Cricket South Africa have handed the newly vacant central contract left by the retired Graeme Smith to batsman Dean Elgar, who is expected to take over the former skipper's role as opening batsman.

Smith retired from all form of international cricket after the third Test against Australia at Newlands this week, leaving a gap in the contract list, which Elgar, with nine Tests under his belt, has been given.

The contract is a one-year deal, which is not surprising as only seven players have two year deals, including the front runners for the captaincy job, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis.

"Dean is the obvious replacement and must be excited by the opportunity to emulate the greatness achieved by his recently retired national captain," commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.

"He has all the attributes and qualifies as the next player eligible to be awarded a contract in terms of the new methodology we developed together with the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA).

"As mentioned before, the Board has also agreed to award multi-year contracts to our top players to secure and recognise their value."

Two-year contracts: AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn

One-year contracts: Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

CSA High Performance contracted players: Kyle Abbott, Temba Bavuma, Simon Harmer, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Eddie Leie, Mangaliso Mosehle, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Stiaan van Zyl, Khaya Zondo.