Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith has been appointed as tournament director and brand ambassador of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge - South Africa's premier domestic T20 tournament.
"When Graeme showed a desire to learn about the business of sport, it was clear to me that he would be the ideal person to direct and promote the RAM SLAM tournament as we look to build on the success of last season," said Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
"With an enviable playing career at international level as a leader, Graeme has much to offer the game of cricket. This is a perfect fit both for Graeme and for CSA," Lorgat said.
Smith's responsibilities will include driving public and media awareness, assisting in recruiting foreign players to participate in the event, and overseeing the draft system and the allocation of foreign players to the franchises.
"I am excited by this opportunity and looking forward to putting something back into the game," said Smith. "Players love playing in South Africa and our Ram Slam T20 competition has the potential to become a tournament of choice for international players from around the world."
Last season's Ram Slam T20 final was a full house at Newlands and there was a 43 per cent increase in stadium attendance and nearly two million television viewers. This represented a 92 per cent growth in the TV audience over the previous year.
"Although we were pleased with last season's progress, we want to draw on Graeme's knowledge to grow this competition to even greater levels," Lorgat added.
Smith's involvement will not be limited to the Ram Slam competition. In the lead-up to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, he will also be integrally involved in the 'Protea Fire' campaign to promote and support the national team in their quest for silverware. Smith played a central role in initiating and developing the 'Protea Fire' ideology and team ethic during his time as captain.
"The 'Protea Fire' ethos has become a valuable part of the team culture and identity in recent years," said Smith. "I would love to continue to play a role in promoting the values, tradition and spirit around which the campaign is based so that it becomes an enduring part of the South African sporting culture."