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“Leadership is crucial”
Recently retired South Africa captain Graeme Smith has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to show some real leadership following the drastic changes made to the game.
The drastic changes include the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia taking a larger share of the ICC’s profits.
It also includes the scrapping of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) as the BCCI, ECB and Cricket Australia believe it is easier for two cricket boards to agree when and where to have a series.
“The game is facing a few challenges at the moment, whether they are good or bad I don’t know,” Smith told ESPNcricinfo. “Only time will tell. Leadership is crucial. The ICC need to show that and take the game forward, give it direction. There is a huge interest in all formats.”
Smith also revealed that he never played the game in order to make bundles of cash, but instead to have the honour of representing his country and making his supporters proud.
“You need to have something that people want to be a part of for more than just money,” he said. “That’s what we really worked in on South Africa, our cultural identity, what made us want to play for South Africa instead of chasing money around the world because that is a really factor in world cricket now. The game needs good direction especially from administration.”
Smith is also looking to make more of an impact during his time at Surrey this year after he was forced to miss a majority of last year’s county season due to ankle surgery.
“I think things slowly progressed last year,” he said. “I had big ankle surgery, Gary [Kirsten] walked away from the job, a new coaching structure came in, Jacques [Kallis] retired, stuff started playing on mind. It was about having the courage to make that last decision. I’d been captain for 11-12 years which has certainly taken its toll. How I react to retirement, I don’t know. It’s hard to predict.
“There are a lot of really young guys who need to grow and hopefully I can play a role in all of that. We probably lack a little of the middle-of-the-road cricketers, those in the middle of their careers, so have a bit of work to do.
“The club is trying to stay a little under the radar and let our performances determine where we go. It’s a club with a huge stature and we want to get our cricket up to that level.”