Johannesburg, June 13: It seems South Africa's former one-day captain Graeme Smith is not going to get away lightly for his team's upset in the World Cup earlier this year. A leading newspaper in the Rainbow Nation has slapped him with the title "Mampara of the week". The operative word in a local tongue, translates to "idiot".
Thus, Smith joins a long list of politicians and businessmen who have been endowed the dishonorable distinction.
"Our mampara cricket captain just doesn't get it about having to say sorry," the newspaper said over Smith's first public appearance since his return from the subcontinent.
Smith did not return to the country with his teammates after South Africa bowed out of the World Cup by losing to New Zealand in the quarterfinals.
"Having failed to pitch up with the rest of the team, who had to face the music when it was at its loudest, Biff (nickname for Smith), thought he could get away with a wishy-washy apology in which the word "sorry" never appeared.
Smith apparently claimed to have shied away from the media because he was feeling awfully emotional at the time.
"Emotional! What did the mampara think the rest of us were feeling when our Proteas choked yet again?" the weekly concluded.
Smith had slipped away to Ireland from India to propose to his girlfriend, pop star Morgan Deane, sparking a huge outcry in South Africa. Apparently, Cricket South Africa has approved his request to go on the sojourn.