'Dishonest' Cronje sacked by South Africa

Hansie Cronje has been sacked as South Africa captain following allegations of match-fixing during his team's one-day series against India.

The United Cricket Board of South Africa took the action after Cronje admitted to being "dishonest" with his employers.

Board managing director Ali Bacher broke the news this morning.

The omens did not look good when it was announced earlier today that Cronje had withdrawn from his country's forthcoming series against Australia.

UCBSA spokeswoman Bronwyn Wilkinson initially gave no reason for Cronje's pull-out from the one-day series in South Africa which starts in Durban tomorrow but said a press conference would be held later in the day.

Shaun Pollock will take over as captain of the side, while all-rounder Dave Callaghan is to replace Cronje in the squad.

Indian police announced last week that they were filing charges against Cronje and team-mates Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom for allegedly fixing last month's one-day series which India won 3-2.

Cronje had strongly denied all the allegations.

Bacher said he and board president Percy Sonn had received a call from Cronje to say he had been "dishonest" with the board regarding his activities in India.

Bacher said: "As a consequence, the UCB decided to withdraw Cronje from the South African team for Wednesday's limited-over match against Australia in Durban."

Veteran all-rounder Dave Callaghan is flying out to Durban to replace Cronje.

New Delhi Police Commissioner K.K. Paul said charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud and match-fixing had been registered against Cronje, Gibbs, Boje and Strydom.

"We will seek the help of Interpol as a huge international crime has been committed," Paul said.

Similar charges have been filed against two Indians and one of them, Delhi-based businessman Rajesh Kalra, has already been arrested, according to a police source.

The other was identified as Sanjiv Chawla, an Indian who lives in London.

Bacher said he could not comment at this state on any involvement or action to be taken against the three other players named by the New Delhi police.

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