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CRUCIAL DAYS AHEAD FOR MATCH-FIXING COMMISSION

South African businessman Hamid Cassim, who is alleged to have acted as a link between Cronje and bookmakers, is due to take the stand as well.
Current international players Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Lance Klusener as well as United Cricket Board (UCB) managing director Ali Bacher are also in the line-up of witnesses.
Cricket has already been rocked by statements from three players that they were offered money by Cronje to perform badly.
Fast bowler Henry Williams and opener Herschelle Gibbs told the inquiry they had agreed to offers of $15,000 to affect the score but did not act on them. All-rounder Pieter Strydom said he laughed off a similar offer of $20,000.
The commission has heard testimony that Cassim befriended the South African team with gifts of biltong (dried meat) and that he was instrumental in informing Cronje of bookmakers’ offers.
His lawyer, Itzie Bloomberg, denied Cassim had also given Cronje money.
“The only things my client has ever given Mr Cronje are biltong and sweets,” Bloomberg told reporters.
Bloomberg said Cassim would testify on Tuesday, although commission officials could not confirm this nor confirm when other witness would be called.
Cronje, sacked as South Africa’s captain after admitting to taking money from bookmakers for providing information, is expected to testify on Tuesday or Wednesday.
One of Cronje’s lawyers, Les Sackstein, said he did not know when his client would attend the hearings or when he would testify.
Cronje, along with Gibbs and Williams, have been offered indemnity from criminal prosecution in South Africa in return for full disclosure to the commission.
Monday’s most important witness is likely to be Bacher.
Kallis and Klusener told the London Sunday Telegraph Cronje had made offers of bribes to them before the second test between South Africa and India in Bangalore in March but that they had not taken their captain seriously.
“It’s much bigger than I thought,” Kallis was quoted as saying. “I don’t know that much about it. My testimony is going to be pretty boring compared to the others.
“Basically he (Cronje) just approached us in a joking kind of way before the second test and said something about money – he didn’t mention any figures.”
“Looking back now, sure it was a big thing,” Klusener reportedly said. “But as far as we were concerned it just wasn’t going to happen so we didn’t take it seriously and that was the end of it.”
Reuters