Smith reaffirmed his love for the local game, but also admitted he was "frustrated" with the CSA © Getty
Mental health problems have recently become major in the cricket spotlight, with Glenn Maxwell, Nick Madinson and Will Puckowski temporarily turning their backs. The theme is in good spirits, with Jonathan Trott, John Tait and Marcus Treskotik all suffering from demons associated with cricket of one kind or another over the years.
More difficult to identify by far is the systemic institutional weakness, although it suspects Cricket South Africa (CSA) is now an organization that flirts with nervous breakdown. This situation was inadvertently confirmed this week with the departure of Grammy-Smith from the recently advertised director of Cricket's role, with his statement calling for the kind of careful analysis that would make most court pathologists proud.
Taking to social media Thursday afternoon, Smith reaffirmed his love for the local game, but also admitted he was "frustrated" with the CSA in a conversation that began about 10 weeks ago.
The sources of knowledge were less diplomatic. "He's basically mixed from start to finish," one said.
Smith would add a lot of practical value to the role, but his authority could mean much more at a time when the CSA has little or no credibility. Just among the three other candidates – Hussein Manak, Dave Nosvori and Corey van Ziel are the others – Smith offers a recent international experience and a solid approach, which would go well with the current bunch of underperforming Proteas.
He would also seek "support and freedom", however, to "initiate the necessary changes" – and clearly had no appetite to give him such a mandate. The director of the Cricket role reports directly to CSA's Tabang Moroe, and apparently did not have enough assurance that Smith would be left to make those "necessary changes", as he deemed appropriate.
So we can only assume that the new structure around the national team is less about optimizing performance, something they need for flawless protein, and more about controlling for Moreau and his ever-increasing cruises.
Indeed, Smith's withdrawal is an oddly self-sacrificing move, revealing the lie that is currently at the heart of the game in South Africa.
It is clear that sport is no longer about international performance. Even more important is the establishment of the kingdom by monarchical kingdom and the penetration of its megalomania. Two provinces, for example – Gauteng's Central Lutes and the East – both suffer from governance gaps, poor leadership and constant strife, with Moreau or his brokers handing in the appointment of insufficiently qualified chief executives in both provinces, Mafo Seopa at East and Jono Leif Wright at the Lions.
While Smith's retirement required reading between the lines, Van Ziel's situation this week was simpler. Van Ziel, whose loyalty to the organization has never been called into question, whether under the auspices of Mayola, Haroun Lorat or Moreau, is currently taking over as interim director of the Cricket role.
He is remembered to have been suspended along with Nassi Apia and Clive Austin, though that did not prevent him from interviewing the cricketing director. Accordingly, the situation is that the suspended Interim Cricket Director interviewed this week about the role of the Cricket Director, which he may (or may not) receive because he has been suspended.
If he gets the role, now that Smith does not want it and given that he already has it (in temporary capacity) he will have to terminate the suspension, which will raise questions about why he was suspended in the first place.
On the other hand, if he fails to secure the role, he will rightly point out that he was once given a position and insist that things cannot change so radically that he is now considered unable to fill the role.
At the moment I would not want to be the CSA's human resources director, although the current official is apparently hospitalized for a stress-related illness. We should not be surprised to learn that his replacement – perhaps temporary, perhaps not – reports directly to Moreau.
In the same memorandum for employees Tuesday, Moreau insisted: "All use of CSA credit cards is to stop immediately."
Another week in CSA's non-stop alert world.
Readers probably aren't too concerned about the intrigues behind the scenes, though it's interesting to note that at the moment Van Ziel (and to some extent, Apia) were the very people who were best disposed to handle the CSA's legal defense in an action that The SA Players' Association brought the case against them to the Supreme Court in June.
However, they have been suspended, so they cannot do so, indicating that the CSAs are too happy to pay the penalty costs the court has imposed when they have to lose the case – which they are likely to do.
We look again at what Smith complained about. Operational progress and confusion as SAFA continues to insist that the CSA provide them with the financial figures on which they base their decision to reconstruct the first-class game next season.
Of course, SAJA has ensured that their members get paid very comfortably for the second edition of the Messi Super League, which began just over a week ago. It is too early to say anything definitively, though the form of the bearers, the stars of the ooze, was bad, and the sky was played by Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Cape Town Blitz.
There was some humor too. On Wednesday, Vaughan van Arsarsveld, playing for the "Spartans of Tsvane", ran to the end of the non-striker with a direct throw from Junior Dala to the Dragons. Although not very important, as the game was abandoned by the Spartans four strips, it expired because it carries too much weight and has a revolving supercar tank. Probably he will not offer any of his healthy views to either Messi or the Spartans or the CSA.
Given the development of the Smiths, the Van Ziel farm and the suspension of all credit cards, the CSA can probably make some extra money.