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Last Updated:  Saturday, 15 March, 2003, 17:35 GMT
Is Smith the right choice?
Graeme Smith has been awarded the South African captaincy following the sacking of Shaun Pollock.

Has the correct decision been made?

South Africa exited the World Cup after Pollock miscalculated the number of runs his side needed to win in the rain-affected match against Sri Lanka.

The gaffe was to spell curtains for Pollock's captaincy - and the United Cricket Board of South Africa swiftly handed the armband to George Smith.

At just 22 years and 43 days old, Smith becomes the youngest-ever captain of South Africa.

He will lead a new-look team on their forthcoming tours to Sharjah and Bangladesh, with six players from the World Cup squad being left out.

Is Smith the right man for the job? And are you optimistic for the future of South African cricket?

Have Your Say using the form on the right-hand side of the page.


This isn't about Pollock; it's about the South African cricket team. It has been sputtering for a while now and needs new leadership. It especially needs leadership that will be around for a while. I think it's a great decision.

It is foolhardy to drop Pollock from the captaincy now
Tom Burridge, UK

Pollock was/is a great player, but I don't believe he was that great a captain. He can't blame others because he found himself in Hansie's shadow. A leader distinguishes himself from his predecessor, he doesn't whine about how his team-mates can't seem to forget a better captain!
Bois, Canada

Shaun Pollock was never going to be Hansie Cronje, and the selectors must have known that when he was appointed as the captain of the side. Cronje, for all his misgivings, was a master tactician, and Pollock never really got to that level.

He did bring a special quality to the captaincy though. He is a great motivator, and a very active member of the team, both in the field and behind the scenes. This meant that the players could get behind him and he could lead by example.

It is this quality that the Proteas need now, after an embarrassing World Cup, so it is foolhardy to drop Pollock from the captaincy now. He does, however bring such quality to the side, and I expect his career to flourish further now.

However, Graeme Smith? He hasn't been in the frame for a long time and has been given the captaincy. I think this is the worst part of the decision to drop Pollock, but we shall see.
Tom Burridge, UK

It has become an awful tradition in cricket of pecking on and sorting out players after big tournaments such as the World Cup.

It's certainly a big mistake to remove Shaun Pollock from the rank of leading South Africa. From whatever experience I have with this game, I think that the SA board will regret this decision.
Tariq Shamsi, Pakistan

South Africa were not right to sack Pollock because he was a good captain since taking over from Cronje.
Muhammad Badat, England

Yet another instance where a competent player has to take the blame for a system devoid of a clear, long-term vision.
Rajeev, Canada

It seems to me that had Mark Boucher got a lucky single off the last ball of the Sri Lanka match then South Africa would have advanced to the semi-finals to play Australia and thoughts of changing the captain could not be further from anyone's mind.

The South African selectors have acted in a reactionary fashion. Perhaps it is them who need to be replaced.
Joe, England

Pollock was just a scapegoat for the failure of a team that was hyped up more than they deserved. With only Gibbs as a real batsman South Africa did not really deserve to go further. Most of the Test playing teams in this cup came in relying on only one or two batsmen - you can't win the World Cup like that. The only teams with real batsmen are Australia India and the West Indies.
Rahul, USA

South Africa must decide on what it wants to do. Does it want to win matches or does it want to use the quota system to degrade the quality of the team in the hope that cricket will spread in SA?

There is no replacement in sight and at least no one with the ability and record that Shaun has in order to command respect. Shaun was let down by his own team mates like Donald and Gibbs who compared him to Hansie and also by the administrators who gave him a substandard team to lead. His sacking is a damage control exercise by SA cricket authorities to save their skin.
Arjun, India




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