LAHORE: At the age of 32, and just 26 months after his dramatic fall from grace, Hansie Cronje died in a plane crash near George, a town in South Africa’s Western Cape on June 1st, 2002. Cronje, who captained South Africa in 53 matches — and would surely have done so in many more — and two World Cups, shook the cricket world to its foundations in April 2000, when he admitted taking money from a bookmaker to influence the results of matches, and invited ridicule by blaming Satanic influences for his deception. The South Africa Cricket Board on October 11th, 2000 ordered a life ban on disgraced Cronje. The ban, which was widely expected, extended to all the South African related cricket activities as well as that of its affiliates. Cronje in June admitted to the King Commission that he received thousands of dollars from gamblers and bookmakers on five separate occasions between 1996 and 2000. He also confessed that he offered team-mates money in exchange for underperforming in Test matches. As a result of evidence presented to Judge Edwin King, Cronje’s former team-mates Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams also received six-month bans. Both admitted to conspiring with Cronje to underperform in one-day internationals in India in March 2000, even if, in the event, neither had followed through on the deals. Cronje confessed before the King Commission to what he called ‘an unfortunate love of money’, and the full extent of this love may never be known, although later revelations of the 72 bank accounts in the Cayman Islands held in his name would suggest, at the very least, that only a small part of the story had been told. His record of 27 victories in 53 Tests made him South Africa’s most successful captain, and the fourth highest ranked captain in Test history. When he left the field in his final Test against India in 2000, he had made six centuries, scored 3,714 runs at an average of 36.41, and was thought to be one of the world’s finest players of spin bowling. Cronje died in a plane crash on June 1, 2002. But at the time of his death, in South Africa at least, he was beginning to win back public support despite this notorious lack of repentance. Away from cricket, he had been rebuilding his life as a financial manager for a Johannesburg company. More than 2000 mourners attended his funeral.