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|April 11, 2000||
SA board suspends CronjeThe Rediff Team
At 1845 hours IST, in Durban, the next act in the Hansie Cronje controversy was played out.
Dr Ali Bacher, UCBSA president Percy Sonn, and captain-elect Shaun Pollock chaired a press conference, in which Bacher announced that Hansie Cronje had telephoned him at 3 am, SA time, and confessed that he had been dishonest.
Hansie Cronje, it was revealed in the press conference aired live on South Africa's national television, has admitted taking $10,000-$15,000 in South Africa during a game between South Africa and Zimbabwe. He has also admitted being in constant touch with bookmakers in India during the recent tour of India. He however denied having taken any money during this Indian tour.
The UCBSA has reacted by suspending Hansie Cronje's contract with the board. The South African captain, further, will not be paid his salary for the current month.
The UCBSA further announced a quick, independent inquiry into the conduct of all South African players. The inquiry will include two judges including a senior judge.
Answering questions about the integrity of the other players who were alledgedly involved, UCBSA president Percy Sonn said that he would like a detailed interrogation of each and every player to ascertain the truth.
Asked by the media about the aspersions Bacher himself, on behalf of the UCBSA, had cast on the Indian government and police, Bacher said that it "was a government matter, and it was a mistake."
Bacher on behalf of the UCBSA announced that South African authorities were now prepared to cooperate fully with the Indian authorities in the ongoing investigations. It will be recalled that the Indian police have filed charges of criminal conspiracy against Cronje and others.
He did not, however, tender an apology for the "mistake".
Captain-elect Shaun Pollock informed the media that the Protean team had held a meeting this morning, and decided to leave the past behind and start afresh as they prepare to take on Australia in a three-match ODI series beginning in Durban on Wednesday.
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