Champions League Twenty20 September 29, 2009

Smith to give Champions League a miss

Cricinfo staff

Graeme Smith has withdrawn from the Cape Cobras squad for the Champions League Twenty20, which starts in India from October. Smith had suffered cramps while batting against England in their final Champions Trophy match, and Cricket South Africa (CSA) made the decision on Tuesday after being advised by the medical committee.

"After much discussion and deliberation, the Proteas' management together with the medical committee of Cricket South Africa headed by Dr Shuaib Manjra have made a decision to withdraw Graeme from the upcoming Champions League in India," said Dr Mohammed Moosajee, the national team manager. "This decision is based on Graeme's current upper limb dysfunction."

Team physiotherapist Brandon Jackson indicated that it was important for Smith to abstain from playing for the next four to six weeks in order to get through a very long season. "We need to work on strengthening his muscles around the shoulder area and continue his post-operation rehab," Jackson said. "The elbow operation was 100% successful and I am confident that he will be ready for action by the start of the England series in November."

Smith said he was very disappointed not to be leading the South African domestic Twenty20 champions in India. "It is very important for South African cricket that the two franchises representing us in India should do well," he said. "And, like all the national players, I enjoy playing franchise cricket whenever national circumstances permit."

It is likely, though, that Smith will make his return at the end of October when the Cobras have four matches in the MTN Domestic Championship between October 28 and November 6. The next assignment for South Africa is the first of two Standard Bank International Pro20 matches against England on November 13.

Jacques Kallis, another South African who will be featuring in the Champions League Twenty20, with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, is making a quick recovery from his side strain and will leave at the weekend for the tournament.

The Eagles leave for India on Thursday and the Cobras on Friday.