Cape Town – Former Proteas captain Kepler Wessels believes Hansie Cronje was involved in match-fixing long before he was eventually caught in 2000.
Cronje, captain of the Proteas at the time, eventually admitted to taking bribes from bookmakers to influence matches since 1996.
Cronje died in an aeroplane crash in 2002.
Now, 15 years later, Wessels has opened up on the issue, saying that he believed Cronje was involved in fixing before his own retirement in 1994.
According to Australia’s Herald Sun website, Wessels was due to reveal all in an interview with Fox Sport’s Cricket Legends.
Wessels reportedly had concerns over Cronje during a 1994 triangular series (which also included Australia and Pakistan) in what would prove to be Wessels’ final tour with the Proteas.
“Hansie made a few comments during the last couple of games that led me to believe that things weren’t 100 percent right,” Wessels told Cricket Legends.
“We picked up a wicket and we were in the huddle and Pakistan were 120/4 or something.
“And (Cronje) came into the huddle and said ‘don’t worry about this. We’re going to win this one because they’re not trying to win it’.”
Wessels says that statement immediately struck him as odd.
Wessels then described how he recalls Pakistan, chasing just 215 for victory in another ODI soon thereafter, collapsed from 101/2 to 178 all out after looking well on track for the win.
In that collapse, which saw eight wickets fall for just 77 runs, Wessels remembers “two or three” run-outs where the ball was hit straight to star fielder, Jonty Rhodes.
That match was part of Cronje’s first series as Proteas captain.