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Faf focused on England

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“I understand that there is a lot of uncertainty around CSA at the moment and certain aspects of where the business is moving”

Graeme Smith remains Cricket South Africa’s “interim” Director of Cricket for now, but he remains keen to make the position permanent once his commentary stint in India is completed.

Smith, like Cricket SA’s interim chief executive Jacques Faul and new Proteas head coach Mark Boucher, has not had a lot of time to get to grips with the numerous challenges each of them have faced, having been in their respective positions for just over a month.

“The goal is still to remain in this position,” Smith said this week.

“I understand that there is a lot of uncertainty around CSA at the moment and certain aspects of where the business is moving.

Going forward

“However, I am putting things in place that I can run with going forward.”

Smith has packed a lot into his short stint.

Besides the appointment of a new coaching staff for the Proteas – which has been his priority – he’s also overseen Quinton de Kock’s promotion to One-Day captain, started interrogating the “cricket system” and development pipeline, travelled to India to meet the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s hierarchy, and met with the England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison.

Cricket SA will begin the independent forensic audit into the conduct of its suspended CEO Thabang Moroe early next month, while at the same time a management review will take place.

A review about the decision to shift from six domestic teams to 12 provincial sides is also being concluded by a committee chaired by CSA consultant Dave Richardson.

“I’m not sure 12 is the answer, maybe seven or eight,” said Smith.

“But there are so many elements – finance, how to bring players through, how to accommodate players coming through, the best structure for high performance, and transforming national teams.”

One major decision that will require more talks over the coming weeks is the future of Faf du Plessis.

De Kock was made One-Day captain this week, and Smith admitted that he would, in conjunction with Du Plessis and Boucher, be reviewing the T20 side.

“We need to look at who that leader is going forward,” he said.

“I will sit with (Du Plessis) after the Test series (against England, which culminates with the fourth Test starting at the Wanderers today), and have a robust discussion on his future.

“He is ultimately the South African Test captain.

“The next series we play is in the Caribbean (in July) so there is a bit of time, and we need to see where he sees himself going forward.”

Du Plessis will still have a role in the 50-over format, according to Smith.

“We see him playing a role as a player, but from a leadership perspective we see this as an opportunity to move forward in the one-day arena. His record in One-Day and T20 cricket is outstanding and it would be silly of us not to have him involved.

“Faf does not see himself being around in 2023, so from that perspective, leadership has been an issue for a while in SA cricket and we see this as an opportunity for Quinny,” Smith added.