Graeme Smith "excited" by Surrey challenge

South Africa captain Graeme Smith bats against Australia on November 23, 2012
© AP Photos
Graeme Smith says that he is "excited" by the opportunity of captaining Surrey for the next three years.

Graeme Smith has said that he is "excited" by the prospect of captaining Surrey for the next three years.

The South Africa Test skipper rejected a lucrative offer from Indian Premier League outfit Pune Warriors in November 2012 to join Surrey on a three-year deal.

Smith has revealed that he wants to be part of a long-term project, rather than the short-term option of playing in the IPL.

"It is a three-year deal and I think that shows how important it is to me and my career and how much I want to make a success of it," Sky Sports News quotes Smith as saying.

"I feel that I have had a few years of the IPL and, for me personally, I was looking forward to a new challenge. At this stage of my career I didn't want to have a fast-fix situation, a short-term option. I want the opportunity to come in and establish myself.

"It is a proud day for me to represent such an important club, a club with such stature. But mostly to represent the players, they are a hugely talented bunch of cricketers and I'm very, very excited."

Surrey begin their County Championship season when they play Somerset on April 17.

South Africa bowler Dale Steyn celebrates taking a wicket on December 3, 2012
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