The ’99 ODI World Cup saw Lance Klusener’s emergence as one of the best all-rounders of the game. It was the same World Cup in which he saw himself on the wrong side at two different occasions. When Herschelle Gibbs dropped Steve Waugh in the crucial league which South Africa eventually lost, it was Lance Klusener who was bowling. The second such disappointment came in the semi-final when Klusener ran for his life, for what could have been the winning run, but Donald was ball-watching and shattered the proteas’ hearts.
After 18 years since that match, Klusener spoke to an English daily about the fateful last over. He said, “It was a game that they (Australia) were winning reasonably easily for a long time…..We could have waited for another ball (in the last over) and got another half-volley and hit it for six. It could have been three brilliant yorkers and people would have gone why didn’t you go earlier? I mean that’s just hindsight.”
The former South Africa all-rounder also spoke on his relation with Hansie Cronje and the match-fixing episode that had hit the cricketing world very hard. Klusener said, “We did have a good relation, an excellent relation. And something like that to happen is a big thing. But the excuse is more a personal thing. I think it was made out to be a lot worse than it actually was. But at the same time, I’m not saying it’s right. But whether it was handled well is questionable. It was put on national television. Probably looking back, we have seen worse things in terms of match-fixing since then. None of those hearings have been so public. But it did have an impact on a lot of people.”