COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS

HELD ON: 12-06-2000

AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK


MS BATOHI: Thank you. Mr Commissioner, the next witness will be one of the players, and I think we need to clear the court room first before he testifies. Television and radio, will not, I take it on the basis of your previous ruling, be permitted in these circumstances.

COMMISSIONER: Mr Fitzgerald you'll confirm that's still the attitude of your clients, the ones that are going to testify?

MR FITZGERALD: That is indeed the position.

COMMISSIONER: The Commission will adjourn for a few minutes.

COMMISSION ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION:

COMMISSIONER: Thank you, settle down, please. Mr Fitzgerald.

MR FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. The next witness will be Lance Klusener.

COMMISSIONER: Mr Klusener, you're prepared to take the oath?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, Sir.

LANCE KLUSENER: (sworn states)

COMMISSIONER: Thank you. Speak up into the microphone a little bit, please.

EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD: Mr Klusener, you have a signed statement of your evidence before you, do you?

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you just identify your signature?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, that's right.

MR FITZGERALD: And you confirm the contents of that statement?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, I do.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you just hand it up to the Commissioner? Mr Klusener, is it correct that you were educated at Durban High School in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, and you made your first-class debut for Natal B in the 1993/1994 season?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: In that season you also played for the Natal A side.

MR KLUSENER: That's right.

MR FITZGERALD: You were first selected for the South African side in the 1995/1996 season, and you have since been a regular member of the South African National side.

MR KLUSENER: That's right, Sir.

MR FITZGERALD: You've accompanied the South African team on a number of overseas tours. And you were a member of the World Cup squad in 1999, and also in fact you were named man of the competition.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You're also currently a member of the South African cricket team, and you've been selected to tour Sri Lanka in July of this year.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: It would probably be unnecessary, but for the record, you are a left-handed batsman, is that correct?

MR KLUSENER: I'm glad you've got it right. (general laughter)

MR FITZGERALD: And you certainly regard yourself as an all-rounder.

MR KLUSENER: I'm getting there.

COMMISSIONER: Hurriedly, I think.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Klusener, is it also correct that you've played in excess of 25 tests for South Africa, and more than 17 one-day internationals?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Your highest test score was 174 against England during the last season.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You don't need to be modest. Your best bowling figures in a test were 8 for 64 against India at Calcutta in 1996.

MR KLUSENER: Yes, that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And your highest one-day international score is 103, which you achieved against New Zealand in 1998/1999.

MR KLUSENER: Yes, that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And, this is the last as it were, soft delivery. Your best bowling figures in a one-day international is 6 for 49.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct. Thank you.

MR FITZGERALD: Now Mr Klusener, let's get to the 1996 tour of India. You were a member of that touring team to India in 1996?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, I was.

MR FITZGERALD: That was your debut tour.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: How old were you then?

MR KLUSENER: I think I was about 23.

MR FITZGERALD: The Commissioner has already heard evidence about the benefit game, which was elevated to a one-day international. There's also been evidence about an offer that was put to the team. Can you describe to the Commission in your own words what you know in regard to the offer that was put to the team in 1996?

MR KLUSENER: Yes. Mr Commissioner, it was my first tour and during the build up to this benefit game that we had to play, we were summoned to a team meeting, and you know, being a youngster there, I just listened to what Hansie had to say about you know, there had been an offer, by who or whatever it was. I don't really remember any figures or anything like that, but I just really listened to what he had to say and what the older people of the team had to say.

MR FITZGERALD: Do you recall, how many meetings did you attend personally?

MR KLUSENER: I just attended one meeting.

MR FITZGERALD: Were you approached at all prior to the meeting by Mr Cronje, or by anybody else about the offer that had been made?

MR KLUSENER: No, Sir. I had no idea what the meeting was going to be about at all.

MR FITZGERALD: Now we know that an offer was made and the team rejected it. With the benefit of hindsight, what is your view about the fact that an offer was put to the team?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, I think with hindsight, it wasn't a really good idea at all. I think it was probably something which should have just been, you know, dealt with then and there by whoever had received the call and just said, you know, "look, it's just something that we're not going to do."

MR FITZGERALD: Thank you. Match fixing generally on the sub-continent, do you have any personal knowledge of that?

MR KLUSENER: I've heard rumours, but it's always been something which has been sort of far away and not really had anything to do with it.

MR FITZGERALD: If I can now turn to the most recent tour to India, were you at any stage on that tour approached by Hansie Cronje or anybody with regard to the fixing of a match?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, I was.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you describe to the Commissioner the circumstances under which that happened?

MR KLUSENER: We were sitting in a room, myself and Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher, I think we were having something to eat or watching a video or whatever, and Hansie walked in and we spoke a bit of rubbish. He asked what we were watching and all that, and in passing jokingly he said there'd been an offer of sort, were we interested. And we just said, "look, you know, we're not interested. Don't even go there." And that was it. It lasted about 10 seconds really, and then he walked out.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you be more specific? Do you recall - was this in fact before the second test at Bangalore?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, it was before the second test, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: At the time did you think Hansie Cronje was serious?

MR KLUSENER: No I didn't. I thought it was just something which he had joked about, and probably something which he'd already told the person who'd contacted him that we weren't interested.

MR FITZGERALD: With the benefit of hindsight, what do you think? Could he have been serious at the time?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I think ja, possibly it could have been a way to you know, see how we were towards it.

MR FITZGERALD: Now the revelations of Hansie's involvement in alleged match fixing first circulated and broke on about the 7th of April of this year. Is that correct?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, I think that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You were away, out of South Africa at the time.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You were in fact in Bangladesh, playing in a World Eleven team.

MR KLUSENER: That's right, Sir.

MR FITZGERALD: And you returned to South Africa on about - I think on Monday the 10th of April.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Now do you recall - see if we can get the sequence right, there was team meeting, which you seem to recall was on about the 10th, Monday the 10th of April.

MR KLUSENER: Ja, I think it was. We just met and we just discussed what had happened really, and basically the feeling was that no one had been involved, and no one really knows anything about it.

MR FITZGERALD: Did Hansie Cronje himself also at that stage deny any involvement in any of the allegations which had been made?

MR KLUSENER: That's correct, Sir.

MR FITZGERALD: I understand the next morning, before practice, Goolam Rajah, the Team Manager, spoke to the team. Do you recall that?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, that's correct. We arrived at the field and I was a little bit late, as usual, and all the guys were already there and Shaun just whispered and said that Hansie had obviously made these revelations.

MR FITZGERALD: At that stage Hansie hadn't yet made any revelations - well, he had yes, of course, and Goolam Rajah at the meeting described, is it so, what in fact Hansie had done, he had confessed to taking money. Do you remember that?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, that's what he said.

MR FITZGERALD: What was your personal response or reaction to that news?

MR KLUSENER: I don't think I could quite believe it, because I didn't think that he was actually someone who would do it. But I was shocked and probably felt a little bit let down.

MR FITZGERALD: Would it be correct to say that the majority of the players were emotional at this disclosure?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, I think if not all.

MR FITZGERALD: Did the team practise thereafter?

MR KLUSENER: I think Fordie made the practice optional. But most of us practised.

MR FITZGERALD: So, for the record Fordie, I'm told, is the Team Coach.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: I understand that after that practice there was a team meeting that was held. Is that correct?

MR KLUSENER: That was in the evening, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: That was that the hotel at which the team was staying.

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And there were certain members of the United Cricket Board at that meeting, including Dr Bacher. Is that correct?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you tell the Commissioner what Dr Bacher advised the meeting?

MR KLUSENER: I can't remember exactly, but I think the gist of it was that he asked us, you know, each individually you know to stand up and say whether we'd ever been involved in any sort of match-fixing.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you in any way respond to the questions put by Dr Bacher?

MR KLUSENER: I said, "no", I hadn't been involved at all.

MR FITZGERALD: You had in fact been approached by Hansie Cronje on the tour.

MR KLUSENER: Yeah, that's correct. But it was something which I hadn't really even thought about. It was just something said, I thought, as a joke and I didn't really take it as an approach, or you know, something which I could take seriously. It was only after that meeting I think that Mark Boucher spoke to me and said, "you know, if you remember back he did joke about it." So that's basically how I was reminded about it, otherwise I wouldn't have given it another thought.

MR FITZGERALD: You are aware that thereafter Mark informed the Team Manager that you, he and Jacques Kallis had in fact been approached by Hansie Cronje in Bangalore?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, that's right.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you take the matter any further after that?

MR KLUSENER: No. As I said earlier, I took it as a joke and that was it.

MR FITZGERALD: And you are aware as well that Mark Boucher at that stage had then disclosed to Management the fact of your approach?

MR KLUSENER: Yeah, we discussed it and we all saw it fit that they should know about it.

MR FITZGERALD: Now just to digress slightly, the first one-day international was on the 12th of April. That was in Durban, you recall that?

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Do you recall, after the game, I think you were still in your pads, you were approached by Bronwyn Wilkinson?

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you described to the Commissioner what you and Bronwyn discussed?

MR KLUSENER: It was just, as I'd just got off the field, and Bronwyn and Goolam Rajah approached me to say that a story had broke somewhere and they had said that I had gone to the Indian Police to say that Hansie had been up to match fixing, or whatever, and that was basically all.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you go to the Indian Police?

MR KLUSENER: No, I didn't.

MR FITZGERALD: Is it correct that Bronwyn, in the presence of Goolam Rajah, also asked you whether you'd had a fall-out with Hansie Cronje in the lobby of an hotel?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, I think she did at the time, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: Do you remember what your response to her was?

MR KLUSENER: I said no, I hadn't. I haven't had a fall-out with Hansie Cronje. I speak Afrikaans to Hansie, so for someone to have understood probably exactly what we were saying, if we ever did have an argument in a hotel foyer, was a really good effort.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Gauntlett says especially in Dubai. Just in passing, what is or what was your relationship with Hansie Cronje?

MR KLUSENER: I think I've really got a good relationship with Hansie. We - you know, we often share a drink together after the game and talk about cricket. And we go out together, so I think I've got a really healthy relationship with Hansie.

MR FITZGERALD: You're not aware of any serious fall-outs that you and he have experienced?

MR KLUSENER: No. I don't think there have been any at all.

MR FITZGERALD: Somebody much mentioned at this Commission is Hamied 'Banjo' Cassim.

MR KLUSENER: Sorry, I don't understand you.

MR FITZGERALD: Hamied Cassim, is he somebody known to you.

COMMISSIONER: 'Banjo', the biltong man.

MR KLUSENER: Ja, the biltong man. That's what I know him as, but he's been around the change room and often comes to the hotel and I thought he was someone who really loved his cricket and you know, was good friends with some of the team members. And he had - he always used to bring us biltong, and he used to be quite good company, so I didn't really see anything untoward.

MR FITZGERALD: And it's correct, is it, that from time to time you exchanged tickets or memorabilia for biltong, which you received from him?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, there was always spare tickets hanging around, so if a friend comes in or anything like that, you know they're free to have tickets. And that was basically all my dealings with him. He has got an electronic shop, which I've purchased a walkman and stuff from him.

MR FITZGERALD: Just appealing to Mr Gauntlett, at a good price, I understand.

MR KLUSENER: Yeah, at a good price.

MR FITZGERALD: Just if I can go on then, we're aware and there has been much speculation possibly with the benefit of hindsight, about decisions that Mr Cronje might have made with regard to certain games. People have commented on them. I don't want you to speculate, but can I ask you just to comment on one particular aspect? The Centurion Park test against England. You played in that game?

MR KLUSENER: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What was your response to the decision of Mr Cronje to, as it were, make a game of it and to cause declarations to be made on the last day?

MR KLUSENER: Well, I think we had had a meeting beforehand, and - a team meeting and it was discussed whether we should, you know, have a declaration and have a chance of winning, or whether we should just bat for the whole day and just leave it as two nil, as it stood. I think most of the guys had said that we've got a one-day series coming up and it wouldn't be a good idea to get into almost a one-day kind of game, and you know, we'd played really well, so it wasn't really worth risking giving them any sort of confidence.

MR FITZGERALD: Would it be correct to sum up your response as being one of - you weren't terribly enthusiastic about the idea of a declaration.

MR KLUSENER: And I thought it wasn't a good idea to declare, because I think I had about 50 or 60 and it was an opportunity to get 100, so when the declaration did come, I was a little bit surprised because I had been in the middle all the time, so I actually wasn't quite aware of what was actually going on.

MR KLUSENER: Mr Klusener, if I may just interrupt, counsel. When you went on to the field, or when you went into bat, were you under the impression that the South Africa was just going to bat through?

MR KLUSENER: Yeah, that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Klusener, I see in your statement you've made reference to other incidents, but we'll let other people ask you about that. Just finally then, have you ever bet on a game of cricket?

MR KLUSENER: No, I haven't, Sir.

MR FITZGERALD: We've heard some revelations in this Commission, but other than that, are you aware of any other South African players that might have bet on cricket games?

MR KLUSENER: No, I'm not aware of anyone, Sir.

MR FITZGERALD: Finally, your view, if any, on Hansie Cronje as your cricket Captain for many years.

MR KLUSENER: Well, I've only ever played for South Africa under Hansie Cronje, and you know, if you ask me I think he was a wonderful Captain, and probably the best South Africa has ever seen.

MR FITZGERALD: It would certainly be correct, would it not, to put to you that you certainly have always performed to the best of your ability in all your games that you've represented South Africa?

MR KLUSENER: Absolutely. That's correct, Sir.

MR FITZGERALD: And surely you will continue to do so.

MR KLUSENER: Let's hope so, Sir.

MR FITZGERALD: I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR FITZGERALD

COMMISSIONER: Mr Gauntlett.

MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner, Mr Manca has a question or two for us.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MANCA: Mr Klusener, just dealing with the Centurion Park test first, in your statement you in fact said that you were angry at the declaration. Is that correct?

MR KLUSENER: Well, I think it had come as a bit of a surprise. I was upset and I think Jacques Kallis and myself, we actually just went next door and sat in the physio room because we were a little bit astounded as to - you know, we actually thought we were going to bat the whole day, and you know, half way through the day there was the declaration.

MR MANCA: Mr Klusener, apart from the approach that you mentioned before the game at Bangalore in India, had you ever received an approach from Mr Cronje to be involved in match fixing?

MR KLUSENER: Besides the meeting in 1996, that was all.

MR MANCA: Did anybody else ever approach you in that regard, either a member of the South African team or anybody else?

MR KLUSENER: No, Sir.

MR MANCA: There has been reference in newspaper reports and from some of the people that I have spoken to, in particular Goolam Rajah, who mentioned Mr Cronje having been given a cellphone on the tour. Do you know anything about that? The Indian tour in '99.

MR KLUSENER: I was aware that his cellphone for whatever reason, had broken down when we had got there, but I didn't know that he'd got another one or how he had got it, or anything like that, no.

MR MANCA: I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MANCA

COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Just one aspect, Mr Commissioner. Mr Klusener, dealing with that Centurion test, England was set a target of 245 in 70 overs. Now in your view, would you say that was a relatively easy target, or not?

MR KLUSENER: I thought it was a fair target. If we bowled well, it was something we could have easily bowled them out, and we had done that in the previous games. And if you remember, it rained for three days and the wicket had been under covers for three days, so it was still quite a fresh wicket and I think the ball was doing a little bit. So it was also - it's also something which you need to - you need to have a carrot there for them to be able to say, "well, you know it's something we can actually go for and get." It's not really out of their reach.

MS BATOHI: Just one more question on that test, what's your view on the way that test was finally decided? Do you think that's the way test match cricket should actually be going?

MR KLUSENER: No, I don't think, personally, that it was a good thing for test cricket. Ja, it might have looked good on TV and it was exciting, but personally I don't think it's a good way to finish a test match, or to get a result anyway.

MS BATOHI: I have no further questions, Mr Commissioner.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI

COMMISSIONER: Mr Dickerson.

CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR DICKERSON: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Klusener, back to the Centurion test earlier this year. You described a target of 245 in 70 overs as a fair target. Would it also be fair to say that your prospect of winning that match were substantially diminished when Paul Adams was injured on that last day?

MR KLUSENER: I think absolutely, definitely.

MR DICKERSON: And even with Paul Adams injured, to use your own words, you came within "a whisker" of winning.

MR KLUSENER: Ja, that's right. I think we just needed one or two wickets and we were through them. So it could have gone either way, at the end.

MR DICKERSON: You've expressed your views about forfeiting an innings in order to achieve a result in a test match, that is something which is frequently done in county cricket in England. Is that correct?

MR KLUSENER: Ja, that is correct.

MR DICKERSON: Are you aware that after the conclusion of the Centurion Park match, there was praise for Hansie Cronje from, amongst others Dr Bacher and Peter Pollock?

MR KLUSENER: Yes, I am aware of that.

MR DICKERSON: And the decision to forfeit an innings and to revive the match, if one can put it that way, was treated with considerable public acclaim.

MR KLUSENER: Ja, I think it was - you know, as I said earlier, it was a good idea, but it wasn't really something which I was in favour of personally.

MR DICKERSON: I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DICKERSON

COMMISSIONER: Any re-examination, Mr Fitzgerald?

MR FITZGERALD: No re-examination.

WITNESS EXCUSED


Related Links:

Cricinfo's Coverage of Match-Fixing Allegations