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Cricket SA has appointed Graeme Smith to lead the new T20 League due to take place in the country in January and February 2023.
To illustrate their seriousness in getting the T20 League off the ground, Cricket SA last week withdrew the Proteas from the ODI series against Australia in January to leave the team in danger of missing out on automatic qualification for the World Cup.
Cricket SA explained that they took the decision to withdraw the Proteas from the three-match series because they wanted to have all the Proteas players available for the T20 League.
Cricket SA said Smith, the Proteas’ most successful Test captain and former opening batter, will oversee all cricketing and noncricketing aspects and develop what is expected to be a dynamic brand that showcases the strength of SA cricket.
Cricket SA CEO Pholetsi Moseki said Smith is the best candidate. “I worked closely with Graeme during his role as director of cricket and believe he is the perfect candidate to lead this new chapter of SA cricket,” said Moseki.
“His expert understanding of the local and international cricketing environment will ensure the league delivers a thrilling product that will change the face of SA cricket for the better.
“This new league promises to make a significant investment into both professional cricket and development in SA, with a positive socioeconomic and tourism injection into the country.
“We are excited by the positive strides we have made so far and remain on track to deliver a league to inspire and entertain cricket fans around SA and the world.”
Smith said he is looking forward to making a contribution.
“I’m extremely honoured to be entrusted with leading this exciting new venture. I’m deeply committed to SA cricket and happy to serve the game as best I can,” he said.
“I’m excited by the opportunity to deliver the new league, which I believe will be an extremely competitive product, one that can bring the much-needed investment into the game and provide new opportunities for players around the world and more importantly to our SA home-grown talent.
“The response from stakeholders has been very positive and we’ve made great progress in the initial stages. We’re determined to deliver a valuable, sustainable and appealing tournament for SA cricket.”
Smith is expected to bring tremendous experience and understanding of the game, having worked in the sport as a player, captain, commentator, ambassador, consultant and more recently as Cricket SA’s director of cricket.
The T20 League is expected to give impetus to the development plans of Cricket SA and to elevate and sustain the organisation’s vision for the game.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.