Former SA skipper Cronje killed in plane crash
Published: Saturday, June 1, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Disgraced South African cricketer Hansie Cronje was killed on Saturday when a plane in which he was a passenger crashed into a mountain in the far south of the country, Sports Ministry spokesman Graham Abrahams said. "We have heard the news, we are still trying to recover," he told the SAPA news agency. "It's a shock." The agency quoted Cronje's cousin Frans Cronje as saying that the plane, which had taken off from the central city of Bloemfontein, crashed into the rugged Outeniqua range near the town of George.He said the weather was bad as the plane tried to land at George around 6:45 am (04:45 GMT) and that the pilot had apparently decided to go round again.There was no immediate word on the other occupants of the plane, which SAPA described as a cargo plane. It reported before Abrahams' announcement that the crew of rescue helicopters had seen three people lying on the ground at the site, but had been unable to immediately confirm if they were alive or dead. Cronje, who was captain of the national team, was forced out of the side in an international cricket bribery scandal in 2000. He received a life ban from the United Cricket Board of South Africa after admitting before a commission of inquiry that he accepted some $ 100,000 from Indian bookmakers and offered other players money to under perform.