Smith's Titans return 'exaggerated'

2015-02-24 18:37
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Titans chief executive Jacques Faul says reports of former Proteas captain Graeme Smith returning to cricket to represent the franchise are greatly exaggerated.

Faul said Titans coach Rob Walter spoke to Smith, 34, a few weeks ago, but it was nothing official.

"Rob had an informal chat with him, saying if he considered playing again he should consider talking to us," Faul said on Tuesday.

"There have been no formal negotiations or anything signed. So it's been exaggerated at this stage.

"I don't want to deny we had a chat with him, but it (the reports) created the impression (of) hard negotiations, which isn't the case."

Faul said it was quite normal for his coach to speak to former players.

"We expect our coach to talk to players on their availability, but I think we're jumping the gun here because we're not in serious negotiations," he said.

Smith, who played 117 Tests with a batting average of 48.25, is currently in Australia following the Proteas' progress in the Cricket World Cup.

"The oke is in Australia, he's not even here. How can we chat to him?" Faul said.

"That's the honest truth, our coach said to him if you want to come back and play, consider us."

Smith retired from international cricket in March 2014 during the third Test against Australia, but continued first-class cricket at Surrey in England where he played eight matches.

In May last year, Smith fractured his knee which brought an end to his season, and has not played competitive cricket since.

Faul, however, said the Titans had spoken to Smith in 2014 about a possible return to South African domestic cricket.

"We did approach him last year, but at this stage it was a chat between a coach and an ex-player," Faul said.

"I'm not sure if he's made up his mind if he wants to play (again)."

Smith hit the headlines last week after it was announced he and wife Morgan Smith would be divorcing.

Read more on:    titans  |  graeme smith  |  pretoria  |  cricket

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