Test Championship postponed November 16, 2011

Graeme Smith disappointed with ICC decision

Graeme Smith, the South Africa Test captain, has expressed his unhappiness over the ICC's announcement that the Test Championship will be held only in 2017 and not in 2013 as originally scheduled.

"It was a bit disappointing to be honest. I felt it wasn't the right decision for cricket," Smith said at the Wanderers ahead of the second Test between South Africa and Australia. Commitments to sponsors and broadcasters have meant the ICC has had to push the event back. The fifty-over Champions Trophy, which would have been replaced by a four-team Test playoff, will now be played in 2013 instead of the Test Championship.

Smith was disappointed that the postponement will mean the likes of him and team-mates Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher may not be able to participate in the event. "The ICC have their reasons but five years is a very long time," he said. "You can skip a generation in five years."

Smith felt the ICC had let the players down by denying them the opportunity to play in a Test competition of this nature. "As cricketers, we always want the ICC to make decisions in the best interests of the game and I don't think they've done that now."

Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, was less perturbed by the change of date, although he also acknowledged that he will likely not be able to play in a 2017 event. "I haven't thought too much about it. I hear a while ago that it was planned for 2015? Or 2013?," Clarke said. "It doesn't really faze me. In 2017, it will be fantastic but at that stage, I think I'll be watching from the couch so it won't bother me much."

Both Clarke and Smith played in the Super Test between Australia and the World XI in October 2005 and Clarke said it was an enjoyable outing that he would like to see repeated. "I thought that was a fantastic experience. I was only a young kid but to have the opportunity to be able to play against so many great players in one opposition team, there's no better way to test yourself," he said. "I think it's certainly got merit. It will be really exciting for the top couple of teams. But it's just about trying to fit [it] into the calendar."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent