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Smith promises a new era

Cape Town: New South African captain Graeme Smith will be the second youngest ever to lead an international side when he takes the field in the tri-nation meet in Sharjah next month.

[That Smith was tipped to be captain was reported in The Telegraph’s Late City edition Sunday.]

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who took over India’s captaincy at 21, was the youngest.

The 22-year-old opener was appointed captain in place of Shaun Pollock. Smith’s appointment marks a complete departure of South African cricket from the Hansie Cronje era.

“I have never met Hansie. I never played with or against him. He was a good leader, but in the end he tarnished the game,” Smith said about the former captain. “We are starting afresh. There are no issues involved,” the new skipper added.

Selection committee chairman Omar Henry said Smith is a strong character and will make a good captain for the future.

“We are looking at the 2007 World Cup. It is a new era,” he said. “Smith is a young cricketer with a strong mind.”

“Leadership has always been part of my cricket that I enjoy and thrive on.” (PTI)

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