South Africa news May 14, 2010

Smith launches Twitter tirade at Kepler Wessels

Cricinfo staff

Graeme Smith has launched a scathing attack on former South Africa captain and selector Kepler Wessels on Twitter and hit back at the criticism his side have received after being dumped out of the World Twenty20 in the Super Eights stage.

"Find it amazing that kepler can sit and say should have picked a younger squad when he was 1 of the selectors who chose it!unbelievable!" Smith wrote on Twitter and followed it up with "Atleast we own up to playing poorly.but all these so called experts/ex players im not sure I see a winners medal hanging round there necks!"

South Africa lost heavily to England and Pakistan to finish bottom of the table in their Super Eights group and have won just a single global event - the ICC Knockout in Dhaka 12 years ago - since their reintroduction to world cricket in 1992.

Their recent failure prompted a clutch of former players to voice their concerns, with Graeme Pollock saying "The two run-chases, against England and Pakistan, were two of the most amateurish I've ever seen," and former selector Hugh Page saying: "In every other side, there's a young player - sometimes two - who will go after the bowling early in the innings, I'd like to more young players to be given an opportunity."

Though nobody has as yet called for his head, Smith has been in charge for seven years and is under pressure to turn things around soon. South Africa play West Indies in three Tests, four ODIs and two Twenty20s beginning May 19.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    If he can risk axing Boucher, i think it is time for Smith to go. Put Johan back on Cappie!

  • SRINI on May 19, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    What SA needs in ICC tournaments is self belief, imagination and flexibility. A talented and experienced side like the Saffers cannot be faulted on skill or application. As I write this, they are falling like 9 pins in the opening T20 against the WI (130/7 in 19 ov) at Antigua. They need someone like Javed Miandad, Michael Bevan or their own Fanie de Villiers in the middle overs.

  • Rahul on May 17, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    I always have respect for Graeme Smith, he is a quality player and a very very good leader, the only thing that makes him bad is that he get very over confident even before the game and feels that his team is unbeatable, however rather then talking high about his team, he needs to focus on key areas how to beat the opponents and keep that within the team instead of revealing the secrets about the opposition. I will always favour South African Cricket Team, but they deserve to win an ICC World Cup, they have the players with the calibre to really do that, they really need to rise their spirits. All the best South Africa.

  • Aidan on May 17, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    If you say Graeme Smith is a bad captain and the fault is his , go wash your eyes out , Sa cricket is in disarray and has been since the Hansie Saga , What Graeme brings to the table as a cricketer is far greater than any other player in the side , because he really cares about his team ,he wears his heart on his sleeve and always seems to give his best. This and the fact that some players think they are bigger than the team and consistently underachieve is beyond recognition , why don't we pose these questions to Cricket South Africa? Biff is a tower of strength all he needs is World class coach for him and his team.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    It is time for Smith to resign as captain. He has had more than enough time to help us win a few worthy medals. He is incapable of motivating his team, and it appears as if he uses cliques IN the team to purse what ever agenda he is after. It is time for him to go!!! I strongly suggest Hashim Amla as the next captain, and it's time they let him play in the 20/20 squad as well. He would do far better than AB, Smith and even Kallis.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    Its been the trend now that the teams make the player who is not performing the worst of all, their captain. We have got examples in history when the captain had been probably the worst player on the pitch. The likes of Waqar Younas, Rashid Latif and recently Shoaib Malik, Michael Clarke, GRAEME SMITH and many more. So the only thing that is keeping Smith in the team is his captaincy. If he were not a captain, he couldn't have made into the team with the type of form he is in. Moreover South Africa will have to produce quality spinners and the batsmen who can play spinners well to win a major ICC trophy.

  • Eric on May 17, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    I think G. Smith is the worst captain SA has since Kepler. And for one bad captain to advise another or to have words is like seeing two dump guys arguing about Einstein's theory of relativity, it just does not make sence.

    Smith has shown that he is a leader but not a good cricketing mind. He made bad bowling changes, bad fielding changes and on average would be rated lower then Bangledash in 20/20 captaincy.

    Johan Botha has shown that not only can he captain well, but he can play the game just as well. Botha single handedly won the games for SA in Australia, ODI and 20/20. It appears that Smith felt threatend by Botha cause the very next move was to drop him.

    I think as long as Smith is there the team will revolve around him and his success. And who ever comes in his way will be dropped. Lets look in the pass who got in his way; Klusener; Kallis (droped for the first 20/20 world cup after he had words with Smith); Boucher (vic-captain, then dropped from team and possition) ex

  • Mark on May 17, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Strangely enough, nobody is pointing fingers at the coaching staff. There must be an a portion of blame here as they did not prepare the players for the matches. Granted we a disappointed that SA did so badly, but let's not forget their good performances of late. Smith has been lauded by many commentators (largely made up of ex players) as one of the best captains around. The has not made himself a liked person though, so emotional fans want his head with every failure but they quickly forget the major successes. Smith, Boucher and Kallis are three of the biggest hitters in world cricket and it may be a mistake to assume they are not T20 players. One must also consider that there may be other things behind the scenes, as is a regular thing in SA sport. SA must regain their self belief and beat the WI convincingly. Changes that need to be made, should be made after consideration and not from passion only.

  • Kyle on May 16, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    Perhaps some of you should look at this:;type=tournament

    Kallis amassed the 2nd most runs in the IPL this year - does this mean he has no place in this format? No, that would be ridiculous. Pre-empting some further garbage, his strike rate may not be the highest, but he performs the anchor role with aplomb. My fellow followers of the game, try avoid the knee-jerkism and emotionally-triggered blindness.

  • Sharky on May 16, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    Or maybe, the younger and fitter guys should play the Test cricket while the older legends play 20/20. For 20/20 is also a show-business. No, players should always be selected on merit (form & stats?). And a balance between experience and younger blood players. No disagreement needed in the media.

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