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Smith too young to captain: Woolmer

Former South Africa coach Bob Woolmer thinks the team's new captain Graeme Smith is too young and inexperienced to lead his country.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2003 21:53 IST

Former South Africa coach Bob Woolmer thinks the team's new captain Graeme Smith is too young and inexperienced to lead his country.

"Graeme is a good cricketer, but I don't think he should captain the side," Woolmer, who is in Dubai to conduct a coaching clinic for young players, told reporters on Tuesday.

"Graeme is too young and hasn't done his apprenticeship yet. To be the captain of an international side, one needs to go through the apprenticeship period and do a lot of hard work to get there," he added.

The 22-year-old Smith was appointed South Africa captain last month after Shaun Pollock was sacked following the team's poor showing as World Cup hosts.

He became the second youngest captain in one-day international history when he led his side for the first time on Sunday against India who won the match by a massive 153 runs.

"His inexperience showed during South Africa's match against India on Sunday in Dhaka when he decided to bowl Shaun Pollock after the 28th over," Woolmer said.

"I fail to understand the logic behind bowling him to late. A ridiculous decision indeed since Shaun is a wonderful bowler with the new ball," the Englishman added.

Woolmer, the ICC's high performance officer, thinks there was no reason to sack Pollock.

"It was like disarming the team," he said. "South Africa over-reacted to certain things that happened during the World Cup."

A combination of poor performance and bad luck led to the hosts' first-round World Cup exit, according to Woolmer.

"South Africa, like Pakistan, are going through a transitional phase," Woolmer said. "All the sides in the World Cup went according to their form. New Zealand could have done better had they gone to Kenya".

"Australia are the best in the world because they don't have many issues to tackle with. They have no financial problems unlike many other teams. The players are treated as product and their administration concentrates only on cricket.

"When the players are faced with issues, their concentration gets affected. The great sides of the era are the ones without any issues," he said.

Woolmer revealed that he has not accepted an offer to coach West Indies.

"I met the (West Indies) selection panel and told them that I am not ready for a 12-month job," he said. "I am very happy with the ICC job. One of the pleasures of working with the ICC is that I get to meet more and more people. I love spreading the gospel of cricket."

First Published: Apr 15, 2003 20:49 IST