Graeme Smith handed permanent charge as CSA Director of Cricket

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17 Apr 2020 | 09:20 AM
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Graeme Smith handed permanent charge as CSA Director of Cricket

The 39-year-old was brought on board to put South African cricket back on track

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Former captain Graeme Smith was on Friday (17th April) appointed Cricket South Africa's permanent Director of Cricket for a two-year term, a post which he held on an interim basis since December last year.

The 39-year-old was brought on board to put South African cricket back on track.

"Graeme has made a huge impact with his energy, expertise, hard work ethic and characteristic determination and passion he has brought to the position during the six months he has served in an acting capacity," said CSA Acting Chief Executive Jacques Faul.

"Although there is certainly a great deal of work to be done, as reflected by the performances of our various national teams, he has certainly put our cricket on an upward trajectory that provides light at the end of the tunnel."

Smith captained South Africa in a record 108 Tests between 2003 and 2014. He played in a total of 117 Tests, 197 ODIs and 33 T20s.

"He has bought into all the overall pillars of our strategy and that includes the important one of transformation.

As far as the technical and support teams he has put together are concerned, the black generic component amounted to more than 70 percent across the board and the Black African component varied between 30 and 60 percent for the Proteas for the home international season, for the Momentum Proteas for the Women's T20 World Cup and for the Under-19 World Cup, which we were privileged and proud to host," explained Faul.

In his interim, Smith also made some key appointments.

"He also made a number of strategic temporary appointments with Linda Zondi appointed interim independent national selector, Ashwell Prince taking charge of South Africa A and Malibongwe Maketa joining the under-19 squad as a coaching consultant," added Faul.

Smith, on his part, said he was delighted to stay on board as part of the team to take South African cricket forward.

"My appointment brings a degree of permanency to my position which makes planning the road ahead a lot easier.

As Dr. Faul has said, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done, not just at international level but throughout our pipeline development pathways as well but I am determined to get South African cricket back to where it belongs as one of the world leaders at international level," he concluded.

Smith rules out Quinton de Kock for Test captaincy

Smith - revealed that Quinton de Kock would not be elevated to the Test captaincy.

He told a tele-conference that the debate over the Test captaincy was one of the challenges he faced during a period when no cricket can be played because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's not going to be Quinton," he said, citing De Kock's responsibility as the country's limited-overs captain as well as being wicketkeeper and a key batsman.

Quinton will be our white-ball captain but from a workload and mental capacity aspect we want to keep him fresh. From personal experience I know that captaining all three formats is challenging and we don't want to overburden him."

Smith gave no indication of the likely replacement following the decision of Faf du Plessis in February to step down from the job.

"There's no one person you can pinpoint,” he said. "There are a lot of players on a similar level."

South Africa's next scheduled Test series is in the West Indies in July but Smith said that it had not been finalised due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

South Africa are also due to go to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs tour in June but Smith said both tours could be postponed.

"We are in discussion with the boards of those countries and decisions will have to be made pretty soon," he said.

T20 World Cup the priority

Smith said his immediate priority was the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November, assuming it happened as planned.

He said South Africa hoped to host a Twenty20 series against India in August as part of the build-up to the world event. "There is a lot of doubt about what the situation will be by then but we are in discussions with the Board of Control for Cricket in India," he said.

Faul said he expected more clarity on the status of the T20 World Cup to emerge when the International Cricket Council hosts a video discussion between national chief executives next Thursday.

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