Graeme Smith made permanent CSA director of cricket

Graeme Smith says, with time, things will revert back to normal under his watch.
Graeme Smith says, with time, things will revert back to normal under his watch.
Image: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith was on Friday confirmed as the new permanent director of cricket for Cricket South Africa (CSA) on a two-year contract.

The former Proteas 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 chief executive Jacques Faul confirmed.

“Graeme has been appointed to that position of director if cricket for two years and it will go on until March 31, 2022,” Faul said in a tele-conference press briefing on Friday morning.

“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 are working on how to respond to the shutdown of all sports as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in South Africa.

“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 if the crisis with a scenario planning committee.”

Smith, the most successful Test captain in history, has been in the role in an acting capacity since December.

Faul said that Smith had impressed since in the position.

“Graeme has made a huge impact with his 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 were pleased to tie Smith down ahead of what is likely to be a turbulent time for the game due to the 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 team mate 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 South Africa in 108 of those and winning 53.

South Africa 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 : Reuters