Graeme Smith gets `Mampara` title

Johannesburg: South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith has been chosen for the "Mampara of the Week" title from a leading newspaper here, joining top politicians and businessmen who get the dubious but widely acclaimed title each week.

"Mampara", an indigenous colloquial word, roughly translates as "idiot".

"Our mampara cricket captain just doesn`t get it about having to say sorry," `Sunday Times` weekly said in connection with Smith`s first public appearance last Monday.

Smith did not return to the country with his teammates after South Africa crashed out of the World Cup by losing to New Zealand in the quarterfinals.

"Having failed to pitch up with the rest of the team, who had to face the music when it was at its loudest, Biff (nickname for Smith), thought he could get away with a wishy-washy apology in which the word "sorry" never appeared. "Not once," the weekly said.

"It sounded as if he was reading grudgingly from a script that included some waffle about him feeling incredibly emotional at the time.

"Emotional! What did the mampara think the rest of us were feeling when our Proteas choked yet again?" the weekly concluded.

Smith had gone directly to Ireland from India to propose to his girlfriend, pop star Morgan Deane, prompting a huge outcry in South Africa.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola had said at that time that Smith`s request had been sanctioned by the manager of the side.

Smith then returned to India to play in the IPL.


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