The long standing career of Graeme Smith (33) came to an end as he announced his retirement on March 4 at the end of Day-3 on the 3rd Australia vs. South Africa test series held at Cape Town. Owing to his huge success as a captain and a fascinating track record of 347 matches in International cricket, Smith finally called off, which in fact, surprised the team and the board members.
Smith admitted it is one of the most difficult decisions he took ever in his life. He was considering his retirement from April 2013 when he had to undergo ankle surgery. He further recalls announcing his final decision at the end of the game because he considers Newlands as his second home since 18 years old. Moreover, he also mentioned his desire to spend more time with his family members.
He says: "I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the support from my parents and brother, my wife and children, my friends, my sponsors, my fans and to Cricket South Africa. I thank and honour the players who I have played with and those who have supported me and helped me to be the person and captain I am today."
Of all the cricketing legends, Graeme Smith also deserves a salute for his impressive career that brought South Africa to a new height.
The chief executive of South Africa Cricket, Haroon Logat, said that he was shocked upon hearing the decision, but he fully respects Smith's course of action.
He further stated,"I would like us to remember Graeme for his nerves of steel and his match-winning performances that were synonymous with some of the most remarkable fourth innings victory chases of all time. These included setting up the 414 runs chase against Australia at Perth and his series-clinching innings at Edgbaston in 2008, not to mention the unbeaten century the last time he faced Australia at Newlands in 2011. His role in setting up the famous 438 win over Australia in 2006 was also a performance never to be forgotten."
Speculation is there that Smith may join Surrey team as a non-overseas player as he holds Irish citizenship.
Here are some quick facts of Smith's fascinating career in first-class cricket:
- Played 117 test match having more than 9,257 runs;
- Played 197 one day international matches bagging 6,989 runs; He is the youngest captain of South Africa and served for the longest term as a captain;
- He made his Test debut at Newlands only at the 21 and became captain at the age of 22;
Such is a fascinating journey in the cricketing career of Graeme Smith. Always a leader and with consistent runs in most matches, his actions will be missed by cricket lovers all over the world.