Ewie Cronje, father of late Proteas captain Hansie Cronje, passed away on Monday afternoon after losing his lengthy battle with cancer.
He was 80 years old and died at his home in Bloemfontein.
Cronje’s son, Frans, broke the news on Facebook saying his father was ‘at peace’ and blessed with a impactful life during which he made massive strides in the Free State to develop the game of cricket.
‘From my mom, my sister and me, thank you so much for all the wonderful messages of the last few months. We will not be able to answer phone calls today, but will read every WhatsApp and other message. With much love,’ read the statement.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Frans Cronje indicated that a funeral will not be possible presently time but that arrangements will be made in due time.
The Free State Cricket Board also paid tribute to Ewie Cronje for the contributions he made in the province as president of the union between 1983 and 1990.
Chief executive of Free State Cricket, Johan van Heerden, said: ‘We would like to send our condolences to San-Marie, Hester and Frans on their loss. We know these are difficult times, we wish you strength and we thank you very much for allowing Ewie to be part of our lives and of the cricket family.’
‘Oom Ewie is a great loss for South African sports and for Free State Cricket. He was passionate about cricket and one could always rely on his advice,’ added vice-president of Free State Cricket, Xander Snyders.
‘He always remembered players by the names and stats. His sports stories will always remain with us. Free State Cricket prayers are with the family and friends. May Oom Rest in Peace.’