did the ban prevent Cronje from entering cricket grounds as a spectator.On that basis, he could work as a journalist and report for the print media on cricket, Trengrove said. Cronje could also act as a studio commentator.Judge Frank Cohen then referred to an earlier argument by Wallis, who said the UCBSA aimed to influence anybody in cricket not to have anything to do with Cronje.Trengove said the ban did not preclude Cronje from being employed by a third party, and that there was no evidence that the UCBSA was trying to do so.