Graeme Smith. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Graeme Smith. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith was finally confirmed as Cricket SA’s (CSA’s) director of cricket on Wednesday afternoon, but will assume the role on a temporary basis.

The 38-year-old Smith‚ who represented the national team as a player and captain between 2002 and 2014‚ will reportedly take over the job on a three-month contract.

CSA president Chris Nenzani said on Saturday they needed to tie up a few loose ends concerning Smith’s appointment, and the organisation confirmed on Wednesday the former captain had accepted the position. CSA’s acting CEO Jacques Faul said they were happy to finally welcome Smith on board.

“I am delighted that Graeme has agreed to assist Cricket SA up until the Indian Premier League next year.

“Obviously‚ Graeme has had his concerns during the course of the last few months‚ but I am pleased to say that we have overcome those concerns and I look forward to working with him to urgently address pressing cricketing matters in particular‚” Faul said.

“Graeme is statistically the most successful Test captain in the history of the game. He is a natural leader and his knowledge of the game is second to none. To have him on board to work with the professional cricket arm of CSA‚ as well as the cricketing pipeline‚ which is so vital for our game‚ is a massive shot in the arm for CSA during this period.”

Smith said he was looking forward to getting his hands dirty with the national team.

“I’ve publicly stated a number of times that I would love to assist CSA in this difficult time‚ particularly in developing this new role of director of cricket‚” he said.

“I’m still as passionate about South African cricket as I ever was and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the role.

“There is a lot of work to be done in the next few weeks and months and my objective will always be to make a positive impact during my tenure.”

Smith’s short-term deal ends speculation about the all-powerful role that has come about at the end of SA’s worst Cricket World Cup campaign since 1992.

According to IOL‚ it is believed that Smith was unable to take up a longer contract as he has already committed to commentary duties for 2020’s Indian Premier League‚ which usually takes place between mid-April and early June.

This means Smith will be available for SA’s summer season that starts on Boxing Day when they host England for the first of four Tests‚ three ODIs and three Twenty20s until mid-February.

England’s tour will be followed by limited-overs engagements at home against Australia (three ODIs and three Twenty20s) and India away (three ODIs) throughout March.

After the home summer‚ SA will have a break before jetting off to the West Indies for two Tests and five Twenty20s in July.

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