Cricket South Africa (CSA) Director of Cricket Graeme Smith has defended his appointment, saying that some of the hypothesis surrounding him is ‘extraordinarily unfair’.
“If you look at some of the things which are being said around appointments, my appointment, and the appointment of my staff, I think some of those things are extremely unfair. It was good to see the President (Chris Nenzani) put that straight with his most recent comments. But I have to come back to my value system and why I got involved in this job,” Smith, who was appointed to the place in April 2020, mentioned in an official launch issued by CSA.
“Cricket South Africa courted me for a while, I went through the same interview process as everybody else in getting the job. I got involved because I have got cricket at heart and to be part of the solution. I want to help create a strong Cricket South Africa,” he added.
Apart from Smith himself, there was a lot of hypothesis over Mark Boucher’s place as the pinnacle coach of the boys’s group.
“I think the narrative is really unfair. I was appointed by a really vigorous process and didn’t go and appoint myself. I’ve made it clear why I got involved. I made a number of appointments in December, not only Mark Boucher. I brought in the permanent staff like the team manager Volvo (Masubelele), Justin Ontong, Charl Langeveldt, Enoch Nkwe, and the medical staff,” Smith mentioned.
“The appointment of Paul Harris was around Keshav Maharaj requesting to work with him for one series. Jacques Kallis hasn’t been on the payroll of Cricket South Africa for many months, he worked on an interim basis and it is important to clarify that those appointments were not permanent,” he added.
Smith additionally shared his ideas on the Social Justice programme urged by the CSA Transformation Committee and accepted by the board, saying he was ‘shocked’ to listen to former pacer Makhaya Ntini’s ideas on the racial divide within the sport.
“I fully support the Social Justice programme. I think the initial thing is to listen internally within the current Proteas set-up and, in the build-up to the Solidarity Cup, that’s exactly what happened,” Smith mentioned.
“What surprised me the most is that there were players in the past that never felt they had a voice or could feel comfortable enough to communicate. Part of my role and that of my department’s role is we’re going to have a very big influence on how things move forward,” he concluded.