It’s a new phase in my career: Smith

ABU DHABI - South Africa’s ODI and Test captain Graeme Smith said that next six months would be a new phase in his career after relinquishing the Twenty20 captaincy.

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Published: Tue 26 Oct 2010, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:53 AM

The 29-year-old from Johannesburg stepped down as captain from the shortest format of the game in August and indicated that he would quit the one-day captaincy as well after the 2011 World Cup to be held in the sub-continent.

Smith intends to remain as Test captain so as to prolong his international career for another five to six years. Smith handed over the T20 reins to Johan Botha, who had stepped in when Smith was injured.

But Smith said that not being captain for the Twenty20 wasn’t odd and added that he was looking at the bigger picture.

“Not being captain is obviously for one week only in this series. But I will keep helping Botha in finding his feet in this environment. He is doing a great job and he will do a great job in the first two games of this tour. For me and the team, it is an important six months for me and the team. We want to be successful in the World Cup in February-March. I am just taking it one step at a time and I am really enjoying it. I have taken some decisions for the benefit of my career and to be able to be successful for South Africa for the next period of time. I have started in a new phase of my life but first I want to stay focussed on the next six months,” Smith said on Monday.

South Africa are coming off a home series against Zimbabwe and Smith said that it was ideal preparation for the series against Pakistan.

About the conditions they will encounter here, Smith said: “We haven’t yet been to the ground but, from our perspective, we have done a lot of hard work back home in terms of our preparation and training. We have four games in six days so that is very heavy and we have been here only last night. So, it is going to be tough but a good challenge.”

Smith hoped that cricket will make the headlines during this tour.

“We hope that cricket would be played the right way and the right spirit. In the end, it is cricket that will make the headlines at the end of the day. We hope to compete as well as possible, to push to win as many games as possible on this tour,” he said and added: “As I said before, South Africa are keen on the way the team develops before the World Cup. We are excited to be here in the UAE. It gives us a chance to play in a new country and experience it. The fans will come out and hopefully support us.”

About the move to play AB de Villiers as a wicketkeeper, Smith said: “Obviously, it offers us more options tactically to look at. Those things are for the captain and coach to decide on a daily basis. It depends on what team you are playing against and what you are up against. “These decisions will be made before the game. But having the spot to play an extra player, offers you the opportunity look at other parts of the game that you would like to take advantage of.”

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