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Ewie Cronje passed away at 80

Ewie Cronje passed away at 80

Ewie Cronje, the former president of Free State Cricket and father of captain Hansie Cronje of late South Africa has died at age of 80 due to stomach cancer.

Between 1960 and 1971, Cronje played 27 first-class matches for Free State but was best known for his time in administration. He played a leading role at the University of the Free State in founding and growing cricket and then became the president of the Free State Cricket Union between 1983 and 1990. Cronjé is the mentor to some of the top performance players in the province, including Allan Donald, Corrie van Zyl and Boeta Dippenaar.

During the match-fixing scandal in the year 2000 he stood by Hansie and while Hansie was suspended from all forms of cricket and died after two years, Ewie continued to contribute to the game’s growth. In 2012, Cronje was honoured by Cricket South Africa, who in appreciation of his years of service to the game presented him with the Khaya Majola Lifetime Achievement award.

This year, Cronje’s health has deteriorated steadily, and when the former cricket boss Dr Ali Bacher contacted him late last month, he was unable to speak. Bacher told the weekly Afrikaans newspaper Rapport that he was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic to reach out to Cronje who he had not contacted in nearly two decades. Although Cronjé was unable to respond, he was able to listen to Bacher and his family said that he was so emotional when he received the call. 

That was three weeks ago when they identified Cronje as being seriously ill. He passed away  on Monday at 2.05pm.

Currently, South Africa is still under a strict lockdown and there are restrictions on the number of people that can gather, so his family has decided that there will be no funeral. Cronje is survived by his wife San-Marie, his son Frans and his daughter Hester.