• Smith warns England over Strauss

    Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith says England will be making a mistake if they appoint Andrew Strauss as the ECB’s director of cricket.

    According to Smith, who even tweeted about the issue, former England captains Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart would be better choices for the role than Strauss after managing director Paul Downton was sacked last week.

    Strauss and Vaughan are the leading contenders for the job, and are both expected to be interviewed this week. Both former England captains have said they are interested in holding talks about the scope and influence of the new role, as has Stewart.

    Smith, who led South Africa to the series win over England in 2012 which led to Strauss’ resignation as captain, said: ‘If England appoint Strauss director of cricket, it would amaze me. They need to move away from the head boy, old school approach. The most forward-thinking people I came across in their game are Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart,’ reports The Telegraph.

    Strauss and Smith have long had a tetchy relationship. In 2009, Strauss refused to allow Smith a runner during a match in the 2009 Champions Trophy. Smith suffered cramp during an innings of 141, but was denied the runner by Strauss, who said: ‘Cramping to a certain extent is a preparation thing. To a certain extent, it’s a conditioning thing. I didn’t feel that he merited having a runner at that stage.’

    Smith responded by warning: ‘The thing I’ve learned from this game is that the world’s round. It’s going to come back somewhere in the game, at some period of time in his captaincy. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it again.’

    Of the director of cricket role, Strauss said on Sunday: ‘To anyone who is passionate about cricket, the allure of such a job is undeniable.’

    But there have been concerns over whether Strauss could take the position so soon after retiring as a player and holding close relationships with figures such as captain Alastair Cook.

    And given Downton was ultimately dismissed because of his mishandling of the Kevin Pietersen situation, Strauss could face issues over his description of Pietersen as ‘an absolute ****’.

    Smith’s tweets regarding Strauss: