The celebrated former Proteas Test captain will certainly add further quality to a Bok line-up that is hoping to defend their title they last won in 2014. The Boks defeated the Proteas by five wickets after former lock Victor Matfield struck a swashbuckling 62, while Damien de Allende and Willie le Roux claimed three wickets apiece.
De Allende is once again a part of the squad for Thursday, which will be captained by flyhalf-cum-fullback Pat Lambie. The latter was a promising cricketer at Michaelhouse, captaining the prestigious Durban school’s 1st XV in 2008.
It is this experience he will hope to draw upon when he joins up with up Smith on Thursday.
“We can’t wait for the challenge and although we know the Proteas will be confident going into this encounter, we can hopefully make a good contest of it,” said Lambie.
“To have Graeme as part of our team is a massive boost and he will definitely play a key role for us with the bat and ball. His International T20 batting average is just shy of 32 and his off-breaks will come in very handy on the Newlands pitch.
“Our technical analysts have been hard at work in the last few days to see if we can find any weaknesses in the Proteas’ armour, but that is easier said than done and we’ll just have to rely on our skills and experience on the day.
“Many of our boys have not played since they left school, but we’re still aiming to upset the odds and make it an enjoyable day for all involved at arguably the prettiest cricket ground in the world.”
Spectators at Newlands can also look forward to the cricketing talents of former Bok captain Jean de Villiers and fellow former Stormers Tiaan Liebenberg and Conrad Jantjies. The latter was a particular promising schoolboy cricketer having played SA Schools cricket back in his Matric year before opting for a professional rugby career.
The Dubai championship-winning Blitzbokke will also be in attendance at the match on Thursday ahead of the defence of their Cape Town Sevens title this weekend at Green Point Stadium.
The Springbok cricket squad is:
Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Jean de Villiers, Stephan Dippenaar, Butch James, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Conrad Jantjes, Pat Lambie (captain), Tiaan Liebenberg, Percy Montgomery, Trevor Nyakane, Sergeal Petersen
Player/coach: Graeme Smith; Non-playing reserve: Siya Kolisi
Original source: Biff to coach Bokke