Kepler suspected Cronje of fixing matches long before getting caught in 2000

| Updated: Feb 24, 2017 02:19 IST

Melbourne [Australia], Feb. 23 (ANI): Making an extraordinary revelation, former South African skipper Kepler Wessels has said that he had suspicions of Hansie Cronje being involved in match-fixing long before he was eventually caught in 2000. The South African cricket received a major blow over the Cronje affair, which exploded in April 2000 when he was charged by the Delhi Police with fixing ODIs against India. Cronje in 2000 had admitted to taking bribes from gamblers since 1996 before being handed a life ban from cricket. However, two years later, Cronje died in an aeroplane crash. Wessels, who represented Australia in the 1970s and 1980s before returning to play for South Africa after the end of apartheid brought the removal of an ICC ban against playing the Proteas, has now 15 years later opened up on the issue. According to Australia's Herald Sun website, Wessels, in an interview with Fox Sport's Cricket Legends, said that he believed Cronje was involved in fixing before his own retirement in 1994. Wessels' concerns were heightened during a 1994 triangular series (which also included Australia and Pakistan) what proved to be his 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 said. "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'," he added The 59-year-old says that he immediately found as odd. Describing another incident, Wessels recalls how 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. The stunning collapse included three run-outs and eventually led to a 37-run loss for Pakistan. "Two or three run outs straight to Jonty Rhodes... I looked at that (collapse) and thought 'nup, this can't be right'," Wessels said. "And I remembered those sort of conversations (with Cronje) and started to think all is not well," he added. It should be noted that the match was part of Cronje's first series as Proteas captain. (ANI)