Great article. Wish I could watch the doccie.
I remember as a fan, just wanting my team to win, Hansie was captain, my captain and could do no wrong. At the same time, I remember older people who hated the SA team and would literally support any other team but them, these people mostly still do.
For me, the main source of bitterness was that. It was sometimes hard to be a SA supporter (especially a non-white one,) you were surrounded by people who disliked the team yet you still had faith in this guy, his pious image of righteousness, the certainty in your heart that you may lose but this team and captain would never, ever give up without a fight. He was *the man*
And then the news broke in India, my uncle called us up just before school and told us to turn on the TV, he'd always said someone's going to fall from grace soon so he was almost reveling in it. Now, I'm of Indian origin but that mattered little. Who were those (probably corrupt & overweight) Indian cops to say those horrid things?
He'd never do that, our Hansie, pure as the driven snow he was. He did do it though and it became more and more apparent after every passing hour, but that hope was still there. Hansie still denied it and for me, that meant it was still nothing more than lies. Then he said he did it and that was that.
I'm still a big Proteas fan and always will be but SA cricket has never recovered from that day. He shattered the image of the sport, he sold us out for a frakking leather jacket and a meagre handful of silver. I still remember people softening towards him in the later years, some even suggesting he be allowed back to do coaching, that pissed me off to no end. Forgive sure but even allowing him back onto a cricket field would have been too much for me I think. None of it to be in the end though.