Late South African captain Hansie Cronje was banned for life after he admitted fixing his own team’s one-day internationals against India in 2000. Cronje, who died aged 32 in a plane crash in 2002, had initially denied all allegations of wrong-doing, but eventually came clean after mounting evidence that included former teammates testifying that they had received cash offers from the Proteas skipper to throw matches.
The first blow
April 7, 2000 Delhi police charge Hansie Cronje with fixing South Africa’s ODIs against India in March for money. They also release transcripts of an alleged conversation between Cronje and an Indian businessman, suggested to be a bookie, Sanjay Chawla. The conversation is about who is playing and who is not, who is in on the “deal”, the amount alleged to be paid to Cronje and his team-mates Herschelle Gibbs, Pieter Strydom and Nicky Boje. Cronje denies any involvement in the matter, and the South African board, former players and media rally behind him.
April 9, 2000 South Africa’s captain continues to stand his ground, saying at a press conference: “I want to make it 100% clear that I deny ever receiving any sum of money during the one-day international series in India. I want to also make it absolutely clear I have never spoken to any member of the team about throwing a game.”
April 11, 2000 The South African board sacks Cronje after he calls the board’s managing director, Ali Bacher, at 3am and admits he “had been dishonest” over his activities in India. Cronje acknowledges receiving $10,000 to 15,000 for “providing information and forecast but not match-fixing” during the one-day series in India.
Dodgy Test investigated
April 12, 2000 The South African board says the controversial fifth Test between South Africa and England in Centurion in January, during which both sides forfeited an innings at Cronje’s suggestion, will be investigated as part of the inquiry into match-fixing allegations.
Indian government steps in
April 28, 2000 The Indian government orders the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the match-fixing allegations and to find out whether any Indian cricketer or official was involved.
The King Commission enquiry
June 7, 2000 Former South African cricketer Pat Symcox testifies before the King Commission, which is inquiring into the Cronje scandal, that he had been approached by Cronje about “throwing” a match against Pakistan during the 1994-95 season. He also confirms that during a team meeting in Mumbai in 1996, Cronje had conveyed an offer of $250,000 dollars to lose a one-dayer.
A damning confession
June 8, 2000 Herschelle Gibbs effectively seals Cronje’s fate, confessing he had accepted an offer from his former captain to make less than 20 runs in a one-day match in India earlier in the year in exchange for $15,000.
More South Africans testify
June 9, 2000 Nicky Boje, one of those named in the match-fixing case by the Delhi police, tells the King Commission he was shocked to hear his name linked to the scandal and said Cronje had never approached him with an offer to play badly. Seam bowler Henry Williams testifies that he had been offered $15,000 by Cronje to bowl expensively in a one-day international in India earlier in the year. Pieter Strydom reveals that he had been offered money by Cronje before the first Test against India in Mumbai in February.
Cronje offered immunity
June 10, 2000 After three days of damaging revelations during the King Commission hearings, Cronje is offered immunity from criminal prosecution in South Africa if he makes a full disclosure about his role in match-fixing.
June 13, 2000 Jacques Kallis corroborates evidence by Mark Boucher and Lance Klusener that Cronje had made an offer to the three players in a hotel room before the second Test against India in Bangalore in March 2000.
Cronje accuses Azhar
June 15, 2000 Cronje confesses to taking about $100,000 in bribes from gamblers since 1996, but he claims that he had never thrown or fixed a match. He also announces his retirement from cricket. Cronje tells the King Commission that former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin had introduced him to a bookie who offered him money to throw a 1996 Test match during South Africa’s tour of India. Azharuddin calls the allegation “rubbish”.
Cronje breaks down
June 23, 2000 Cronje is led away in tears after his three-day cross examination by the King Commission ends in Cape Town. He gives evidence clearly and admits that he accepted money from bookmakers and says his “great passion of the game and for my team-mates” was matched by “an unfortunate love of money”.
Paul Condon heads ICC investigation
June 26, 2000 Cronje begs forgiveness for his involvement in illicit gambling deals after the first round of hearings of the King Commission closes.
A former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Condon, is appointed director of the ICC’s anti-corruption investigation.
Boje skips India tour
November 3, 2004 Nicky Boje pulls out of a two-Test tour of India after being told he might be detained by Indian police over their match-fixing investigations.
October 12, 2006 The Delhi police question Herschelle Gibbs for over two hours about the South Africa tour of India in 2000. Gibbs allegedly names Derek Crookes, the former South Africa spinner, as being involved in match-fixing. Crookes denies the allegation, saying he was cleared by the King Commission.
Crookes declares innocence
October 13, 2006 Derek Crookes expresses shock at being linked to the fixing allegations after being cleared by the King Commission. Offers to cooperate with the Delhi police.
Boje questioned by Delhi police
December 11, 2007 Nicky Boje, playing in India (for the Indian Cricket League) for the first time since 2000, is questioned by Delhi police. He denies any role in match-fixing.
Cronje barred from Hall of Fame
March 17, 2008 Cronje will not be posthumously inducted into South Africa’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Cronje named in chargesheet
July 22, 2013 More than 13 years after the scandal broke, Cronje is the only cricketer named in the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police relating to the match-fixing case of 2000. The chargesheet includes several bookies.