New Delhi: The death of disgraced South African cricketer Hansie Cronje in an air crash on Saturday will not affect a criminal case against the former skipper and his teammates in a match-fixing scandal, Indian police said.
"Hansie is dead but the match-fixing case is alive," said a top official from the Delhi police department, which in April 2000 accused Cronje and three of his teammates of fixing some of the One-day matches South Africa played with India in March the same year. Cronje was killed when a light plane in which he was a passenger crashed into a mountain in the rugged Outeniqua range near the town of George in South Africa. Crime branch detectives secretly taped Cronje's talks with Indian bookies during the 2000 tour but the charges were not put up for a trial in court, as Pretoria did not send samples of Cronje's authenticated voice to the city police. "But the judicial process will be on and once the case goes to court, Cronje's name will be mentioned in column two of the (police) charge sheet," the official said of a section in the official papers for names of deceased suspects. Besides Cronje, the crime branch had named South Africans Herschelle Gibbs, Henry Williams and Pieter Strydom as co-suspects in a case of "cheating the public at large". The Cronje scandal opened a can of worms in Indian cricket as well and led to a life ban on former captain Mohammad Azharuddin and limited restrictions on India's star batsman Ajay Jadeja and Test player Ajay Sharma.
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