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Nov 16, 2011 at 09:08pm IST

Smith rues Test championship decision

Johannesburg: South Africa's Test captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday he was disappointed that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had decided not to introduce a world Test championship before 2017.

"It's a bit disappointing," said Smith. "I personally felt it wasn't the right decision for cricket."

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat announced on Monday that the introduction of a championship between the four top teams on the ICC rankings had been pushed out from 2013 because of commitments to broadcasters and sponsors.

Smith rues Test championship decision

Graeme Smith is interviewed by Mike Haysman after South Africa beat Australia in the first of two Test matches at Cape Town. (Getty Images)

"Obviously the ICC have their reasons but five years is a pretty long time," said Smith, the longest-serving current Test captain. "You can skip a generation in five years. As cricketers you want the ICC to make the best decisions in the interests of the game and I'm not sure that that's happened now."

Smith said his players were focusing on performing well in the second and final Test against Australia, starting at the Wanderers Stadium on Thursday. South Africa are 1-0 up following an eight-wicket win in the first Test in Cape Town last week but Smith said the players were not taking anything for granted.

"It's our second Test match in seven or eight months and we're really motivated to perform. We have a lot of respect for Australia and we're certainly not going to take our foot off the gas. We want to earn the right to win the series."

Smith said he expected Australia to bounce back after being bowled out for 47 in the second innings at Newlands. "They've got enough players with enough experience to have dealt with things like this and put it behind them. They know it's a fresh start. But if we can put them under pressure again maybe the amount of pressure they've been under this week can come out."

Meanwhile, Australia captain Michael Clarke said he would have loved to have played in a world Test championship.

"If it works out, it will be fantastic, but by that stage I'll probably be watching on the couch," he told Wednesday's news conference.

"It sounds like a great event. I remember when Australia played the Rest of the World back in 2005-6, it was a fantastic experience. There's no better way to test yourself than against the best players from around the world."

"The idea certainly has merit, they've just got to fit it into the calendar," Clarke said.

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