Hansie Cronje

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Wessel Johannes "Hansie" Cronje (25 September 1969 - 1 June 2002) was a South African cricketer and captain of the South African national cricket team in the 1990s. He was voted the 11th greatest South African in 2004 despite having been banned for life from professional cricket for his role in a match-fixing scandal.


Early life

Born in Bloemfontein, Cronje matriculated in 1987 from the prestigious Grey College school in Bloemfontein. An excellent all round sportsman, he represented the then Orange Free State in cricket and rugby at schools level. Cronje also went to the University of Orange Free State and there he left with a Bachelor of Commerce.

His father Ewie had played for Orange Free State in the 1960s, and Hansie's older brother Frans had also played first-class cricket.

First-class career

Cronje made his first-class debut for Orange Free State against Transvaal at Johannesburg in January 1988 at the age of 18. In the following season, he was a regular appearing in all eight Currie Cup matches plus being part of the Benson and Hedges Series winning team, scoring 73 as an opener in the final. In 1989-90, despite playing all the Currie Cup matches, he failed to make a century, and averaged only 19.76; however, in one-day games he averaged 60.12. During that season he scored his maiden century for South African Universities against Mike Gatting's rebels.[1]

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