Former South African captain Graeme Smith said that they are now following IPL’s template in producing all-format players, considering IPL has done it well over the years. The SA20 commissioner also praised the pathway through which Indian cricket has identified a lot of talented players. However, the IPL has evolved to become the biggest T20 league, given the magnitude of competition as well. Not only Indian players but also overseas stars have made headlines in the T20 tournament.
Speaking to PTI Bhasha, Smith said: “We want to follow the IPL in producing all-format players. We would love to see our national team competing in World Cups and playing Test matches all around the world and having a robust T20 league as well. Indian Cricket is so blessed that they have so much talent. When we talk about these two, their fame and their skills come into light largely through the IPL. Talent is coming through different platforms now and if you are good enough, you can still play every format.”
However, IPL has also had a key role in the formation of SA20 as all six teams were purchased by franchises of the former league. They are – are Paarl Royals, Pretoria Capitals, Joburg Super Kings, Durban’s Super Giants, MI Cape Town, and SunRisers Eastern Cape. Meanwhile, Graeme Smith also opined on South Africa’s recent Test performances and the lack of quality cricketers arising from the domestic circuit as well.
“I love Test Cricket and I want Test Cricket to be strong but it is probably a 6 or 7 nation format and T20 is for growth. It is introducing new players, new fans and new markets to the game. It is important for South African cricket to bring gravitas to its own product and keep cricket in this region strong. It hurts. We haven’t played good Test Cricket for long. We have some quality players but no one is averaging above 40 while when we played the average of six players was about close to 50,” Graeme Smith concluded.