Cricket South Africa still sees a future with Graeme Smith

Dylan Bettencourt

After former Proteas captain Graeme Smith was cleared of racism allegations levelled against him, Cricket South Africa has suggested they could still work with him.

Smith was accused of being racist towards Thami Tsolekile in 2012, as well as taking issue with the black leadership within the governing body before accepting the Director of Cricket position.

Cricket South Africa’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report sought to uncover any racial prejudice within the organisation.

While Smith was cleared by the SJN, the appointment of Mark Boucher as head coach was found to have flaws.

In his “tentative findings”, ombudsman advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC had found that Smith “unfairly discriminated on the basis of race against Mr Enoch Nkwe” when appointing Boucher.

Despite Smith being the first to assume the role of Director of Cricket and managing a tough period with Covid-19 and financial troubles, the former captain chose not to continue in the role.

He did not reapply for the role when his two-year contract came to an end in March.

Cricket South Africa CEO Pholetsi Moseki however hopes that the relationship between Smith and the organisation can be restored.

“I think he wants to focus on other things, and I hope that we haven’t lost him in the system. Graeme is a legend in the sport itself.

“This process was key in the sense that both of us can find finality and see how possible it is to work together in the future. He’s too important. We’ll see how we’ll take it forward,” Moseki told Sport24.

Reports suggested that Smith would take up a consultancy role within Cricket South Africa, something that Moseki did not confirm.

“That would always have been a different discussion,” he said.

While the accusations regarding Smith have been concluded, attention will turn to the gross misconduct charges against head coach Boucher.

Enoch Nkwe has been stand-in coach while Boucher faces his trial. Many believe Nkwe will remain coach as Boucher could lose his job.

Cricket South Africa will hope to have the head coach position sorted out before they head to India for an ODI series in June.

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