CAPE TOWN: South African Test captain Graeme Smith will miss the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June because of an ankle injury, Cricket South Africa announced Thursday. A replacement has yet to be named.
Smith will return to South Africa after scans in London Wednesday revealed a stress fracture to his left ankle. Smith will also miss the rest of the season with English county Surrey, who had appointed him captain.
Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: “Graeme has been troubled by left ankle pain over the last few months and despite extensive treatment and physiotherapy, it has recently deteriorated significantly while playing for Surrey.
“He underwent a rescan of his left ankle in London on Wednesday and it was determined that since his last scan the condition has progressed to a stress fracture.
“Surgery will be required and he has been advised to follow a rest-and-rehabilitation programme over the next four to six months.”
Smith captained South Africa in 149 one-day internationals before relinquishing the one-day captaincy to AB de Villiers two years ago.
In a statement, Cricket South Africa quoted Smith as saying: “It’s a big blow for me personally to be missing out on the Champions Trophy next month.
The ODI squad is creating something special and I was looking forward to being part of that family.
“I will no doubt be supporting from my living room and I know the players, under AB’s leadership will be giving all that they can during the tournament.”
Smith is the second experienced South African player to be missing from the Champions Trophy following the decision of all-rounder Jacques Kallis to make himself unavailable for personal reasons.