Cronje life ban makes sense

Neil Manthorp 13/10/2000

He had already declared a self-imposed ban from all cricket so why did the UCB have to humiliate him any more and issue a statement declaring that Hansie Cronje would be banned from all cricket in South Africa?

Last New Year I declared a self-imposed ban on tobacco. Last night I imposed a 10:00 p.m. curfew in preparation for SA’s potentially pulsating semi-final against India.

When I promised these things I meant them; really meant them. Then I had a puff of someone’s smoke and I thought ‘it won’t hurt that much.’ Last night, as I was going to bed, a colleague returned from dinner at a different hotel in Nairobi and asked me to join him for a ‘night cap’. I got to bed at 11:30.

Hansie was in the depths of despair when he called it quits with cricket and he is not going to remain in the depths of despair. He will rebuild his life and his longing for cricket will return. He will, most definitely, play club cricket in the UK (very lucratively) and his possible, subsequent involvement at provincial level would be no more than a natural progression.

Laws are laws, however, and it was no more than the UCB’s duty to put the punishment in writing and make it official.

There are two further issues, as well.

Cronje made fools of two government ministers by lieing to them and deceiving them when they were doing their damnest to help him. Aziz Pahad and Ngconde Balfour will not forget their treatment and neither will the government, whatever humanitarian reconciliation takes place with Madiba.

Finally, the UCB is still facing a legal bill of 1.5 million Rand which is expected to reach more than double that, all courtesy of Cronje’s dishonesty.

Yes, they are angry and their action may even have been caused by some spite. Not surprising, though, if you take the time to think about it.

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