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28 February 2024

Star witness lied to Cronje fixing probe


Former South Africa cricketer Henry Williams has admitted to lying at an inquiry which banned disgraced national captain Hansie Cronje from the game in 2000, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Williams testified that Cronje offered him $15,000 (11,250 euros) to play badly in a one-day international against India.

But his lawyers forced him to lie with team-mate Herschelle Gibbs to strengthen the case against Cronje, Williams told the Sunday Times.

"It's just the truth. It's long gone and I've made peace with the whole story," Williams told the paper. "I can never forget about it, but I forgive what's been done to me."

Cronje received a life ban from the United Cricket Board of South Africa in 2000 after admitting he had accepted $100,000 (75,000 euros) from Indian bookmakers and offered other players money to under-perform.

He died in a plane crash two years later. Williams and Gibbs were fined and banned for six months.

The duo's then-lawyers Mike Fitzgerald and Peter Whelan called the claim "outrageous", though they knew about foul play in the testimony.

"Mike Fitzgerald and I knew all along that Herschelle (Gibbs) was lying," said Whelan, adding that he'd tried to pressure Gibbs into coming clean.
Gibbs declined to comment.