Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith has withdrawn from the race to be on his country’s Board as Director of Cricket, saying he doesn’t expect enough “freedom” to initiate the changes he wants.
South African cricket has been on a downward spiral for a while, ousted early from the World Cup this year and blanked in an away Test engagement to India recently.
There was an overhaul in the administrative set-up following the World Cup ouster and the team is currently being coached by interim appointment Enoch Nokwe after the sacking of Ottis Gibson.
Smith said he appeared for interviews for the position of Director of Cricket but has decided to withdraw now.
“I would love to have taken on the role,” the 38-year-old said in a statement posted on his Twitter page.
“However, despite my obvious desire to make a difference, during the long and, at times, frustrating process over the last 10 or so weeks of discussions, I have not developed the necessary confidence that I would be given the level of freedom and support to initiate the required changes,” he added.
One of South Africa’s most successful captains and batsman, Smith scored 9,265 runs in 117 Tests, including 27 hundreds.
“I give my heartfelt best wishes to whomever does take the role on. I will continue to support the teams and give my advice and guidance whenever I can,” he said.
South African cricket has been mired in turmoil also because of a controversial quota system in the selection, which mandates that some slots be set aside specifically for players of color.