Ewie Cronje, former President of the Free State Cricket Union and father of ex-Proteas captain Hansie Cronje, died on Monday afternoon.
He was 80.
Ewie Cronje's son Frans confirmed the sad news.
Writing on social media, Frans said: My dad went to be with Lord at 2:05 pm this afternoon. He was at peace and we are so thankful for the full life he had and wonderful dad that he was. 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 Whats App and other message. With much love...
(We decided, due to Covid 19 not to have any funeral at this stage. We will notify friends and family of any future arrangements.)
Ewie Cronje played 27 first-class matches for Free State between 1960 and 1971, but was better known for his time in administration. He played a leading role in establishing and growing cricket at the University of the Free State and went on to become president of Free State Cricket Union, a position he held between 1983 and 1990.
Cronje was also a SuperSport Afrikaans commentator and tributes poured in as news of his death spread.
Cronje, who had been battling stomach cancer, is survived by his wife San-Marie, son Frans and daughter Hester.
Hansie Cronje tragically lost his life at age 32 in a plane crash in June 2002.
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My dad went to be with Lord at 2:05 pm this afternoon. He was at peace and we are so thankful for the full life he had and wonderful dad that he was. 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 Whats App and other message. With much love...
?????? R.I.P.?????? #EwieCronje - Condolences to the whole Cronje Family ?? @franscronjefilm @hesterparsons @gordonparsons52 Got to really know this LEGEND of a CRICKETING man whilst commentating with @SuperSportTV #Gentleman Go Well... pic.twitter.com/ZlrhxmoAAl— Dave Nosworthy (@DONCRICKET) May 11, 2020
RIP Ewie Cronje. A great man from Bloemfontein has left us. Great servant of Cricket and a top class human being that played a huge role in my early development.— The Niels Momberg I am who I am (@nielspm) May 11, 2020
‘’Stil mense daar gaan ‘n man verby’’.
Am truly saddened to hear of the passing away of Ewie Cronje. Fun moments shared in the Afrikaans commentary box for 5 years. His was one of welcoming voices & a genuine kind- hearted human being. Knowledgeable, kind & caring always. Thanks Sir. #RIP pic.twitter.com/XveYAimHzA— Dev Govindjee (@DevMatchRef) May 11, 2020
Ewie cronje was one of the most special cricket administrators I met. What he did for free state cricket and there success under hansie was largely thanks to his efforts. Family can be so proud ??— Terence Lazard (@TerenceLazard) May 11, 2020
My sincere condolences goes out the the Cronje family Oom Ewie was a remarkable man your legacy will live on in our hearts MHDSRIP AND RISE IN GLORY— jeremy fredericks (@rhinocricket) May 11, 2020
Toet Siens and RIP Ewie Cronje. A gentleman and a scholar. Whenever I asked for background on a player he could go back 3 generations. He had a lot of heartache to deal with and did so stoically. I shall miss him— Andy Capostagno (@andycapostagno) May 11, 2020
Sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy to family, friends and colleagues on the passing of Ewie Cronje, a true gentleman of sport in the Free State.— VKB Knights (@KnightsCricket) May 11, 2020
We are truly saddened by the loss. Our hearts go out to the Cronje family.
You will be sadly missed by all.#Rip#OomEwie pic.twitter.com/6mX5oIxa2n
RIP Ewie Cronje - a great man, and one of those responsible for making FS cricket such a force. Rest well, Sir— Craig Matthews (@craigmatth) May 11, 2020
One of the saddest sights at the King Commission ... a father sitting alone at the back for much of the time, a bastion of quiet dignity while so clearly riddled with inward pain over events affecting his son. I will never forget those images. RIP Ewie Cronje.— Rob Houwing (@RobHouwing) May 11, 2020