Johannesburg: Former South African skipper Kepler Wessels, who recently made some startling revelations regarding Hansie Cronje's match-fixing scandal, has said that his comments were blown out of proportion and were ‘misconstrued and sensationalised’.
The South African cricket received a major blow over the Cronje affair, which exploded in April 2000 when he was charged by the Delhi Police with fixing ODIs against India.
Cronje in 2000 had admitted to taking bribes from gamblers since 1996 before being handed a life ban from cricket. However, two years later, Cronje died in an aeroplane crash.
Wessels, who represented Australia in the 1970s and 1980s before returning to play for South Africa after the end of apartheid brought the removal of an ICC ban against playing the Proteas, has now 15 years later opened up on the issue.
Wessels, in an interview with Fox Sport's Cricket Legends, said that he believed Cronje was involved in fixing before his own retirement in 1994.
However, now Wessels has said that the documentary had nothing to do with match-fixing.
“It's extraordinary, the documentary was about me being embraced and recognised as an Australian cricket legend and that was what the documentary was about. The match fixing thing was literally a minute out of the interview,” Sport24 quoted Wessels as saying.
“It was misconstrued, sensationalised as these things happen, but when you are in this position then I suppose you have to accept that from time to time it will happen, but it's unfortunate.”
The 59-year-old further said he had no gripes with Cronje, who replaced him as South African captain in the mid-1990s.
“I got on very well with Hansie when we were playing. I thought he was an excellent captain, a very good player and I'm very close to his family as well so from my point of view I'll never say anything derogatory about him,” Wessels said.
The former South African cricketer further said he hopes that now "people will understand that the whole interview had absolutely nothing to do with match fixing.
“It didn't have anything to do with Hansie in that way either,” he said....