COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS
HELD ON: 08-06-2000
AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK
MS BATOHI: Thank you Mr Commissioner, the next witness will be Daryll John Cullinan.
MR GISHEN: Mr Commissioner, if you have no objection, my colleague Mr Allschwang will lead Mr Cullinan. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: No problem, Mr Gishen.
DARYLL JOHN CULLINAN: (sworn states)
EXAMINATION BY MR ALLSCHWANG: Mr Cullinan, how many games have you played for South Africa?
MR CULLINAN: I think it is in the region of 125, 130 one day internationals and the last count, I think about 53 test matches.
MR ALLSCHWANG: You were a member of the side that toured India in 1996, were you not?
MR CULLINAN: Yes sir.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Evidence has been led that the last game of that tour was originally intended to be a benefit match and that this was later upgraded to an official one day international, is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: Yes sir.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Please could you share with the Commission the state of mind or the moral of the players at the time of that last game, please?
MR CULLINAN: Well, it was the end of a very long strenuous tour and we had a few injuries, a couple of guys were ill. We should have been on our way home and we had to stop over and play a one day game in Mumbai at that stage.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Can you recall that several players were ill at the time, can you remember who in fact was, had in fact been sent home and who was injured?
MR CULLINAN: I do recall we were without Jonty Rhodes and Allan Donald. I do recall Fanie de Villiers being very ill, he came very close to not playing, David Richardson, I know Gary Kirsten kept wicket so obviously David wasn't well.
MR ALLSCHWANG: So it is safe to say the moral of the team was very low?
MR CULLINAN: Arriving in Mumbai, I would say yes.
MR ALLSCHWANG: I would like you to cast your mind back to the day before that final game in Mumbai and ask you whether you were approached by anyone in regard to financial arrangements relating to fixing of a match?
MR CULLINAN: I do recall Hansie Cronje in passing remarking that there was money on the game and were going to have a team meeting about it.
MR ALLSCHWANG: May I ask you Mr Cullinan where was this approach made?
MR CULLINAN: From what I can remember, it was before the game, where exactly, I cannot remember.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Mr Cullinan when you say before the game, do you mean on the day of the game, the day before the game?
MR CULLINAN: I think it was, we had like an informal practise before that game. It could have been then.
MR ALLSCHWANG: And you say Mr Cronje approached you and suggested that money had been offered to the team to throw the game?
MR CULLINAN: It was to that effect.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Were any figures mentioned sir?
MR CULLINAN: I cannot recall if he mentioned figures then, he just fleetingly made the remark and we were going to have a team meeting.
MR ALLSCHWANG: When was this team meeting to be sir?
MR CULLINAN: I recall the team meeting the night before, it could have been the morning of the game, I am not too sure.
MR ALLSCHWANG: What was your immediate reaction or your reaction to this suggestion by Mr Cronje?
MR CULLINAN: I laughed about it, I dismissed it as typical of his sense of humour.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Now if I may ask you to take your mind back to that meeting, can you tell us what transpired at that meeting?
MR CULLINAN: From what I can recall, Hansie had said that there was money, there was, the figure I think was in the region of $250 000 and he had been approached and he put the facts on the table and it was a question of what I strongly recall that we were all in or we were all out.
MR ALLSCHWANG: So in other words unless the decision was unanimous, the team would not accept the bribe to throw the game?
MR CULLINAN: That is correct.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Can you recall if any players stood up and voiced an objection to this idea of throwing the game?
MR CULLINAN: I do recall Andrew Hudson replying, Derek Crookes and obviously I know I said something.
MR ALLSCHWANG: You said something to the effect that you were opposed to the team throwing the game?
MR CULLINAN: Most definitely, we were representing our country and there is no ways we should entertain such ideas.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Did the meeting last for a long time?
MR CULLINAN: From what I can recall, it was very brief, quite abrupt and we left the room immediately afterwards.
MR ALLSCHWANG: When you left the room, what was the feeling you had in your mind?
MR CULLINAN: I recall leaving that room with a very strong, very positive frame of mind, certainly more motivated and very clear in my mind where we stood in regard to this matter.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Do you have any theories as to why Mr Cronje put this offer to the side in the way that he did?
MR CULLINAN: Yes sir, I do.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Please will you share that with the Commission?
MR CULLINAN: I believed and I still believe to this day it was a stroke of genius on his part, as a team the moral was very low. I believe it was his way of testing his team. What we must understand at that stage that there was, this wasn't a new subject, it is not the first time we have heard of match fixing, it was inevitable, it would be inevitable when we would be approached and I do believe it was the motive behind his putting it to the side. And we left that team meeting the better for that meeting, a much better side and very clear in our own minds that in no ways in the future would any player, or the South African side entertain those sort of ideas.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Mr Cullinan, I would like you now to take your mind to more recent events, namely the last test match against England which I believe took place at Centurion. Do you recall the game?
MR CULLINAN: Yes, I do Sir.
MR ALLSCHWANG: As I understand it, in my view the game was heading for a tame draw, would that be correct?
MR CULLINAN: From what I can recall, yes.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Now, a rather unusual situation occurred insofar as the declarations were concerned, could you please explain that to the Commission?
MR CULLINAN: Well, there was a forfeiture of innings which -it is not the first time it has happened in my career, it is unusual but it happens. I mean often in the spirit of the game, and in the pursuit of results, it happens.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Are you suggesting Mr Cullinan that the forfeiture of innings or mutually determined decision to bring the matter to some kind of result, was consistent with trying to achieve a win for South Africa in that test match?
MR CULLINAN: We had nothing to lose, we were two up in the series, sitting in the change room, four days of rain, to walk out on an inevitably very boring fifth day knowing you are playing for something, I see nothing wrong with that.
MR ALLSCHWANG: So, if I may say so, you believe it was a well-balanced declaration which offered a very real prospect of success for South Africa?
MR CULLINAN: Very much so. Defending four an over in test cricket, is not difficult. You can bowl outside legstump and restrict the side, it is not a one day match, it is a very fair declaration.
MR ALLSCHWANG: I wonder if I may ask you some general questions, please Mr Cullinan. Have you ever received any money or financial incentive to under-perform or to participate in any form of match-rigging or fixing?
MR CULLINAN: No Sir.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Have you ever bet on the outcome of a match?
MR CULLINAN: No Sir.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Perhaps an penultimate question, what is your view about Hansie Cronje's captaincy?
MR CULLINAN: I believe he was a great captain, he was a great leader, he had the respect of his colleagues, his fellow players and he was held in high esteem both on and off the field.
MR ALLSCHWANG: My final question to you Sir, are there any other incidents which you believe may be relevant or should be brought to the attention of this Commission?
MR CULLINAN: Certainly not in my eight years of playing for South Africa, no.
MR ALLSCHWANG: I have no further questions, Mr Commissioner.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR ALLSCHWANG
COMMISSIONER: Thank you.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: As it pleases you Mr Commissioner. Mr Cullinan, you are one of the players who has assisted the Commission by providing a short statement, is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: Yes Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: And you conclude the statement by saying in relation to the meeting that you have described to the Commissioner at which this offer was discussed, that you left the meeting "feeling very good in that the team was not prepared to go along with anything of this sort"?
MR CULLINAN: Yes Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: So that feeling that you had of actually feeling good and I take it in a way, proud, related to the fact that the team had rejected an offer which you and a few others thought is essentially dishonest?
MR CULLINAN: That is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: And from that it would follow that that feeling of goodness in the team rejecting the dishonest proposal, was clearly for you a serious proposal?
MR CULLINAN: My belief - from a point of view that it actually wasn't a serious proposal. I go back to what I said earlier, I believed it was part of Hansie Cronje's strategy.
MR GAUNTLETT: You see Mr Cullinan, what puzzles me is you don't say a word of that in your statement, I would have thought you would have said very shortly and swiftly in your statement that "I didn't think it was serious and more particularly I thought that it was a stroke of genius", to use your words, "it was a stroke of genius for the captain to be flighting this possibility to try us all out", why didn't you say that?
MR CULLINAN: I think your explanation - I actually cannot answer that, it was probably not thought out, I obviously didn't think of it that way.
MR GAUNTLETT: When did you start to think of it that way, Mr Cullinan?
MR CULLINAN: I have always thought of it that way Sir, and to this day, that is what I still believe.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan, I repeat if you always thought of it that way, when you were making your short statement to assist the Commission and to put down what was important, why didn't you mention that, I repeat that?
MR CULLINAN: It was probably a short statement, maybe I should have been more elaborate.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan, I must put it to you that won't wash either, because what you put down on your statement, was clearly in assistance with your legal, with the assistance of your legal representatives, what you thought was important to the Commission, not so?
MR CULLINAN: Well, that is correct Sir, but it was a short statement, I have elaborated on that statement today.
MR GAUNTLETT: The question is why?
MR CULLINAN: Because that is what I believe, Sir.
COMMISSIONER: You see Mr Cullinan, if I can interrupt Mr Gauntlett, the problem that I have is that your elaboration is not really an elaboration, it runs counter to what is in your statement, it is an altogether different interpretation?
MR CULLINAN: Well if that is what it is Sir, then that is what it is, I cannot say further than that.
MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner, perhaps I should interrupt at this stage, just to place on record, I think in fairness to the witness that this aspect was mentioned during consultation. It is not in his statement which was drafted after that consultation. The statement was drafted, I am not sure before the consultation, but it was mentioned at the consultation.
MR ALLSCHWANG: Forgive me Mr Commissioner, if I might. In the first instance the statement that was handed to my learned colleague at the time of the initial investigation, was a preliminary draft statement which was handed in to assist the inquiry, it was certainly not intended to be exhaustive of our client's views on the matter and if I may also say at the time of the interview, my client's view on the matter was expounded in exactly the same way, Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: Well Mr Cullinan, let's disentangle you from the statements and go to the heart of the matter. I asked you whether what is in this statement, preliminary draft or otherwise, was correct in that you left the meeting feeling very good in that the team was not prepared to go along with anything of this sort, and you confirmed that was your view, not so?
MR CULLINAN: Yes Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: And you confirmed furthermore that was because that anything of that sort was a reference to a proposal which we have established through you, was both for you serious and dishonest, not so?
MR CULLINAN: I think any team that gets such a proposal of a serious nature, but definitely dishonest, but bearing in mind that I have played with Hansie Cronje for two, three years, I knew him as a young cricketer and I understood his background and his sense of humour and I believed as I repeated earlier, that it was part of his strategy.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan I must put it to you that is not a frank and acceptable answer, because what you have already accepted as reflecting your view was leaving that meeting feeling good in that the team was not prepared to go along with anything of this sort. Are you now saying to the Commissioner that anything of this sort, refers to the team not going along with the practical joke?
MR CULLINAN: Could you explain that again sir, sorry, I am a bit slow on that one, thank you.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, the question is this, you have already said to the Commissioner that you took this as a serious proposal is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: It was a serious meeting discussing a serious topic which wasn't news to anybody, playing world cricket in that period.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan I asked you a question as to whether you accepted as you have already indicated this was a serious proposal, you answer me by reference to it being a serious meeting. Is there a distinction you are trying to bring out or is the answer to my question "yes, for me it was a serious proposal"?
MR CULLINAN: It was a serious meeting, but my explanation is that I understood the person behind the proposal and I understood it as such.
MR GAUNTLETT: And the person behind the proposal is well known at times to have been a practical joker and at other times in his responsible position that he had, to be a serious person, not so, he has serious things to say?
MR CULLINAN: Most definitely, Hansie had that sort of sense of humour and it was difficult to fathom out when he was serious or not. It took a while to get to know him and understand when he was serious and when he wasn't.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan, you must now choose because you have I think told Mr Commissioner that this was for you a serious proposal, you seem to have some resistance in repeating that but you referred to this being a serious meeting. I must ask you very squarely to indicate whether you are now saying to the Commissioner under oath that this for you was in fact conceivably a joke?
MR CULLINAN: Sir, I don't think that joke is the right word. I go back to my earlier explanation and I believe that it was a strategic way by Mr Hansie Cronje in motivating his side which was for a very difficult game the following day, and I do believe that he was putting temptation before his team and on his part, very cleverly seeing which was a very well-known thing occurring in world cricket, it was inevitable when South African would be approached, and it was his way of sassing things out. That is how I explained it, that is how I still believe today.
MR GAUNTLETT: Why then ...(intervention)
COMMISSIONER: Excuse me Mr Gauntlett, according to your statement and your evidence, you stood up at the meeting and you said you were not prepared to be a party to this, you were representing your party and you were not prepared to entertain any such idea? Were you going along with this, what Mr Gauntlett has described as a practical joke, or is this something, this stroke of genius of Mr Cronje something that you rationalised about afterwards? When did this thought come to you and why did you do what you did if this was simply some form of ploy or tactic?
MR CULLINAN: I spoke out very strongly about not being involved. I think, as I said earlier, we were going to reach a stage where opinions would be voiced, we are a team, we are a travelling party, on a matter which was very well-known, hot topic of debate. It would at some or other stage as a side in whatever form it may be, from the heart people spoke on the whole issue and where this side would stand and what would be the procedure in the future. My rationalisation was probably afterwards, in explaining and believing why we would, what the whole procedure was in the first place.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you Mr Commissioner. So what we have now established is indeed a rationalisation afterwards, I suppose Mr Cullinan it is fair to say that what would really make you think in that direction is the extremely high regard which understandably you had for Mr Cronje as captain and a concern that he should ever be party to such a thing?
MR CULLINAN: I do have a high regard for his captaincy and leadership, yes sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: And rationalising afterwards in this way, would be an entirely understandable way of saying "this man who I admire so much, has done so much for South Africa and South African cricket, couldn't really have meant to be party to something as corrupt and dishonest as this".
MR CULLINAN: Sir, when we had the meeting, he put the facts on the table. It wasn't an emotional meeting, he presented the evidence to the team, nothing more than that. That is how I understood it and that is how I rationalised it at that time, and that is what I still believe.
MR GAUNTLETT: No, you didn't rationalise it at that time, because you have already answered the Commissioner that you did it afterwards and what you did at that time was to stand up and to express repugnance and phrases in your statement were used to encounter this type of thing, anything of this sort, not so, you didn't rationalise at the time, you did it afterwards?
MR CULLINAN: I suppose that is contradictory to what I have just said, and I guess that is true. I rationalised afterwards.
MR GAUNTLETT: Well then, let's ask what happened at the time. First of all, it was a team meeting in Mr Cronje's room, was there not a team room?
MR CULLINAN: It is customary on tours to have a team room, it was, it could have been his room or the team room, it is four years ago.
MR GAUNTLETT: I think the evidence is pretty clearly, it was his room and not a team room.
MR CULLINAN: I will take it as his room, sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: Secondly, Mr Woolmer wasn't there, did it occur to you afterwards when you were involved with rationalising what might have happened, that it is strange that if the team is being tested in this way that Bob Woolmer isn't in on the testing?
MR CULLINAN: Sir, when we left that room, we were very clear and very positive in our minds. I never gave it - in terms of why certain people were there or not - much thought.
MR GAUNTLETT: Well, did you give much thought when you were rationalising afterwards to the fact that you had all been asked your own words, to keep the, to regard the meeting as secret?
MR CULLINAN: I don't particularly recall if that was actually said, I cannot remember.
MR GAUNTLETT: Well, your statement says it was said and now we just need to establish whether this is again something which is not right. It says -
"He also said (that is Cronje) that the meeting was secret".
MR CULLINAN: Well, I guess if my statement says that, as mentioned earlier, it was a draft proposal, then I guess it probably was.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan you must choose which of the horses you are riding. Are you saying that because it is a draft statement it is wrong, or are you saying as I am understanding you to be saying that in this respect, it is correct?
MR CULLINAN: H'n, let's take it then as correct if the statement says that or whatever the situation may be.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Cullinan, this was a statement, it is undated except that it says May, I mean this is a statement that you made quite recently, it is not as if it is a statement you made three or four years ago. What is correct?
MR CULLINAN: The statement says it was a secret, then I guess it was a secret Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: Then the question is, we don't have to guess, to know that that was what was said to you, how when you were busy with the rationalising afterwards, how would that gel that this is a secret and Woolmer is not there, how does it fit the idea of temptation being laid in your path?
MR CULLINAN: Could I ask you to elaborate slightly on that please.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, you have two possibilities. One is that as seems to be expressed by Hudson and Crookes and by you, that you were faced by something which was serious and which was dishonest, the other possibility was, since we have eliminated the practical joke I think, that it was some sort of moral test for the team. How would the moral test for the team gel with being sworn to secrecy?
MR CULLINAN: H'n, moral test, I mean at that stage as I said, you know, the statement says that the meeting was a secret, the meeting as such was, we were a team, we were a group of guys and the statement was made, "do not discuss this" or whatever, I mean I cannot remember. My memory of that meeting - it is four and a half years ago.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan, since the Commission of Inquiry was announced, has Mr Cronje contacted you?
MR CULLINAN: No sir, I have tried to contact him.
MR GAUNTLETT: You have tried to contact him?
MR CULLINAN: That is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Why?
MR CULLINAN: I just wished to express sentiments of "I am thinking of you and the very best of luck and what must happen, must happen", along those sort of lines. I think that is a normal procedure for anyone who spent eight years in your career, together.
COMMISSIONER: Did anyone on behalf of Mr Cronje approach you since the announcement of this Commission?
MR CULLINAN: No Sir. I was, yes, Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: You know, Mr Symcox testified to, as it were a little after-meeting in which senior players remained behind and in which a phone call was placed by Mr Cronje as regards which Mr Cronje indicated that the offer had been raised by $100 000, you heard that, did you?
MR CULLINAN: I did hear that yesterday, yes.
MR GAUNTLETT: You still find yourself able to advance as a possibility even as an after the event, rationalisation, that what had happened in the full meeting, had been this moral test?
MR CULLINAN: Is that after hearing what Mr Symcox had to say yesterday?
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes?
MR CULLINAN: I still stand by my previous statement and I still believe that it was a moral test and it was part of Hansie Cronje's strategy.
MR GAUNTLETT: So the strategy would have been that the squad or the members that were there, left the - the full meeting, I think it was the four remained behind, there is a further discussion, the money is pushed up, how would all that relate and how would it influence the state of mind of the team members who had already left the meeting, feeling very good in that the team was not prepared to go along with anything of this sort, how would that gel?
MR CULLINAN: Well, this was news to me yesterday and - I haven't given that a thought since yesterday.
MR GAUNTLETT: I just wondered if after the rationalisation which followed after the meeting, if having heard Mr Symcox's evidence, you hadn't perhaps rationalised further or reconsidered the rationalisation?
MR CULLINAN: I might over the next two, three days, I might not, we are involved in a process here and concentrating on what I have to do today.
COMMISSIONER: What is your reaction, Mr Cullinan, you have given the evidence that you thought this was a tactic of Mr Cronje in order to raise the moral, you now hear what you didn't previously know, that there is evidence that Mr Gauntlett has just mentioned of Mr Cronje obtaining an additional $100 000 to add to the original $250 000. With that knowledge, or hindsight if you like, do you still adhere to your original view?
MR CULLINAN: Well, this is all news, it is obviously very shocking. I think what one has, I mean I have only been here a day, I think one needs to go away and digest all of this again and get to look at it again. As I said earlier there will be a time for reflection, but what has happened today and I was concentrating on what I have to do today and will obviously go away with my eyes opened. So I guess one has to reflect on that.
MR GAUNTLETT: And in the same vein, Mr Symcox's evidence about a conversation he had with Mr Cronje on, I think it was about the 10th of January 1995, the Mandela Cup fixture against Pakistan. You heard that evidence?
MR CULLINAN: For the first time yesterday, Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: Did it cross your mind that this was an earlier anticipatory and purely private, moral test being laid by Mr Cronje for Mr Symcox?
MR CULLINAN: Sir, I don't wish to speculate on that part. I don't think - it's nothing to do with me.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan, to wrap up, for reasons which I think you testified to, you have the strongest admiration and loyalty towards Mr Cronje, is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: I think that is a fair summary, yes, Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: And it would be fair to say that really your approach in that spirit is one of standing by him through thick and thin. Is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: I haven't heard his side of the story, and until I've heard his side of the story I will stand by him.
MR GAUNTLETT: Well, at the moment all we have is theological ventriloquism daily in the newspaper. But Mr Cullinan, I must put it to you that for the most understandable reason of personal loyalty, what you have done is to put an after-thought gloss on the hard facts of the meetings to which you've testified. And I want to put that to you squarely so you have the opportunity to answer.
MR CULLINAN: Are you referring to the '96 meeting, Sir?
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, I am Mr Cullinan.
MR CULLINAN: Well, in the space of 24 hours I've received - heard information that I wasn't privy to, that I'd never heard before. And if I may repeat what I said earlier, that's obviously something I need to go and digest and reflect on. But up and to what was said in this Hall yesterday, that is what I believe and is my explanation and rationalisation for that particular meeting.
MR GAUNTLETT: And what you've heard it would be fair to say I think from the way you've conveyed it, I'm talking about Mr Symcox's evidence and those respects, I put to you it does shake you a bit, doesn't it?
MR CULLINAN: Of course it does. I think it would shake anybody whose spent the years playing cricket together. But there again, we haven't heard his side of the story, and I firmly believe that we need to hear that first. And as a player, that's what I wait for.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, well, we do know it hasn't been put to Mr Symcox that his evidence, and Mr Cronje is represented here by a phalanx of lawyers, it wasn't put to Mr Symcox that his evidence is untrue or that there was a moral test being laid or anything of that kind. You know that, don't you, Mr Cullinan?
MR CULLINAN: Yes, Sir.
MR GAUNTLETT: So there's no indication that Mr Cronje is seeking to put on the events of that meetings the gloss established in your case by a rationalisation afterwards. If that is so, then you would accept that even Mr Cronje doesn't suggest that he was laying this moral test before the teams door.
MR CULLINAN: Could you - could I ask you, please, to simplify that?
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, certainly. Mr Cronje - there's been no indication that Mr Cronje, who has made a number of statements and who is represented here, that Mr Cronje is suggesting that he was laying an elaborate moral test at the teams door. That being so, I take it you'd accept that this really is a rationalisation which you put on the events because of the shocking nature of it to you at the time.
MR CULLINAN: Yes, my explanation, if I'm following you correctly.
MR GAUNTLETT: We have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLETT
MR GAUNTLETT: There's one small aspect, if I might Mr Commissioner, I might wish to come back to. But at this stage I have no further questions. It's just something I need to look up quickly.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you, Mr Gauntlett. Mr Fitzgerald?
MR FITZGERALD: I have no questions, Commissioner.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR FITZGERALD
COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Mr Cullinan, you've been quite forceful about the fact that you believed, well you thought what Hansie Cronje was doing there was trying to test the team. That is what you thought?
MR CULLINAN: That is my explanation for it, Ma'am, yes.
MS BATOHI: He's never told you that it was a test, and nor have you heard from anybody else that it was a test.
MR CULLINAN: He never told me and I haven't heard from anybody else.
MS BATOHI: Now if it was a test, wouldn't you have expected Mr Cronje, after it was rejected by the team, to have said, 'This is just amazing. I'm just so glad that all of you rejected this offer, because I was really testing all of you people to see what the reactions would be.'?
MR CULLINAN: Are you referring to the meeting at the time?
MS BATOHI: That time or at any other time.
MR CULLINAN: I then have to from my memory recall, as I repeated earlier, that we left that team meeting very strong, very clear in our minds, that as a team we would never be party to any practise of this sort of nature, and there's no doubt that he would have played a role in influencing that position, the point of view.
MS BATOHI: I hear what you're saying, but the fact that you all left the meeting feeling very good about what had happened. But what I'm putting to you is the fact that if this was indeed a test, why didn't Mr Cronje say, 'I'm just glad this team has passed with flying colours'? Wouldn't you have expected him to have voiced his - the fact that he was glad that the team had in fact rejected the offer?
MR CULLINAN: I can't speak on his behalf, what he should or shouldn't have said. All I know is what I heard and how I left the meeting.
MS BATOHI: You wouldn't, as a logical thinker, have expected that of him?
MR CULLINAN: I mean, probably yes, probably not. At that time I just know what happened and how I personally, my own state of mind at that stage.
MS BATOHI: It's something that you thought was happening, right? You believe in your mind this was a test. It appears you believe that quite strongly. In view of what has transpired in the past couple of weeks, including the revelation yesterday by Mr Symcox that the offer was increased, et cetera, why are you not prepared to even entertain the possibility that that was not a test, as you originally believed?
MR CULLINAN: As I said earlier, Ma'am, that was less than 24 hours ago. One is concentrating - I was concentrating on what today has to come, and I'm pretty sure that from here I will leave and reflect back on what I've heard and digest that.
MS BATOHI: I accept that. But let's for a moment assume that what Mr Symcox said was absolutely true, that it did happen. I don't expect you to give me a decision, because you say you need time to think about this, but do you have doubts that maybe what you thought about the fact that it was a test perhaps is it wasn't a test? Just doubts about it, at this stage, in view of the fact that that evidence was led yesterday?
MR CULLINAN: If you are asking me to assume that this is all true, then obviously I would have serious reservations about the whole morality of it, the whole issue, which in any case at the time I expressed my disapproval of.
MS BATOHI: Yes, no. Just understand that no one's saying you've done anything wrong. I'm glad that you know, you in fact did voice your disapproval. If in fact, it wasn't a test, let's assume for a moment that it wasn't, wouldn't you have expected Mr Cronje, knowing him the person to be - to have rejected this offer outright the moment it was made to him? That's on the assumption that it was a genuine offer and he put it to the team.
MR CULLINAN: I think if we assumed along those sort of lines most definitely he could have rejected it outright, immediately. But let's understand too, that they don't necessarily have to work through the Captain. I just see it as a situation where, if players are approached, it's the sharing of information of what's going on. I think it's a very good team attitude. We know what's happening if this sort of thing is put to the team and it's discussed as a team, and that was just our whole style of being a very close unit at that stage.
And I think that goes along the lines of my understanding of his leadership and keeping his team involved, and I reflect back on that meeting as him sharing his experience about this issue and topic in world cricket, and felt kind of happy that he'd shared it with us.
COMMISSIONER: But then I would have thought, Mr Cullinan, that what one would have expected Mr Cronje to do is to come to the team meeting and say, 'Look, I've had the most appalling experience. Somebody's actually offered money for us to lose the game. I'm just telling you chaps that, and be careful that nobody approaches any of you.' This was brought to the meeting, as I understand your evidence and Mr Crookes' evidence, this was brought to the meeting as a serious proposition for acceptance or rejection. Thanks to persons like Mr Crookes and yourself and Andrew Hudson it was rejected. But I have a very distinct view that this was an offer that was conveyed seriously, either to be taken or rejected.
Now I wouldn't have thought that if Mr Cronje was doing this to share the experience with the team it would have been put in that way. That's really what troubles me a little. Just give me your thoughts on that.
MR CULLINAN: My thought is that they don't necessarily, as I mentioned earlier, need to approach the Captain. And again, it was his manner of maybe possibly finding if someone else had been spoken to within the team. It was an open forum of discussion. I remember quite clearly that it was a sharing experience, and he very clearly, unemotionally just put the gist of this thing was, 'This is what's happening. Give me your thoughts.' And that's what I understand.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cullinan, the flip-side of what you say, if it was a test, is that Mr Cronje at that stage would have been able to establish who in the team was actually prepared to consider suggestions like this. Isn't that true?
MR CULLINAN: I think that ties up with my rationalisation of the whole event, and my personal belief and explanation of the event.
MS BATOHI: And it is to that - well, is it so that there were certain people that didn't reject it out of hand, but were willing to think about this proposal?
MR CULLINAN: From what I can recall it was basically rejected almost immediately, and the meeting was quite brief.
MS BATOHI: How many meetings can you recall?
MR CULLINAN: There was one meeting, Ma'am, which I can recall.
MS BATOHI: Were all the players present at that meeting that you recall?
MR CULLINAN: It was definitely the full touring squad, yes. Of players, yes, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: But you would have expected, if this was a test and if some players were indeed willing to consider this proposal, that Mr Cronje would then have taken it further to perhaps ensure that these players aren't enticed in future, isn't that so?
MR CULLINAN: Could I ask you to simplify that, please? Sorry.
MS BATOHI: If this was in fact a test, as you said you thought it was at the time, Mr Cronje would have taken that opportunity to suss out those players that showed an inclination to consider the proposal, or that were prepared to think about it.
MR CULLINAN: I would correctly say that I would surmise that probably would have happened if those were his thoughts. I can't rationalise on his behalf.
MS BATOHI: But none of the players said to you at a later stage that Mr Cronje had spoken to them about this, and about the fact that these sorts of offers should be rejected out of hand, or anything like that?
MR CULLINAN: No. We'd basically - I remember leaving that meeting and dismissed it, and left it right there and thought no further of it. Only in terms of that's 4 years down the line, this meeting maybe is mentioned, guys speak about it, whatever. That just kind of happens.
MS BATOHI: You were asked by your Counsel about the Centurion Test, the fourth test, was it the last Test? Between England and South Africa, and you said that you thought that defending a total of 4 an over gave South Africa a reasonable chance of winning the game. Is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: Well, we came within a sneak of winning the game.
MS BATOHI: If I recall correctly, I think England was given a target of about 245 in 70 overs, which makes it less then 4 an over. Now the fact that you all came close to winning, let's just forget about that for a moment, but do you think defending about 3.5 an over in a Test gives the team defending that a reasonable chance of success? Or do you think England was in fact given the better chance of reaching that total, at 3.5 an over?
MR CULLINAN: I think the decision at the time must be taken in context with the Series up to that date. They hadn't shown us any - and you base your decision as the Captain on the side that you are trying to get out, and the strength of their batting which they had shown 4 Test matches earlier. If it was perhaps a side with Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Mark Waugh in your top 4, you might consider 51/2, 6 an over. But up and to that stage of the Series, I think 31/2, I can't quite recall what it was, 4 an over in a Test match on the fifth day, is a fair declaration.
MS BATOHI: If you'll bear with me, please, Mr Commissioner. I won't be much longer.
Can you recall, who made the suggestion of actually - well, either abandoning the Innings, or converting the match to a One-day? The Centurion match.
MR CULLINAN: I can remember Hansie Cronje and Graeme Ford saying that they've been approached by the England Captain to abandon the Test match and to play a One-day game, which I think would have been on the Sunday.
MS BATOHI: I have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dickerson.
MR DICKERSON: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DICKERSON: Mr Cullinan, do you recall the Centenary Test in New Zealand in 1995?
MR CULLINAN: Yes, Sir, I do.
MR DICKERSON: In that Test there was a declaration by South Africa 3 overs before lunch, and it appeared to be a risky declaration and as if South Africa may lose, but in fact, you won that Test.
MR CULLINAN: I know we won that Test and it was won by a very good declaration, yes.
MR DICKERSON: Turning now to the Centurion Test, do you recall that Paul Adams was injured during the course of that last passage of play?
MR CULLINAN: Yes, I do recall him being injured.
MR DICKERSON: Do you also recall that whilst England were batting and were 8 wickets down, you approached Hansie Cronje and said to him that now you would have a beer with him afterwards?
MR CULLINAN: That jolts my memory. I think that is correct.
MR DICKERSON: The reason that you said that was because initially you had not been unduly impressed with the declaration.
MR CULLINAN: Well, I thought we'd probably given them too many overs. That was my explanation for it.
MR DICKERSON: Are you aware that on the fourth day of the Test, after the long interruptions for rain, a meeting was held between Dr Bacher, the English Captain Nasser Hussein, the Umpires, the Match Referee and Hansie Cronje, during which it was proposed, not by Hansie Cronje, that the Test match be abandoned and converted to a One-day International?
MR CULLINAN: I'm not aware of it, but I can believe it.
MR DICKERSON: Are you aware that Dr Bacher was pushing for a One-day International?
MR CULLINAN: Doesn't surprise me.
MR DICKERSON: And are you aware that it was because of a clash of the sponsors, who sponsored Test matches as opposed to the sponsors who sponsored One-day Internationals, that the idea of a one-day game was not pursued?
MR CULLINAN: I could understand that, yes.
MR DICKERSON: I have no further questions, Mr Commissioner.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DICKERSON
MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner, I apologise, but I have one aspect that I want to - can - it's just one aspect.
FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: I questioned you about the Centurion Test and a short while after that, you announced your retirement from One-day Internationals. Is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: Yes, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: What was the reason for that?
MR CULLINAN: They were personal reasons.
MS BATOHI: But a month or two later you took up a contract with the UCB, which would compel you now to play in both Tests and one-dayers.
MR CULLINAN: That is correct, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: Now what made you change your mind?
MR CULLINAN: It was very simply that the new contract offered - on acceptance of that contract, I have to be available to play one-day cricket and Test cricket for South Africa.
MS BATOHI: So did the fact that you had personal reasons in the first place, or trying to get out of One-day Internationals, not make a difference then?
MR CULLINAN: I wasn't trying to get out of cricket. I was just getting out of one-day cricket. I was still very happy to play Test cricket.
COMMISSIONER: I think just by way of what I understand your explanation to be, your contract that you've recently entered obliges you - they don't leave you the choice. If you're going to play cricket for South Africa, you must be available for the Tests and the one-dayers. Is that correct?
MR CULLINAN: That is how it was put to me, and those were the terms, and it did oblige me, yes, Sir.
MS BATOHI: Thank you. I have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner, if I might with your permission, just pick up that one aspect that I said I couldn't deal with immediately? Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
RE-EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Cullinan, it relates in a confined way, to the Centurion issue. I wonder if you could help just clarify one or two residual respects. There was a report in the Mail and Guardian on the 28th of April this year, by Mr Neil Manthorp, and he reports there that you voiced concerns about the legitimacy of the Centurion Park result to what he describes as a 'prominent team mate' during the Super Sport Series against Border a couple of weeks after the Centurion game. You nod your head. Was that so?
MR CULLINAN: Just run that past me. I'm sorry.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, surely.
MR CULLINAN: Just run that past me again.
MR GAUNTLETT: Surely. You must tell us when we have to run things. You're being asked the questions. Mr Manthorp reports that you voiced concerns about the legitimacy of the Centurion result to what he, or whom he describes as 'a prominent Gauteng team mate', during the Super Sport Series final against Border a couple of weeks after Centurion.
MR CULLINAN: To my knowledge that is incorrect.
MR GAUNTLETT: Did your retirement from one-day - your early retirement, as it were, from one-day cricket, was that announced immediately after the Centurion game?
MR CULLINAN: It was announced during that game.
MR GAUNTLETT: Why during?
MR CULLINAN: Well, I had spoken to Dr Bacher on two previous occasions about that possibility, and I had spoken to him - was it just before that game, during that game. He suggested a Press Conference when to announce it, and it was the Friday night. I remember it being a Friday night, and he thought that that was the appropriate time to announce it.
MR GAUNTLETT: As you understood it, was there - is it fair to say there was a high level of unhappiness amongst members of the team about the declaration?
MR CULLINAN: I don't recall necessarily an unhappiness about the declaration, no.
MR GAUNTLETT: Were you happy about the declaration?
MR CULLINAN: As I mentioned earlier to Mr Dickerson, the amount of overs I questioned. Under the circumstances, no, I wasn't unhappy about the declaration perse.
MR GAUNTLETT: Were you aware of any discussion by Mr Cronje with you or any other team mates before the declaration?
MR CULLINAN: I remember having a discussion with him myself about that particular issue, how many overs and he seemed very strong in his mind. Knowing his Captaincy, knowing a fair amount of his cricket brain, he would have gone the option of giving a very fair target, if not an easy one - not an easy one, but he was never - his style wasn't to make it a situation, 'We'll make sure we can't lose, and then try and win from there.' His style was one of both sides must be given the option to win, and inevitably those proved to be the best results.
MR GAUNTLETT: Your personal view at the time was that was wrong. Is that so?
MR CULLINAN: Declaring wasn't wrong. It was - I just thought we'd given maybe a touch too many overs, but maybe I'm on the more conservative side.
MR GAUNTLETT: And is that again what you've thought about since?
MR CULLINAN: We came very close to winning that game, and looking back on that game, and as I probably said, 'Well, we can have a beer now.'
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLETT
COMMISSIONER: Anyone wish to follow on Mr Gauntlett's further questions? In which case, is there any question in ...(intervention)
MR ALLSCHWANG: I have no further questions, Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you, Mr Cullinan.
MR CULLINAN: Thank you, Sir.