Johannesburg - Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Tuesday announced the appointment of former national captain, Graeme Smith, as tournament director and brand ambassador for the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge.
The appointment is with immediate effect as CSA starts planning for the 2014/15 season.
“When Graeme showed a desire to learn about the business of sport, it was clear to me that he would be the ideal person to direct and promote the RAM SLAM tournament as we look to build on the success of last season,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
“With an enviable playing career at international level as a leader, Graeme has much to offer the game of cricket. This is a perfect fit both for Graeme and for CSA.”
Last season’s RAM SLAM T20 final was a full house at Newlands and overall there were 43% more spectators who attended matches in stadia and nearly 2 million SuperSport viewers. This represented 92% growth in the TV audience over the previous year.
“Although we were pleased with last season’s progress, we want to draw on Graeme’s knowledge to grow this competition to even greater levels.”
Smith’s responsibilities will include driving public and media awareness, assisting in recruiting foreign players to participate in the event, and overseeing the draft system and the allocation of foreign players to the Franchises.
“I am excited by this opportunity and looking forward to putting something back into the game,” commented Smith. “Players love playing in South Africa and our RAM SLAM T20 competition has the potential to become a tournament of choice for international players from around the world.”
Smith’s involvement will not be limited to the RAM SLAM competition. In the lead-up to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, he will also be integrally involved in the ‘Protea Fire’ campaign to promote and support the Castle Lager Proteas in their quest for silverware. Smith played a central role in initiating and developing the ‘Protea Fire’ ideology and team ethic during his time as captain.
“The ‘Protea Fire’ ethos has become a valuable part of the team culture and identity in recent years,” said Smith. “I would love to continue to play a role in promoting the values, tradition and spirit around which the campaign is based so that it becomes an enduring part of the South African sporting culture.”
David Lazarus Joint MD of Ram Hand to Hand Couriers says that Smith’s appointment is a major boost for the tournament. “We are very proud of the success of the Ram Slam and we look forward to working with Graeme to take the event to the next level. Graeme is a cricketing icon and his input and leadership will be vital to the growth of this form of the domestic game.” said Lazarus.