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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Smith injury paves way for Prince
Ashwell Prince
Prince is likely to remain captain through the one-day series
South Africa captain Graeme Smith is out of the tour of Sri Lanka after tearing ligaments in his ankle.

Ashwell Prince becomes the first black captain of the country for the two Tests and is likely to stay in charge for the one-day internationals.

"The enormity and significance of his appointment, albeit through forced circumstances, will not be missed," said selection convener Haroon Lorgat.

"It should be be celebrated by South Africa and the rest of the world."

Prince was vice-captain for the tour of Australia last winter when Jacques Kallis was injured.

Lorgat went on: "As the first black man to captain South Africa he will command an important place in history, but with that comes extra responsibility.

"For the team, however, it will be a non-event. From personal conversations I know how much respect the players have for Ashwell and they are all very comfortable with him leading.

"His ability to assess match situations and remain calm and level-headed is not questioned."

The most important thing will be to get the best out of the guys and to get them to perform in those conditions

Ashwell Prince

Smith, who slipped while running on Saturday, underwent surgery on Thursday and will be out of action for between eight and 12 weeks.

Kallis is also missing both Tests, the first match starting on 27 July, with Jacques Rudolph named as batting cover.

Rudolph had a successful 'A' tour of Sri Lanka in 2005.

Lorgat added: "Graeme will undergo a further stress X-ray on Tuesday to determine the full extent of his injury and the treatment required.

"This is surely not an ideal way to start our season, but if we are to experience any misfortune during this year, I would rather have it now than later."

Prince, 29, a left-handed batsman, is determined to make the most of his opportunity.

"The most important thing will be to get the best out of the guys and to get them to perform in those conditions," he said.

"The conditions will be very different to what we're used to with the humidity and the heat."

South Africa's one-day squad and captain will only be announced after the first Test in Colombo.


South Africa Test Squad for Sri Lanka:
Ashwell Prince (Capt), Hashim Amla, Nicky Boje, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Boeta Dippennaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Thandi Tshabalala.


SEE ALSO
South Africa call up new spinner
13 Jun 06 |  South Africa
South Africa in Sri Lanka 2006
03 Jun 06 |  Future tour dates
S Africa make Prince vice-captain
26 Jan 06 |  South Africa


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