April 11, 2000

Bacher: UCBSA has been deceived


Dr. Ali Bacher, Managing Director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA), told the world's press that the UCBSA had been 'deceived' by Hansie Cronje.

Bacher said:

"After I had spoke to him in the early hours of this morning he phoned the president (Percy Sonn) at 10 past 3 and repeated the same comments he ahd made to me. The president and myself met at 3.30 and decided to suspend Hansie.

During the triangular one day series between England, South Africa and Zimbabwe contact was made with him by a local South African whose name we cannot mention at this point in time and also with a bookmaker of Indian origin based in london.

Discussions took place and the reults is that Hansie Cronje was given between 10 and 15 thousand US dollars which he took home. As yet he has not deposited the money. During the tour of India he was harrassed by bookmakers.

He said to us that he had provided forecasts and information. He said to us that he has not taken part in match fixing and that the three other players are innocent of the charge.

Let us say that unequivocally we are shattered. The UCB and the government have been deceived. At 0630 this morning I phoned Mr. Majid the convenor of the selection board and told him that the captain would not be participating and that he should contact his selectors to appoint a new captain and maybe a replacement batsman.

We have been in contact with the Minister of Sport to institute an inquiry. We have been in contact with David Richards (ICC Chief Executive) and he is fully aware of the facts.

On Sunday night we said the issues are very very serious. At quarter past one we went to speak to the national captain and asked all the players to indicate whether they had ever been part of match fixing or were part of this process, and all of them including Boje and Gibbs denied any involvement. In conclusion we said we need all of them to rise above the crisis. Sean Pollock has been made captain, and he is a player with an immense future and feet on the ground, and we are confident that he and his team can make the Australia series a good climax to what has been a very difficult season for South African cricket".

The UCB then answered questions from the press

Bacher: "Hansie did confirm he had made contact with the parties by phone"

Bacher: "No", in answer to the question: "Did he say why he did it?"

Bacher: "Hansie's contract has been suspended. Hansie will not be offered a new contract until the investiagation has been completed, and in practical terms he will not receive a salary from us this month. He has a contract with us that expires on the 1st of May, but I have suspended that immediately. Next week we will be announcing for the core players for the next two years and its obvious his name will not be among them."

Bacher: "At the end of the 1996 tour of India there was an approach from a bookmaker was taken to a team meeting and was rejected immediately. [The current offer was made at] South Africa's game v Zimbabwe at the Wanderers."

Percy Sonn: "If there is any suggestion, even if the whole squad has to be investigated, we'll cooperate with the police."

Bacher also metioned that the UCBSA had not yet seen the transcripts of the tapes.