SAfrican coach caught unawares by Smith resignation

Johannesburg: South African cricket coach Corrie van Zyl has been caught unawares by Graeme Smith`s decision to resign as captain of the Twenty20 side.

Currently touring Sri Lanka with the South African B side, Van Zyl told the `Afrikaans` daily that he was "unaware" of Cricket South Africa`s hastily-called media conference yesterday or Smith`s intention to resign.

Smith announced that he was stepping down as Twenty20 captain and he would also no longer lead the one-day national squad after the World Cup next year in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

By his own admission, Smith had kept his decision confidential but had claimed sending an SMS to van Zyl about it.

"I only informed my family and friends from 5 a.m. (yesterday) so that all kinds of speculation did not do the rounds," Smith said.

"I also sent SMSs to all my team mates and I`m sure Corrie got one too," he had stated.

Amid increasing speculation that AB de Villiers is the favoured choice to take over the reins from Smith, the former captain refused to comment on the matter.

"Naturally I have my favourite and I will advise the selectors of this, but eventually it`s not my decision," he said.

CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said the national selection committee led by Andrew Hudson would make a recommendation to the CSA executive about a new captain within the next month.


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