Bloemfontein: West Indies captain Carl Hooper on Tuesday paid his respects to disgraced South African ex-skipper Hansie Cronje who was killed in a plane crash last year, a news report said. Hooper, who with his team is based in the central South African city, visited the ashes of the fallen player at Cronje's former school, Grey College in Bloemfontein, where he laid a wreath at a memorial wall. "I still have the utmost respect for Hansie Cronje," he told a TV channel.
Hooper said he and Cronje had not spoken much, but shared a passion for both cricket and Christianity. "What has happened to him could befall anybody," Hooper said. Cronje was banned for life in 2000 after admitting he had been paid 100,000 dollars by Indian bookmakers and offered other players money to under-perform.
He made his debut for South Africa in 1992 and captained the national team from 1994 to 2000. He represented South Africa in 68 Tests - 53 as skipper. He led his country to victory in 71 percent of the One-day Internationals and 51 percent of Test matches. In the 1999 World Cup, South Africa, skippered by Cronje, lost on run rate to Australia after tying with them in the semi-finals, when Donald was infamously run- out after a mix-up with Lance Klusener. Some members of South Africa's World Cup squad were reported last month to have decided to dedicate the contest to Cronje.