CRICKET: Cronje accepts offer to guide Glamorgan

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The Independent Online
HANSIE CRONJE, South Africa's captain, has created significant doubt over his international future by agreeing to a two-year deal to coach Glamorgan.

"I'm in the process of concluding the deal with Glamorgan's chief executive, Mike Fatkin," Cronje said. "It just seemed like a golden opportunity to spend six months of the year with my wife while accepting a very exciting challenge and keeping my career going. Coaching wasn't in my thoughts until very recently, but I'm extremely excited about the prospect."

Cronje will take up his post at the beginning of April next season, which puts him in danger of missing - or not being selected for - South Africa's three-Test tour of Sri Lanka in July and August. "I haven't spoken to [United Cricket Board of South Africa managing director] Dr Bacher yet," Cronje admitted. "When the deal is signed and concluded then we will discuss the tour and my future. As for the second season [at Glamorgan], I think it's fair to say that is a very long way in the future for a player of 30 who has played as much as I have."

Zimbabwe's coach, David Houghton, criticised English cricket yesterday for pampering its young players and removing their will to win.

Houghton, a former captain of his country who also led Worcestershire, said that, despite a wealth of talent at county level, young English cricketers were rewarded before they had achieved anything. "If you have got a talented 17- to 18-year-old, three or four counties are rushing to sign him," he said. "He can pick and choose which is the best deal, a nice big salary, normally a nice sponsored car. What is the incentive to get better? He has been given everything before he's got anywhere."

Houghton, in Kenya for a four-nation one-day international tournament between Zimbabwe, India, South Africa and the hosts, said England could not consistently perform against top sides unless young players grew up with the same mentality as their counterparts in the West Indies and India.

"They cannot afford to fail, they have to succeed at this level. It makes them hard but in England they are given everything before they even get there," he said. "They may have done well for their county but, in the international arena, how can they react when they have been treated with kid gloves and spoilt all their lives?"

The England fast bowler Alan Mullally, who has decided to leave Leicestershire following 10 years at Grace Road, has held talks with Hampshire about joining them next season.

The Australian-raised left-arm bowler made his first-class debut for Hampshire in 1988 before leaving to join the Foxes. Nottinghamshire have signed Giles Haywood, the 20-year-old former Sussex all-rounder, on a one-year contract.

In the second Test in Galle, Australia closed the second day on 188 for 5 in response to Sri Lanka's first-innings total of 296. The off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took five wickets in the final session after Michael Slater and Greg Blewett had put on 138 for the first wicket. The Australian captain, Steve Waugh, who defied medical advice to play with a broken nose, was unbeaten on two at the close.

The Australian fast bowler Damien Fleming may be punished for pushing a Sri Lankan batsman and allegedly using abusive language during the Test. Fleming, who has already had one warning for his conduct, may face a one- match suspension or a fine. He was seen to push Chaminda Vaas with his shoulder, and then reportedly used abusive language after Vaas was dismissed following a rapid innings of 41.

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