CAPE TOWN - Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on Friday they had made former Test skipper Graeme Smith’s tenure as director of cricket permanent, keeping him in the role until March 2022. Smith, the most successful Test captain in history, has been in the role in an acting capacity since December. CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul told a media conference that Smith had impressed since in the position. “Graeme has made a huge impact with his energy, expertise, hard work ethic and characteristic determination and passion he has brought to the position,” said Faul. “Although there is certainly a great deal of work to be done, as reflected by the performances of our various national teams, he has certainly put our cricket on an upward trajectory that provides light at the end of the tunnel.” Faul added they were pleased to tie Smith down ahead of what is likely to be a turbulent time for the game due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Burnout fears deny De Kock South Africa Test captaincy


CAPE TOWN - Quinton de Kock will be overlooked as captain of the South Africa Test team to avoid overburdening the nation’s top performer over recent years, director of cricket Graeme Smith said on Friday. De Kock was named captain of the limited overs side after Faf du Plessis resigned as captain in all formats this year, but Smith has ruled him out as skipper in the five-day game, citing the heavy workload for the wicketkeeper-batsman. “It is not going to be Quinton. I can’t say who it is going to be, we are in a debate over it,” Smith told reporters in a video conference on Friday. “There is no one person that you could really pinpoint right now and say, ‘that is the guy’.” Smith suggested it was hard to settle on a captain in a side that has undergone so much change in recent years, with only a few established players. “It is a challenge we sit with at the moment,” Smith said. “There are a lot of players on a similar level and the challenge for the next stage, when we do play some cricket, is to see who escalates themselves into really consistent performers. We also have to understand the personalities, maybe take a risk on someone and back them. Someone who has credibility within the leadership environment and the respect.” Opener Dean Elgar has captained the team before, while middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma would be another name in the mix, though he has been in and out of the side. Smith confirmed that De Kock would remain captain in white-ball cricket, but emphasised the need to keep him mentally fresh across all formats.