South Africa’s Graeme Smith says that the ICC could adjust its format to bring more respect for the game. He is also lending his face to raise respect for those afflicted with HIV and AIDS.
Ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy to be staged in his home, Smith is focussed on bringing sports into the limelight in South Africa. He believes a strong competition at home is the responsibility of South Africa not only for the nation but also, in terms of keeping the ODI game alive. He also believes it will help the youth of South Africa to see a future in sport, with the 2010 FIFA World Cup round the corner, and keep them away from the dangerous affliction called AIDS.
Smith wants the ICC to raise the profile of the one day game and also engage players, to not go the way of Andrew Flintoff, if they planned the itinerary better. The Future Tours Programme debate has been going on for sometime now. While understanding the compulsions of a sportsman’s short career span, Smith is of the belief that there is opportunity for a harmonious co existence between money making deals and playing for one’s country if they were planned better. One of the ways to do, he suggests, is to do away with extended, irrelevant games such as the seven match ODI series between England and Australia which has drained some of the sheen off the Ashes.
Smith is also one of five cricketers – the others being England’s woman cricketer Isa Guha, India’s Virender Sehwag, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, and Australia’s Nathan Bracken – who will lead the AIDS awareness campaign THINK WISE, an initiative jointly collaborated between the ICC, Global Media Aids Initiative, UNICEF and UNAIDS – United Nations’ programme for HIV/AIDS to raise awareness about the disease, Africa and Asia featuring high, and garnering respect for those afflicted by it.
Nothing like a noble cause to be the balm for the disappointment of being overlooked for cricket’s oscars, the LG ICC Awards.