August 29, 2012

South African cricket

Colin Croft on SA's ascent to the Test summit

Nikita Bastian

Former West Indies quick Colin Croft says, in an article in Nation News, South Africa getting to the top of world cricket is a massive achievement, given that they returned to the international fold but 20 years ago. The current success, he says, has a lot to do with Graeme Smith.

Most of us grew up hearing wonders about South Africa’s massive 1960s cricket team: Peter and Graeme Pollock, Ali Bacher, Trevor Goddard, Lee Irvine, Eddie Barlow, Mike Proctor, Barry Richards, all of whom I have met or played against. That team plowed the way for the new, successful, determined South Africa. That country’s continuing cricket direction, on the field at least, comes from one man now; one man only: Graeme “Biff” Craig Smith.

Aged 31, he has shepherded his country’s players with a strength that probably comes from his own inspirations by “Madiba” ... Smith was just 11 when South Africa returned to real international cricketing involvement, so his memories would be very fresh and poignant.

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Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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