South Africa retain skipper Smith, coach Arthur

Published: Friday, May 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg:Despite coming a cropper in the World Cup semi-finals against Australia, the Board of Directors of Cricket South Africa (CSA) have renewed the contracts of skipper Graeme Smith and coach Mickey Arthur for another two years.

CSA chief Gerald Majola said, ''The board decided to renew the two-year contracts of Graeme Smith as captain and Mickey Arthur as coach because they spear-headed the Proteas' most successful season yet, despite the disappointing World Cup results.''

''The board wants to keep building morale so that we can get the Proteas where we want them to be - the best in the world.

We believe that Graeme and Mickey can do the job at hand,'' Majola said.

Showing confidence in the leadership of Smith and Arthur, Majola said ''We believe that we can build on the successes of this past season, as well as the lessons learnt at the World Cup.''

Mickey Arthur, who was appointed coach in May 2005, presented the World Cup report to the Board, setting out reasons for his teams indifferent performance in the World Cup.

Among the reasons cited by the coach in a release by CSA are ''lack of maturity among some senior players, lack of the consistent mental toughness that is needed to take the Proteas successfully through an arduous World Cup.''

''The board decided that among the measures to be taken will be the appointment of a team manager and after drawing up a profile as well as job description, an appointment will be made soon,'' Majola revealed.

Smith thanked his supporters and assured of better performance in the future. ''I am most grateful for the confidence shown in me by Cricket South Africa and I look forward to the challenges that face the Proteas.''

Arthur, who accepted that the 'lessons' from the World Cup will help in building future strategies, said ''It is great to be given the job to continue coaching the Proteas. I believe we have the right tactics and talent to take on the best.''

The decision followed the expiration of their contracts after the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007.

The 26-year-old Smith was appointed Proteas captain in March 2003 while Arthur (38) was appointed coach in May 2005.


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