Despite having done the job himself during his top-flight career, former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith said it was asking too much in the modern era for one person to lead the South African team, following Cricket SA’s decision this week to split the role across the formats of the game.
Smith, the CSA director of cricket, said the pressure exerted on Quinton de Kock had indicated that it would be best to split the leadership roles.
With De Kock stepping down in all three formats, Temba Bavuma was unveiled as the first black African captain of the national T20 and ODI teams, while fellow top-order batsman Dean Elgar was set to take the reins of the Test squad.
“We feel it’s a very difficult job to carry all three formats,” said Smith, who led all three national teams during his playing days.
“The workload is too much to give it to one person.”
In an attempt to ensure continuity and stability, it was announced that Bavuma’s tenure was set to include the next two editions of the T20 World Cup, as well as the World Cup in the ODI format in 2023, while Elgar would lead the Proteas into the next cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.
With both men looking to lead from the front, Smith said the national federation was confident it had made the right decision, as South Africa aimed to climb from a lowly sixth place in the world Test rankings and fifth spot in both limited overs formats.
“It has been a stressful period with lots of challenges for cricket… and the results and standard of play need to improve,” Smith said.
“But it is very clear to us that these are the right men to take South African cricket forward for us.”