Graeme Smith: Club cricket is the lifeblood of our cricket

File image: Graeme Smith.

Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith has commented on whether the Western Province Cricket Association were correct in postponing the start of the 2020-21 club cricket season to next year.

Last month, the WPCA confirmed the 2020-21 club cricket season won’t start in late September or early October, but will be delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019-20 season ended early for the same reason.

“It is a very difficult situation at the moment. Around the coronavirus pandemic, there are a lot of unanswered things around how this is going to be handled,” said Smith, when asked if the WPCA’s decision was arguably premature.

“We are working with the government on ‘return to train and ‘return to play’ – it’s a huge expense and it’s not a simple thing to get right.

“We are working hard to get as much open as possible. We know that club cricket and cricket in schools is the lifeblood of our cricket.

“Cricket South Africa is talking to the government and trying to get these channels opened.

“Cricket South Africa, within our pipeline, doesn’t have the money to spend it did in previous years. We have to be smarter and more strategic in how we grow the game now.

Financially, we are in a lot of trouble. That is the sad part.”

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