Hansie Cronje was a well-known name in cricket. He was the former South Africa Captain whose cricket profession got finished when he got caught in match-fixing in 2000. Cronje died in June on 1st in the year 2002, as the plane he was traveling in crashed into the Outeniqua Mountains. He was only 32.
Cronje was well on his way of becoming one of the greatest captains cricket had ever seen. At this young age, he had captained South Africa in 53 Tests, and 138 ODIs, including two world cups, before his fall from grace. An all-rounder and a batting expert, Cronje scored 9000 international runs and also took 157 wickets.
The second generation of Cricket after his father and brother
Cronje was known to be a pioneer in second-generation cricket players. He has played First-Class cricket with his father Ewie and elder brother Frans. Cronje proved himself as an all-rounder in the real sense. He excelled both in studies and sports during his school days. Cronje was the head-boy at the Grey College and was the captain of his school cricket and rugby teams.
He started his career very young when he was 18. Cronje captained the Orange Free State at the age of 21, and by the time he turned 24, he got made the skipper on the South Africa national team. He made his ODI debut playing against Australia during the 1992 World Cup, which was also incidentally South Africa’s debut in World Cup cricket. He made his Test debut playing against West Indies and proved himself to be forgettable by scoring just five and two in the match as South Africa lost by 52 runs.
In 1997, he worked for Ireland. He was an international level player and played a significant role in deciding their first win against English. His 94 not out and three wickets helped the Ireland team beat a strong Middlesex side by 46 runs. He excelled as a bowler, batsmen, and fielder. Tendulkar was also dismissed five times in Test by Cronje.
The captain – Hansie Cronje
He captained 53 Tests for South Africa; Cronje recorded 27 wins and 11 defeats. He won 99 out of the 13 ODIs that he led South Africa in. Sadly, his reputation suffered an irreparable loss when his name came in the scandal of match-fixing. His confession of involvement changed the game of cricket forever. The Delhi police intercepted a phone call between London-based bookie Sanjeev Chawla and Cronje with the South African taking money to fix the ODI match played in March 2000. Cronje admitted his offense and got banned for life from cricket.
As he was steadily trying to gain some respect in his country, Cronje tragically died in the plane crash. His contribution to cricket cannot get forgotten. He played 68 Tests, scored 3,714 runs at 36.41, and took 43 wickets at 29.95. In his 188 ODI, he scored 5,565 runs at 38.64. He also picked 114 wickets at 34.78. After that, he hit 8 centuries and 62 fifties during his international career.