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Unnecessary speculation over Hansie





Although I am in New Zealand at present I have become aware of the unnecessary controversy that is raging in South Africa over a documentary I did in November in Australia.

The documentary was about Australian cricket legends highlighting my career there. It was not about match fixing.

The match-fixing saga was a small part of the interview and I was asked a question which I answered honestly. In fact I stressed in the interview that Hansie didn't deserve what came his way and that it was one of the most, if not the most, personal tragedies in the history of South African cricket.

I mentored Hansie during his early days in the team as a young player and also as vice-captain. I was in favour of his appointment as captain and he did a fine job as a leader and as a player until tragedy struck. We had a long conversation in Johannesburg shortly before his death and parted company as the best of friends.

Tragically, it looked to me at the time that he turned the corner after a very dark time and was on the way back.

I have known his parents my whole life and my thoughts have been with them all the time over the years that have elapsed since this tragedy happened. Out of respect for them I will never purposely do something to further damage Hansie's reputation in any way.

This whole controversy started in Australia through malicious reporting and was picked up on this side by sections of both the media and social media in search of sensation.

It has been alluded to that I should have reported the matter at the time. That is exactly what I did to the relevant authority on tour. As captain I didn't feel that it was appropriate to bring it to the rest of the team in the middle of the series. I was also next in line to testify at the King Commission before it was shut down.

Hopefully this will put an end to this malicious and nasty speculation.


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