Free State Cricket has expressed its condolences at the news of the death of Ewie Cronje, the father of late Proteas captain Hansie Cronje.
He was 80.
Ewie Cronje had been battling stomach cancer and his son Frans confirmed his death on Monday afternoon.
Ewie Cronje played 27 first-class matches for Free State between 1960 and 1971 and also served as president of Free State Cricket Union from 1983 to 1990.
President of Free State Cricket Union Zola Thamae said: "We have learned with shock of the passing of our cricket stalwart, Oom Ewie, who has given a lifetime of service to cricket.
"Oom Ewie will be sadly missed by the cricket fraternity. He was a person of integrity who wanted to give fair opportunities to everyone involved in cricket regardless of their background. I remember that he lobbied me in particular to come and start girls cricket way back in 1995 when we were both serving in the Free State Provincial (National Sport Council) NSC in 1994.
"On behalf of the Free State Cricket Board, we send our condolences to his family and the cricket family. May his soul rest in peace.".
"It is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of Oom Ewie Cronje, who is the former president of Free State Cricket Union," commented Chief Executive of Free State Cricket Johan van Heerden.
"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 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", concluded Snyders.
- Free State Cricket