Cricket South Africa (CSA) paid tribute to Ewie Cronje who died in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.
He was 80 and according to reports had been in detonating health for some time.
Born in Bethulie in the south-eastern Free State, Nicolaas Everhardus Cronje became one of the great characters and driving forces of Free State cricket.
Known as ‘Oom Ewie’ in his latter days, he represented Free State for a decade from 1960 to 1972 at a time when Free State cricket was not particularly strong.
After his playing days, he served Free State cricket in virtually every capacity including being the convener of selectors, groundsman and president at which time he represented Free State on the Board of the South African Cricket Union. After unity, he was a member of the inaugural Board of the United Cricket Board of South Africa.
He worked as an administrator at Free State University after he moved on from being a teacher at Grey College, and had a lot to do with the growth of the university on the sports fields of South Africa.
“We have not just lost one of the game’s great administrators and a player of note,” commented CSA Acting Chief Executive Jacques Faul, “but a wonderful human being. He was a great man and servant of the game.
“People around the country will cherish very special memories of him and on behalf of the CSA Family, I extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, his cricket colleagues and all the people who were touched by his humility, kindness and comradeship. He was Mr Free State cricket.”
He was honoured with the Khaya Majola Lifetime Award for service to cricket in 2012.
He is survived by his wife, San-Marie, his son, Frans, daughter Hester and their extended families and grandchildren. His younger son, Hansie, captain of the Proteas from 1994 to 2000, died in 2002.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo