In memory of Hansie Cronje

In memory of Hansie Cronje
Hansie Cronje. Photo: YouTube

Recent confessions of on field ball tampering in cricket and massive media coverage that followed it brought me memories of one of my favourite cricketers. He is none other than former South African captain Hansie Cronje. Hansie was loved world over. He was a great cricketer who did a mistake and had the courage to own up to it in pubic.

Hansie is no more with us but I remember watching him as a player and as a captain. He was a great cricketer and a charismatic leader. May it be in helping a slimly built Sri Lankan groundsman to push a sight screen during an international match between Sri Lanka and South Africa or when recalling Indian batsman Sourav Ganguli back to the crease when he was given runout after colliding with a South African bowler or promoting cricket in rural South Africa, Hansie was an absolute role model as a gentleman and a sportsman.

Hansie did mistakes as we all do sometime in our lives. He got banned for life from playing the sport he loved and paid dearly for his mistakes. I always remember the absolute courage he had to own up to mistakes and face the consequences and insults that came with it.

Hansie died on his way home from a business trip when the transport aircraft he was travelling crashed. He was not even 33 years old. Rest in peace Hansie! You were a great cricketer and a captain, an absolute gentleman on the field and an honourable man who confessed knowing all the insults that came with it. Even though you were distraught you found work and tried your best to rebuild your life. Despite all heckles and insults thrown at you during the last couple of years of your life, cricket fans like me across the world will remember you for all the good things you did.

Dr. Nalinda Andraweera
Physician in Rehabilitation Medicine
Adelaide, South Australia.