Graeme Smith has been appointed the head of South Africa’s new T20 League which will hold its first tournament in January next year.

Smith has been tasked with overseeing every facet of the nascent tournament with his first orders of business being the development of the brand and confirming the six participating franchises.

Cricket South Africa is banking on the new league being a success with the country canceling its ODI series against Australia in January to accommodate the schedule.

As for Graeme Smith himself, being handed the keys to a new T20 league is a far cry from only a few months ago, when the former captain was battling racism charges.

“I’m extremely honored to be entrusted with leading this exciting new venture,” said the former Proteas captain and CSA director of cricket in a statement. “I’m deeply committed to South African cricket and happy to serve the game as best I can.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to deliver the new league, which I believe will be an extremely competitive product, one that can bring the much-needed investment into the game and provide new opportunities for players around the world and more importantly to our SA home-grown talent.

“The response from stakeholders has been very positive thus far and we’ve made great progress in the initial stages,” Smith added. “We’re determined to deliver a valuable, sustainable, and appealing tournament for South African cricket.”

CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki also welcomed Smith’s new role.

“I worked closely with Graeme during his role as director of cricket and believe he is the perfect candidate to lead this new chapter of South African cricket.

“His expert understanding of the local and international cricketing environment will ensure the league delivers a thrilling product that will change the face of South African cricket for the better.”

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