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Elgar earns CSA contract

The batsman will replace Graeme Smith as one of the country's nationally contracted players.

Proteas batsman Dean Elgar. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - Batsman Dean Elgar will replace Graeme Smith as one of the country's nationally contracted players, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on Thursday.

Convener of Selectors Andrew Hudson says Elgar, who had a mixed series with the bat against Australia, was the obvious choice to replace the retired skipper.

"Now with Graeme's resignation, we looked at the ratings again and Dean was the next player on the list. Fortunately, he's also another opening batsman."

Hudson says Elgar has big shoes to fill.

"Whoever opens the batting is going to have a big job ahead of them because Graeme Smith has got an enviable record. He [Smith] has been a wonderful attribute for South African cricket for many years. He's created an era of Test success, which I don't think we've ever had."

Hudson says they will explore every avenue and engage in several discussions before deciding on a new Test captain.

"I think it's a key appointment in terms of South African Test cricket going forward. It could be someone we grow and develop, and it could be someone that is an existing captain in another format."