JOHANNESBURG – On the 20th anniversary of Hansie Cronje’s death in a plane crash on the Outeniqua mountains, the disgraced former Proteas captain continues to divide opinion.
His admission to multiple match-fixing allegations before his passing, at the age of 32, makes remembering him a complicated exercise.
Former Proteas all-rounder Ryan McLaren said that Cronje ought to be forgiven.
Before his fall from grace, Cronje was revered all through the world of cricket for his leadership and was an icon of South African public life.
Former Proteas all-rounder Ryan McLaren grew up idolising Cronje.
"As a kid growing up in the same city, attending the same school that he did and with the aspiration to want to play for South Africa, he was obviously one of your childhood heroes and someone you looked up to for many reasons," McLaren said.
McLaren was hurt and disappointed when Cronje confessed to match-fixing accusations but unlike many South Africans, McLaren thinks that Cronje paid the price for his blunders and should be forgiven.
"Everyone makes mistakes, he admitted his mistakes. In life, you also have to learn to forgive, so I think that’s the most important thing as well," he said.