Former Proteas captain has been interviewed for the Director of Cricket post at Cricket South Africa. Photo: Tertius Pickard/AP

JOHANNESBURG – Graeme Smith on Thursday said he was no longer available to be Cricket SA’s Director of Cricket.

Smith was one of three candidates interviewed for the crucial position last week. However on Thursday afternoon, Smith, writing on social media site Instagram said he didn’t feel he’d have the “level of freedom and support to initiate the required changes,” he believed should be made in the game locally. 

The Director of Cricket post, is an all-encompassing role that includes overseeing all the national teams, while also developing a strategy for improving the domestic game, and a long-term plan to be successful at the 2023 World Cup. 

When it emerged that Smith had been interviewed he was quickly seen as the ideal candidate for the position, within an organisation that currently lacks cricket expertise. “I would love to have taken on the role,” Smith wrote.

Smith goes onto to describe an “obvious desire to make a difference,” but also points out that the process involved in getting him to apply for the position, was long and frustrating.

Independent Media understands Smith was approached before the Proteas tour to India and had requested various details about the position and what a likely salary would be. None of that information was forthcoming from CSA it seems. 

Hussein Manack and Corrie van Zyl were the other candidates known to have been interviewed by a five-person panel made up of members of Cricket SA’s Board of Directors, and the organisation’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe.

Van Zyl’s interview came as a surprise given that he was one of three senior administrators who were suspended, after CSA claimed they were “derelict in fulfilling their duties,” as they pertained to the handling of the image rights of the players for last year’s Mzansi Super League. 

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Smith’s withdrawal comes as a huge blow to an organisation that has suffered enormous reputational damage in the last few months, with sponsors not willing to attach their names to the MSL or any other local competition.

At the same time, the Proteas men’s team, very much the face of cricket in the country, endured a desperately bad year, losing all of its last five Test matches, while the World Cup campaign was a catastrophe and ultimately led to Ottis Gibson being sacked as coached a month before his contract ended. 

Smith gave his best wishes to the successful candidate. “I will continue to support the teams and give my advice and guidance whenever I can.”   

@shockerhess

 

IOL Sport

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