Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith © Getty Images

Graeme Smith wants ICC to do away with T20Is in order to focus on improving marketability of Tests in order to preserve the pristine format.

“Maybe the ICC needs to look at six months of T20 cricket domestically and six months of international cricket,” Smith told during an award ceremony in Mumbai.. “I don’t think T20 cricket should be played at the international level. My opinion is to retain domestic T20 competitions and have international cricket – Test and ODIs – and have a World Cup every couple of years.”

Smith wants more money to be spent in marketing Tests and trying to increase visibility of series like The Ashes.

“There needs to be investment. Maybe spend more money marketing Test cricket. So much money is spent in marketing the T20 format. Maybe there can be money marketing the stories and histories in Test cricket.

Graeme Smith unsure of Virat Kohli as long term captain
Graeme Smith unsure of Virat Kohli as long term captain

“What’s great for the game is someone like [India captain] Virat Kohli who wants to do well in Test cricket and be successful and set standard for everyone else. As long as people like him consider Test cricket valuable, it’s important for the rest of the world,” added the former South African captain.

Taking AB de Villiers’ retirement example, Smith felt that a cramped cricketing calendar may have played a part in it.

“There are not many players who have played for 14-15 years that can travel nine, 10, 11 months a year, deal with the pressures, plus the family pressures, it’s very, very difficult. The guy has played international cricket for around 15 years More than anything, he has the right to decide when he’s had enough. He will have his own reasons for that, you got to respect that,” Smith, who has played 117 Tests, further added.

Smith also said that leading a national side takes its toll and cited that amongst a reason for his early retirement, at the age of 33. Smith was appointed South Africa’s captain at the age of 22, in 2003.