CSA gives Graeme Smith two-year term
Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith was confirmed yesterday as the new permanent director of cricket for Cricket South Africa (CSA) on a two-year contract.
The ex-SA top-order batting mainstay, who has been acting in the position for four months, will serve in the permanent role until March 2022, CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul confirmed yesterday.
“Graeme has been appointed to that position of director of cricket for two years and it will go on until March 31, 2022,” Faul said in a teleconference press briefing.
“I want to thank Graeme for his willingness to come on board and for the work he has done up to now.
“I am not sure if there is anybody whose career can start with so many challenges. He has been instrumental in appointing coaches in this difficult time.”
Faul said CSA was working on how to respond to the shutdown of all sports as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in SA.
“Our strategy is based on four pillars. The first and the most important is safety and acting responsibly,” he said.
“The second is to our voice through player campaigns during this lockdown.
“The third is to engage with stakeholders internally and externally, and the fourth is to deal with the impact of the crisis with a scenario planning committee.”
Smith, the most successful SA Test captain in history, has been in the role in an acting capacity since December. Faul said he had impressed in the position.
“Graeme has made a huge impact with the energy, expertise, hard work ethic and characteristic determination and passion he has brought to the position,” Faul said.
“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.”
Faul said CSA was pleased to tie Smith down ahead of what is likely to be a turbulent time for the game due to Covid-19.
“We wanted to appoint him permanently from the word go, but there was a lot of uncertainty at the time,” Faul said.
“Graeme also wanted to have the opportunity to see if the partnership can work.”
Smith appointed former teammate Mark Boucher as head coach of the national team and started with a 3-1 home Test series loss to England, but ended the 2019-20 season with a 3-0 one-day international whitewash of a strong Australia side.
The former opening batsman played 117 Tests, leading SA in 108 of those and winning 53.
SA are due to tour Sri Lanka for a limited overs series in June but that looks increasingly unlikely due to the global health crisis. — Additional reporting by Reuters