SMITH RETIRES FROM INTERNATIONAL CRICKET
By: Khanyisani Dlomo
Proteas captain, Graeme Smith, has announced that he will end his 347-match international career after the third Test against Australia in Newlands.
Smith said that his decision was not taken lightly and was difficult. “This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life. It’s a decision that I have been considering since my ankle injury in April last year,” Smith said after the close of play on Monday.
“I have a young family to consider and I felt that retiring at Newlands would be the best way to end it because I have called this place home since I was 18 years ago.”
The 33-year-old said that he felt honoured and privileged to have led Proteas over the past years.
“I’m extremely honoured and proud to have had the privilege to lead so many wonderful players and to have been a part of building the Proteas culture to what it is today. It is a culture that every player can be, and is, immensely proud of,” added Smith.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the support from my parents and brother, my wife and children, my friends, 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.
“I have been fortunate to have had many highs, amongst them leading and being part of the best Test team in the world. I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I bid my career a fond yet sad farewell.”
Cricket South Africa CEO, Haroon Lorgat, praised Smith for the contribution he made and said that he’s one of the true legends of the game.
“Although Graeme’s decision to retire from all forms of international cricket comes as a surprise to all of us, we must respect him for deciding to call time,” Lorgart commented.
“Knowing him as well as I do, having been instrumental as a selector in appointing him as a young captain, he would not have taken this decision lightly or without a great deal of thought. He has captained the Proteas for more than a decade and he will draw a lot more satisfaction from the fact that he leaves our Test team at the top of the world.
“His role in setting up the famous 438 win over Australia in 2006 was also a performance never to be forgotten. Ends his illustrious career with 17 228 International runs and as the most capped Test captain in the history of the game.”
Smith ends his illustrious career with 17 228 International runs and as the most capped Test captain in the history of the game.