No obvious successor for Smith

2014-03-11 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — Chances are the Proteas will not get another captain out of the blue, as was the case when Graeme Smith was announced.

Andrew Hudson, convener of the national selection committee, said the new Test captain must be an established player.

Hudson said although the process to find a successor for Smith had not yet started, they have “a good idea”.

He said the candidate must be part of the current team and must be familiar with how things work — they cannot look at someone who is not already established.

“There are no plans yet [for a meeting], the focus is now on T20 cricket.

“We can meanwhile start thinking about the captaincy.”

He confirmed the selection committee does not take a decision in isolation, adding that there are quite a few others involved in the process.

CEO of Cricket South Africa (CSA) Haroon Lorgat earlier said CSA’s board draws up a short-list of names, which are presented to him.

In earlier reports, Lorgat said although it had been a calculated risk to select a 22-year-old in 2003, Smith had vindicated the CSA’s decision.

CSA has three months to ponder the next short-list for the Test captain, as the next Test series against Sri Lanka is only in July.

AB de Villiers had earlier taken over the reins from Smith in ODIs.

He is the obvious choice and is also seen by most selectors as the favourite to become the Test captain.

De Villiers (30, 92 Tests) had however said on Cricket Australia’s television channel he will have to wait and see if he will become the new Test captain, adding it would be a big honour if this happened. This could open the door for Quinton de Kock to take over the wicket-keeping gloves from De Villiers and could extend De Villiers’s career considerably.

Hashim Amla (30, 76 Tests) and Faf du Plessis (29, 14 Tests) and Alviro Petersen (33, 30 Tests) are also seen as candidates — with some saying Smith’s sudden retirement has also extended Petersen’s career.

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