Hansie Cronje, a name many will never forget, a man some may call a fallen hero, or simply just a hero. Wessel Johanness Cronje, better known as Hansie Cronje, was a former South African cricketer, and represented his country on the cricket field and as captain of his national team in the 1990’s. Born in Bloenfontein, Hansie shone as a star on the cricket field from an early age. He made his first test debut for SA in March 1992 against the West Indies and went on to achieve greatness as his cricketing career soared.
After establishing a successful career, where he gained a great deal of support from the country, a controversial match fixing scandal was revealed, which implicated Hansie Cronje. The news broke on 7 April 2000, when a recorded conversation between Hansie and Sanjay, a member of an Indian betting syndicate was revealed to the public.
Hansie and the United Cricket Board of South Africa denied all allegations, however later Hansie Cronje admitted to accepting large amounts of money to partake in match fixing with a London-based bookmaker, Sanjeer Chawla. Later in 2000 Hansie Cronje was banned from both playing as well as ever coaching cricket again in his life. However, this life ban was later dismissed, after Hansie challenged the ban against him.
On 1 June 2002, Hansie Cronje boarded a flight from Johannesburg to George, of which he was the only passenger on board the small aircraft. The plane crashed into the Outenique Mountain Range, located near George in the early hours of Saturday morning. At the tender age of 32 years, Hansie Cronje as well as the two pilots, were killed instantly on impact. However, his death raised many questions and conspiracies. Many people speculated that Hansie was in fact murdered on behalf of the cricket betting syndicate. There is a great deal of unknowns about the crash and as a result, many people are troubled over what really occurred that fateful day. After an inquiry into the crash that led to the death of Hansie, it was said that the two pilots, managing the aircraft, were to blame, as they did not follow the correct and necessary procedures.
Hansie Cronje has however not been the only man in cricketing history to get himself caught up in the betting world. There were many others before and there have been many more since. Hansie was however, the first cricketer to ever publically admit to his involvement in the corruption involving the bookmakers. Today the world of match fixing, is still a problem and will most certainly remain a serious problem for many years to come.
Many South African cricket fans and lovers of the sport and supporters all over the world, still refuse to accept that Hansie in fact meant harm to his fellow team mates and the sport in general. Many still look at him in a positive light and believe that Hansie was in fact a victim of circumstance and was secretly lured into the illegal gambling and bookmakers, by being blind sighted by other members of cricket, who were also involved. Hansie Cronje is still a national cricket hero in the minds of many and his greatness in the sport will continue to be recognized for many years to come.