South Africa's Hansie Cronje was in Hong Kong for the Sixes
tournament. CricInfo persuaded him to sit down at a keyboard and
brave the questions from the #cricket channel on IRC. Unlike other
cricketers who were interviewed over IRC, Hansie took over the terminal
himself, read through the irc session and typed the answers,
all by himself!
vishal: Are you as eagerly awaiting the Sri Lanka-South Africa match up, as the rest of the world?
Hansie: Yes, we are playing in Kenya in a week's time.
phaedrus: Hansie: I'm sure many people are interested to know what you really think of the concept of cricket 6's -- some think that it's a useful way to expand the sport's outreach, whilst to many others, it's merely a joke... ?
Hansie: I don't think it's a joke. It's good fun, yes, but when we play, we take it seriously and want to do well. Also it's a great way of getting cricket to Hong Kong.
greenbum: Hansie: There has not been much press coverage of off-season practice here [South Africa]. Do you think that the squad has had enough?
Hansie: We'll have to wait and see. We had a good rest and are fresh after the long lay off. The only worry is that Sri Lanka and Pakistan have played and we haven't yet, so we'll have to get into it quickly.
Albela: Hansie, you will have to face Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muraliadharan in Kenya next week. There are suspicions about his action. What are your feelings about it and what does your management feel about it?
Hansie: We've played against him before and didn't complain then, so I don't see any reason why we should complain now.
Vignes: Hansie - how much would South Africa depend on Paul Adams? (thanks about that Murali answer).
Hansie: Adams is not playing in Kenya. He's recovering from an injury.
vishal: Hansie - how important has been Woolmer's computer to South Africa's remarkable run?
Hansie: It's been valuable to see where we score vs the opposition and their batsman's strength and weaknesses. Also the different conditions for future tours.
sailesh: Hansie, which country's first class competition do you think is the strongest, most competitive?
Hansie: It looks as if Australia certainly have a strong Shield competition, and also West Indies. SA is strong. but hard to judge because I've been part of it for so long and can't judge from the side.
salil: Hansie: Can you tell us a little about the approach to team selection. It seems like there is a rotation policy wherein all players get a game and thus many of the bowlers (including the reserves) have some experience. Is this a conscious policy? Has it happened by accident?
Hansie: We try to play the strongest team on the day for the conditions, but sometimes players need the rest, especially the bowlers.
azzie: Hansie: When Sachin Tendulkar became India's captain at a relatively young age, some people have said that it was too young. Since you became RSA captain at a similar age, what are your thoughts on the issue? And what advice would you have for Sachin?
Hansie: Sachin is very strong in his head and very confident. As long as he's got the respect of the players he will make it. I think it was a good move.
Albela: How do you intend to deal with the Jaya and Kalu onslaught in the first 15 overs? What are the pitches in Kenya like? Will Jaya be able to play his strokes as comfortably as he plays them on wickets in the subcontinent? Does Donald have something for Jaya?
Hansie: Pitches are similar to Sri Lanka. They will feel at home. We will have to vary our deliveries and the pace on the ball and pray for the best. Donald is bowling fast again and i'm sure will look forward to the challenge.
vishal: Hansie - tell me honestly - do you guys play Kumble as a spinner or as a medium pacer?
Hansie: Kumble does spin one every now and again, so it makes him difficult to line-up, but recently the guys have played him like an inswing bowler.
chandra: Hansie: Could you tell us about the training/pracitice schedules for international cricketers in SA?
Hansie: We do a lot of strength training to cut out weaknesse in the body and balance the muscles to prevent injuries. We also have running practise to increase speed and durabillity.
Ros-: Hansie: do you think the SA team would be open to doing this kind of interview from the dressing-room during more "serious" matches?
Hansie: Not really possible during one day matches, maybe in five day stuff when there is more time.
Penfold: Hansie: following on from Ros's question, what are your impressions of the net, and CricInfo, so far? (what, me? fish for a quote? (*grin*))
Hansie: I love surfing more than cricket, more interesting and you meet great people. CricInfo is king.
Vignes: Hansie - best formula for limited over games? eight half+full all-rounders / specialist batsmen+bowlers?
Hansie: You still need batters like Lara and Tendulkar,but all-rounders are valuable. We play four all-rounders in our team, MacMillan, myself, Pollock and Kallis.
salil: Hansie: The incident with the third umpire last year... people said you were a young captain and hence requested for the 3rd ump. Would you have done the same today? Any regrets?
Hansie: Would have done the same although I was wrong. In the end the correct decision got made.
greenbum: Hansie: Bob Woolmer is only supposed to be in for a limited term. I seem to remember two years or something. When does his term end and are there any talks about who his replacement will be?
Hansie: Bob has a long term agreement, and I don't see any problems for him in the near future.
azzie: Hansie: Another advantage of CI is that it tells birthdays. Yours will be in 4 days, so Happy B'day. But my question was what is your most memorable test innings?
Hansie: Against Australia in Johannesburg in 1994.
phaedrus: Hansie: apologies for the 3-in-1: I'm interested in what you think the role (if any) of sports psychologists is in cricket, and what your personal experiences (if any) have been; also, why was that your best innings :)
Hansie: We won the match and I enjoyed batting against Hughes, Warne and McDermott. If the coach is good, I don't think a psychologist is needed.
azzie: Incidentally I just dug up that test (since I didn't remember the scores, and Hansie made 122 in the second innings, ensuring a South African victory).
vishal: Hansie: A must ask - who is the most difficult bowler to face in your opinion?
Hansie: I need to go now,some of us do work for a living! bye, adios...
phaedrus: Hansie: happy birthday and thank you very much on behalf of all
Penfold: Thank you very much on behalf of everyone... [general thank yous]
Hansie: Thanks guys, catch you later, will send some birthday cake through
Date-stamped : 07 Oct1998 - 04:33