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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

'Graeme Smith wants to be his own man'

Faisal Shariff in Durban | March 18, 2003 16:38 IST

Graeme Smith is amused. Not in the original World Cup squad, the 22 year old today holds the destiny of South African cricket.

The youngest South African skipper ever, Smith was surprised when the announcement came along. "It is funny. It did come as a huge shock. But I believe I can do the job," he told rediff.com

Coach Eric Simmons said it is important to back Smith and help him tap the team's talent. He warned people to understand that Smith's age should not be an impediment.

"Please understand Graeme is not your average 22 year old. He is a special 22 year old."

Smith says it is too early to feel the pressure since he has yet to lead the team onto the ground.

"Pressure is when I captain the team in a game. Right now I have just managed to talk to the coach, the manager and  other members of the team. I explained my thinking to them," he said.

Despite following a long line of skippers who excelled as leaders Smith is keen to make his mark.

"Graeme Smith wants to be his own man. I want to be judged by my own standards and not live by someone else's standards. We have had magnificent captains, but I want to do it my way."

"I would like to install passion in this side. I want the team to take every opportunity there is to win and prove that South African cricket is the best in the world."

Having to leave home at 18 and start life anew without a family was the most disappointing time of his life. "I know I will have tougher times but I am strong to take disappointments in my stride and move ahead," he said.

He praised Shaun Pollock for being the first to call and congratulate him when he was appointed captain.

"He told me he believed in me and would support me through everything. It meant a lot to me."

Coach Simmons said though he feels sorry for Pollock he is thrilled to see Smith captain the team. "This is an exciting time for South African cricket. I am sure Graeme will put his brand on the game. This is a fresh start for cricket in our country," he told rediff.com

Simmons believed Smith would have the support of the entire team and could tap into the experience of the senior players and find his own path.

The challenge of Sharjah awaits the greenhorn when South Africa takes on Pakistan and Sri Lanka followed by the tri-series against India and Bangladesh. These two tours will be the litmus test for the fresh face of South African cricket.


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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: New era of South African Cricket

Something really touching about this article was getting to know that Shauni was the first one to call Smith and congratulate him. That shows his ...

Posted by Aparna

Sub: right choice

i would like to say that he is the right choice as far as am concerned.Coz in the tour games when south africa played with ...

Posted by sadishkumar

Sub: Smith's captaincy

I think Smith is selected to become the scapegoat for all the experiments SA is going to undertake for the revival of their team in ...

Posted by vandana

Sub: Greame Smith

I think Greame Smith is a very good young player. He had a fantastic start to his cricketing career, that too against the mighty Australians. ...

Posted by Salil

Sub: Smith's captaincy

It is so funny that country like SA resorting to sacking Captain b'coz of the dismal show of their team. Though there are some senior ...



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