Cronje to sue South African board

Lawyers acting for the disgraced former South Africa captain, Hansie Cronje, have confirmed that they will take legal action against the United Cricket Board, which yesterday failed to withdraw the life ban it imposed on the player last week.

Lawyers acting for the disgraced former South Africa captain, Hansie Cronje, have confirmed that they will take legal action against the United Cricket Board, which yesterday failed to withdraw the life ban it imposed on the player last week.

"I've had a sorry sort of letter from the UCB saying [the president] Percy Sonn will respond on Thursday," Cronje's solicitor, Leslie Sackstein, said. "I've written back to say it's a feeble effort, and I've instructed counsel to go ahead and prepare the papers."

Sackstein would not be drawn on what course of action Cronje would take against the ban, which covers all cricket under the auspices of the sport's ruling body for South Africa and its affiliates.

On Monday, Sackstein had warned Cronje would proceed with legal action if the ban was not lifted by yesterday afternoon. The UCB's managing director, Ali Bacher, said that Sonn would respond to Cronje's lawyers when he returned to South Africa today.

Cronje was accused in April by Indian police of taking money from bookmakers. He was sacked as South Africa's captain in April and, two months later, testified to a South African commission of inquiry set up to investigate match-fixing in cricket that he had accepted around $100,000 (£68,000) from bookmakers.

International Cricket Council officials remained locked in secret talks in Nairobi yesterday ahead of what could be one of the most significant announcements in the game's recent history.

Senior officials of the 10 Test-playing nations' boards have been discussing corruption in the game, and several leading cricketers, whose professional future hangs in the balance, are likely to hear their fate today.

ICC officials refused to be drawn on what resolutions were taken but it is understood that a report by Code of Conduct Commission chairman, Lord Griffiths, was discussed at length.

Key to Griffiths' recommendations will be a decision on whether the Pakistan all-rounder Wasim Akram will be allowed to play in the Test series against England which starts next month.

* The former England batsman Bill Athey is to leave Worcestershire after three seasons as coach. The 43-year-old Yorkshireman announced his resignation yesterday following Worcestershire's failure to win promotion in the County Championship and their relegation in the National League.

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