ICC World Twenty20

Biff: Proteas in safe hands

2014-04-04 07:24
Graeme Smith (AFP)

London - Graeme Smith believes South Africa are in safe hands, despite his retirement as captain and the recent departures of coach Gary Kirsten and all rounder Jacques Kallis, because the squad are still brimming with experience.

Smith announced his retirement in March after 12 years, more than 9,000 test runs and 27 centuries for his country. His 53 wins in 109 matches as captain also made him the world's most successful test skipper.

But Smith told a news conference with his English county team Surrey at the Oval on Thursday that the top-ranked test side in the world had nothing to worry about.

"There have been a lot of positive changes in South African cricket in the past 11 to 12 years," Smith said.

"Structure and systems are now there to help the next generation to be better. It's now more professional than ever before."

Smith was thrown into the captaincy at only 22 after the resignation of Shaun Pollock following a miserable first-round exit from the 2003 World Cup on home soil.

The 33-year-old has since admitted it took him four or five years to settle into the job but says this time round there are more senior players in the squad to help the team progress after the departure of their captain.

"I think back to when I got the captaincy and we had Gary (Kirsten), Allan (Donald) and Jonty (Rhodes) walk away," Smith said. "Now you have got guys that are there that have played 60 or 70 test matches, and 100 to 150 ODIs (one-day internationals).

"You've got six or seven guys that are groomed to move into that senior player role."

South African head coach Russell Domingo took over from Kirsten last August and Smith says the onus is now on him to see the team into the next era.

"The coaching structure is important and how Russell creates the environment for success," Smith said. "He has the players and the talent is there."

South Africa's one-day skipper AB de Villiers is favourite to step up from test vice-captain to fill Smith's enormous boots.

Smith, however, would not be drawn on whom he would like to see as his successor.

"I don't know where they're going to go with the captaincy," he said.

"I think a lot of pressure is going to fall on the coaches."

South Africa take on India in the World Twenty20 semi-finals in Bangladesh on Friday.

Read more on:    proteas  |  graeme smith  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

SA women go down to England

2014-09-01 22:23

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

What was the No 1 reason for the Proteas losing their ICC World Twenty20 semi-final to India?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.