Proteas won’t exchange banter - Smith

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iol spt feb3 Smith

Reuters

Grame Smith says the Proteas will not get caught up in banter with Australia and rather let the cricket do the talking on the field. Photo by: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Johannesburg – The South African cricket team has distanced itself from boardroom issues between Cricket SA and the International Cricket Council, Test captain Graeme Smith said in Johannesburg on Monday.

On January 21 in Dubai, the ICC announced plans relating to the organisation's future structure, financial models and governance of the game.

The ICC said it had received unanimous support from members, including CSA. CSA, however, later said the unanimous support was subject to approval, following a board meeting on Sunday.

“Our job is to go and play cricket, and go and play it well and prove we're the number one team in the world and deserve to be here,” Smith said ahead of his side's three-match Test series against Australia, starting on February 12.

“We've got to find it in ourselves to trust the administrators that they're going to make decisions in the best interests of the game. We've really got to believe in that.”

It is a familiar case for the Proteas side, as there were a number of administrative issues circulating when India toured South Africa in December.

On that occasion, CSA and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) clashed on the scheduling of the tour. It was reduced to three One Day Internationals and two Test matches with the traditional New Year's Test in Cape Town scrapped altogether.

“We're fortunate, or unfortunate, that we've had to deal with quite a number of issues outside the playing field,” Smith said about the Test series which his side won 1-0.

“We've found ways to be successful and not get caught up in those things. Our motivation in doing well is always very high. There is so much happening around this stuff at the moment and focus on what we can control.”

One of the ICC's plans involved the scrapping of a World Test championship planned for 2017, a competition Smith had supported.

“It is disappointing. Hopefully in all this they can come up with something good.”

Australian captain Michael Clarke said last week his side had the best bowling attack in Test cricket – despite both the number one and two rated bowlers, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn, playing for South Africa.

Smith, however, said South Africa would not get caught up in the banter and rather let the cricket do the talking on the field.

“When you've played against Australia enough, you learn to sift through a lot of the bull dot, dot, dot,” Smith said.

“One of our great abilities has been to be humble and focus on ourselves and get ourselves ready. Internal strength is important, and we don't really feel the need to get caught up in that sort of stuff. We know that this series is going to be decided by the cricket that's played over the 15 days.” – Sapa


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