~~Pakistan can only condole over sad loss of Cronje~~

Published: Sunday, June 2, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistan's leading cricket figures on Sunday joined South Africa in mourning the tragic death of former captain Hansie Cronje in a plane crash.

"Pakistan can only condole over the sad loss of Cronje, it's a sad end to someone who turned into a tragic figure from a hero in international and South African cricket," former Pakistan captain Imran Khan told reporters. "The tragedy is that when the world was starting to accept him in a new role this sad end came about," Khan said. "I met him during the 1992 World Cup in Australia and he came as a very determined cricketer and then turned into a dynamic leader before he got involved in the illegal things." "Cronje was trying to come back to normal life and was about to do some community work but his life was cut short," Khan said. Another former captain Wasim Akram extended his condolences to Cronje's family. "I have sent my condolences to the bereaved family and I condole to South Africa for losing a great cricketer," Akram said. "I played a lot of cricket with him and he was a soft-spoken and friendly guy and his death is a personal shock for me," he said. Salim Mallik, another former Pakistan captain who is serving a life ban for match- fixing, also described Cronje's death as tragic. "Cronje was a great player and a great human being, it's sad that he is no more," Mallik said. Cronje toured Pakistan with South Africa on four occasions, the last two times as captain. He led his team to a 1-0 win in the three-match Test series of 1997-98 and won many hearts with his friendly demeanour.

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