News24

Smith retires from ALL cricket

2014-03-03 22:22

Cape Town - Proteas Test captain, Graeme Smith, will end his 347-match international career after the third Test against Australia at Newlands.

GALLERY: Biff in pictures

Smith broke the news to his team mates after close of play earlier on Monday.

 "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 surgery in April last year.

"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-old.   

"I have always been someone who has left everything out there on the field for my team and for my country.

"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," Smith continued.

"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.

"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," the 33-year-old added.

CSA reacted with surprise to Smith's decision, but CSA chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, was full of praise for the contribution made by 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," commented Lorgat.

"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 and in such good health rather than from all the personal records he has achieved as the longest-serving captain the game has ever seen in the demanding Test format.

"He also led South Africa to the World Cup semi-final in 2007.
 
"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.
 
"He can leave the game with pride and he thoroughly deserves the gratitude of our nation for leading the Proteas with much distinction.

"From a personal point of view I am thrilled that I was part of the panel that appointed him captain in 2003 when his first major assignment was a tough tour to England and I feel privileged to see him now move on to the next stage of his career.

"He has been a mighty warrior, a leader of men and an exceptional part of our international cricket.
 
"Following the recent retirement of Jacques Kallis from Test cricket, there is no doubt that we are now ready to move into a new era and it is our job to build on the solid foundations that these great players leave behind."

Smith made his first-class debut for South Africa at the age of 21, and ends his illustrious career with 17 228 international runs and as the most capped Test captain in the history of the game.

Sport24

Comments
  • Jamie Naidoo - 2014-03-03 22:26

    Finally. Thanks for the memories biff but it's time to move or sa cricket will end up like England

      Digger DS - 2014-03-03 23:29

      Yes Jamie, it might be time as injuries and form are playing against him. But he deserves our respect and gratitude for the time he has spent and what he's achieved.

      DeWet Du Plessis - 2014-03-04 06:14

      Hallu-fukkin-luya!

      Trav Griffie - 2014-03-04 07:41

      I am embarrassed to be a South African cricket supporter and to be associated to people like you. You ask anyone who actually knows him and they will say what a great guy he is. He has given everything for SA cricket including taking us to #1 in the world, yet ignorant pricks like you berate him. After the last test he was a hero. Now he's a failure. Fair weather supporters make me sick. We can't win every game, and as a human being he will make mistakes, which he has done, but he is rated as the best captain in world cricket, with an incredible record. I for one will miss you Graeme, and wish you all the best in your future wherever that takes you. Respect.

      DeWet Du Plessis - 2014-03-04 08:15

      Hi Trav, I personally do not know him and could not care less if he is a "nice guy", his sell-by date was LOOOONG over due. Do you think he has a second coin that he flips, after he won a toss, to decide on what to do? For Bring the most experience test captain in the history of the game he made horrific errors, time and time again. We are not number one because of HIM, we are number one because of the amazing quality if players we have. Imagine how good we would have been with 11 players on the field? So in short, seeing that he is such a nice guy, you want his number?

      Martin Pienaar - 2014-03-04 08:16

      High Time!!!

      Joey Barton - 2014-03-04 21:31

      He served us well, but this was the right thing to do. However, losing Kallis and Smith at the same time will hurt us a little but we have the talent to move on.

  • Albert Jardim - 2014-03-03 22:26

    hoo-hoo!

      George Thysse - 2014-03-04 06:19

      Hoo-hoo what ALBERT? Be more specific or retire from sending comments. Greame Smith has been a great cricketer and captain and lead the Proteas to the top. He definately do not deserve this childish idiotic comment from a lot of brainless idiots like Koos, Piet Pompies (who could not use his own name, possibly due to his low IQ that he could not remember) and Albert Jardim. Check his stats as shown below by Atholl and weep you negative morons.

  • Paul Vuma - 2014-03-03 22:29

    He played his part, good timing, and let's not lie, he has been an exceptional player for most part of his career.

      Atholl Canterbury - 2014-03-04 00:32

      == Big Captain with Respect that was Earned == 27 centuries .... not one in defeat ..... most of them opening the batting .... that's Big ! Double ton (200 off 267 balls) after 3 tests .... that's Big ! The best way to measure your record as a player is not by the opinion of your own team/supporters --- but by the opinion of your opponents. soooooo ... expect the following reaction (to this retirement): .... respect from .... Their Majesty's ... Strauss, Cook, Flintoff, Pieterson? ... respect from ..... Croc Dundees ... Clarke, Watson, Waugh, Hayden, Warne, McGrath?, Lee? Ponting? .. respect from .... Tendulkar, Lara, Ambrose,

  • Anele Booi - 2014-03-03 22:30

    Yes you were weak it was about time

      Douglas Hollis - 2014-03-03 23:44

      Wow. Such ignorance.

      Siya Dlulane - 2014-03-04 03:34

      Douglas, the guy got sooooo many rubbish scores throughout his career. He was hardly ever on form. In the last 5 innings against Auz, he's not even got one score above 15.

      Paul Vuma - 2014-03-04 06:12

      Siya and Anele, u guys are smoking potatoes

      Trav Griffie - 2014-03-04 07:44

      Anele and Siya, those are ignorant and insulting comments to an amazing leader who has given everything for his team. Who replaces him now, genius?

      Siya Dlulane - 2014-03-05 00:43

      Trav, just because somebody has an opposing opinion to yours, doesn't mean its ignorant. Many people on this site are pleased to see him go, so obviously many agree with me. And I made that comment prior to Smith's most recent, & final appearance with the bat. And guess what. He got another rubbish score: 3. That's six of his last outings in which he's been unable to get anything higher than 15 runs.

  • Twolips - 2014-03-03 22:30

    Thank goodness I won't have to tear my hair out any longer.

      George Thysse - 2014-03-04 06:22

      Why dont you rather tear one of your lips off and stop talking so much crap.

      Bradley Kecskes - 2014-03-04 14:06

      He is typing BTW...

  • Darian Gray - 2014-03-03 22:30

    Think he knew he was going to lose captaincy. That is why he is retiring.

      Trav Griffie - 2014-03-04 07:46

      Seriously, Darren. That's what you 'think'. It has nothing to do with the fact that he feels his time is up. Nothing to do with his injuries and the constant barrage of stupid negativity he gets from SA 'supporters'. Thanks for your 'thoughts'.

  • mdelange3 - 2014-03-03 22:30

    Finally

  • Louis Venter - 2014-03-03 22:31

    Thank you miracles does happen

      JordMavis - 2014-03-04 01:32

      does you know anything about cricket

  • Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-03 22:32

    Whoo hoo ! Off to Ireland then ? Not going to put anything back into cricket development ? Used SA enough then have you ? Tw@t !

      Jacci Freimond Rudling - 2014-03-03 22:48

      Who's the twat? You?

      slp.mulligan - 2014-03-03 22:51

      Read what he said about KP and loyalty to your country. He played for his country, and wasn't afraid to call out KP. So your comments are absurd.

      cheryl.sargent.923 - 2014-03-03 23:12

      I believe some of the people commenting here don't support SA anyway

      Theo Weber - 2014-03-04 00:41

      You should fu####ck back to India you idiot. What have you done for cricket in this country

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-04 00:46

      All you swooning menopausal Cape CowBras need to take a deep breathe and calm down. Your Golden boy set up this move the day he signed with Surrey. The intention was to get an Irish citizenship and play County Cricket as a citizen, not an overseas pro, thereby avoiding SA tax, and allowing Surrey to play an additional overseas pro. I called this a year ago already.. Sign for Surrey, get Irish citizenship, play for SA till the start of the IPL, do his IPL stint and off to the UK, putting South African Cricket and you doting fools behind him for good... PS. I am a die hard Protea supporter ! Which is all the more reason that I feel for my team and country when I've watched it being used to further a personal agenda..

      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-04 01:06

      Bradley, if you were half as sharp as you think you are, you'd know that Biff bade the IPL farewell a couple of seasons ago and doesn't even put up his name for the auction anymore.

      Digger DS - 2014-03-04 01:13

      Have you ever hear the saying "feel like a stranger in your own country"....well just a thought. Will back any decision he makes for the best of his family. Period.

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-04 02:16

      @Theo Weber - Hitch up your Venter trailer and you go back to wherever it is your kind came from too... We'll both leave together... and you can meet me at the airport and kiss my @rse goodbye...

      Trav Griffie - 2014-03-04 07:51

      Bradley you are a tool. He has lead SA since he was 22 years old. He has taken abuse from twits like you for years, despite taking SA TO #1 in the world, with an average of just below 50. He happened to fall in love with an Irish girl, and so you judge him. How dare you, fool? You don't know him at all, and there is not a word of thanks for a man who has give his all. Look at where SA cricket sits at the moment. We have not lost a series since 2009. That's incredible. Be proud, and say thank you instead of insulting out of pure ignorance.

      Moruga NuNaga - 2014-03-04 16:20

      what an @@@@ hole u are !!!

      Leon de Villiers - 2014-03-04 21:02

      @naaaaaidooo Go and eat a couple of samoosas. Then go back to the slums you call home in India. Take a deep breath. Meet your bookie. Eat some dogs..( if you can find any), and burn your @rse off with some atcha, you stupid little indian w@nker.

  • Zinzi Radu - 2014-03-03 22:32

    I must be in a bad dream, noooooo!

  • Nhlakanipho Gambu - 2014-03-03 22:35

    we salute u biff.Thats a hallmark of a great leader he knows when to call it quits.

      Digger DS - 2014-03-04 00:45

      Too true Nhlakanipho....

  • Shaun Neveling - 2014-03-03 22:35

    Here comes de Kock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Piet Genade - 2014-03-04 01:38

      Gawd help us

      Rynier Potgieter - 2014-03-04 08:59

      I would say oh yeah Shaun, but Why do I have the feeling that it might not be? Piet jy weet niks van krieket af nie!

  • Ettienne Le Roux - 2014-03-03 22:36

    At last!!

  • Darian Gray - 2014-03-03 22:36

    Don't think he will retire. Biff can now go play for Ireland.

      Michael Clifford Georgopoulos - 2014-03-03 22:50

      OVER THER HE WILL MAKE PROBALLY MORE THAN 10...9...14...5...12...THE LIST GOES ON. I WON;T MISS HIM AT ALL..........I YHINK HE HAS REALISED THAT HE IS MAKING AN INTERNATIONAL ASS OF HIMSELF...........GOODBYE BIFFY ......A LEADER OF LEGENDS.

  • Alister Duminy - 2014-03-03 22:37

    What a surprise! With this step, I think he has closed one of the greatest careers with one of his best leadership decisions. He is stepping down at just the right time - bearing both the team's and his own well-being in mind. Much will be said about his amazing career - and some will still be small-minded enough to throw some mud that won't stick for long. Suffice to say that he has provided a fantastic legacy of leadership, tenacity, growth and just enough humility to make any nation respectful and appreciative and any team proud! Whatever comments can be made while analysing his record and his actions, he always did his best to do the best with who he is, who he was and what he had been given. Go well, Mr Smith!

      Craig King - 2014-03-04 06:56

      Beautiful comment Alister, he was a great captain and a wonderful player to watch. His leadership is shown once more by this decision. What a great man. South Africa has indeed been fortunate to have had such a sportsman. Go we'll Graham, and thanks for all the wonderful cricket.

      Trav Griffie - 2014-03-04 07:53

      Thank you Alister. I agree with your comment 100%

  • slp.mulligan - 2014-03-03 22:37

    What pathetic comments for a great player; you should be ashamed: an average of just under 50 as an opener, most hundreds in the 3rd or 4th innings, and all you arm chair idiots can do is insult him. Fools.

      Nikolai R.D. Kaufmann - 2014-03-03 22:50

      Well said. I bet he scored more international runs and captained his country with distinction more than these loud mouths. Juss, don't get me wrong, the time has come, as it does for every great player, but to disrespect the man like this is just pathetic. I would pay good money to watch most of you lame'o's say this to the mans face. It is easy to sit on a sports blog and bad mouth a guy, so let me ask you, how did your International cricket career go? Yeah, thought so you plonkers!

      Chez Kri - 2014-03-04 00:16

      At last some good comments. he was a great player and has the stats to prove it. he will be missed.

  • Hasani Booysen Hlungwana - 2014-03-03 22:38

    ohh another wicket... it look bad for SA Cricket team... Kellis and now Smith is out..

  • Staalburger - 2014-03-03 22:38

    Graeme, initially I didn't like you, but you were exactly the kind of captain SA needed. A tough, uncompromising, in your face captain who led from the front. You did a lot for SA cricket, and I am truly grateful. I will miss your back-to-the-wall centuries, but I respect your decision. Go well!!

  • Mikhail Swartz - 2014-03-03 22:39

    If only Zuma would also bow out now...

  • Daniel Lionel Shneier - 2014-03-03 22:40

    Thank God!

  • Sillas Cilliers - 2014-03-03 22:40

    Best news ever!!

  • Jaco Perold - 2014-03-03 22:40

    All you negative and ungrateful people sitting at home go get a life!!!! He is the most capped test captain of all time, holds the most 100's of all test captains, held numerous records like the highest test score of all SA batsmen, took the test and ODI team to nr.1 in the World. And all of this with ridiculous politics and behind the scene battles with government. YOU HATERS KNOW NOTHING!!! Biff is the best captain!!!!

      David Pat - 2014-03-03 22:43

      People just don't understand how great a player he is!

  • Daniel Lionel Shneier - 2014-03-03 22:42

    Given the politics of South African cricket, a lot of good players got ahunted because of him, Boucher and Kallis. Time for the new-guard. He is well past his prime

  • David Pat - 2014-03-03 22:46

    Smith was the best tactical captain ever! He is the reason for south africa being ranked number 1 test cricket.

      Michael Clifford Georgopoulos - 2014-03-03 22:54

      DAVID ............HOW OLD ARE MY BOY?????

      David Pat - 2014-03-03 22:58

      95

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-04 00:22

      David, you have hust lost all credibility with this statement ! Smith is a great leader of men, but a cricket captain's backside. How the hell could he ever be tactical when he doesn't have a clue about a batting technique ? The only tactic Smith knows is to change the bowling and hope for the best. Seriously, how old are you ? Most of the Smith supporters here are menopausal infatuated women and laaities who only know about SA cricket under Smith's captaincy. Ever heard of Steve Waugh, Cronje, Fleming, Lloyd, Imraan Khan, Border ? Those were captains !

      Jan Fourie - 2014-03-04 06:53

      I still can not understand who and how SA was rated first because they are not!

  • David Pat - 2014-03-03 22:46

    Smith was the best tactical captain ever! He is the reason for south africa being ranked number 1 test cricket.

  • Jean Bobbejaan - 2014-03-03 22:46

    People on the internet are so faceless. The guy has the best average of all captains that have opened the batting. He served his country well. Suddenly his personality (which most of us can only judge solely on tv while he is playing in an intense cricketing atmosphere) is outweighing his performances on the field? The guy was great, period. On a side note, (and I am not trying to stir up something) but I wonder why Kallis and Smith both retired so close to one another. I know there were often referred to be as having lots of 'power' within the team - I hope Cricket South Africa is not doing something that is annoying our senior players

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-04 00:24

      They're all leaving now 'cos they've secured contracts that conflict with playing for their country... Wake up and smell the coffee...

      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-04 01:22

      There is no coffee to smell. Proteas players have always been allowed to play county cricket and/or the IPL. Again, try learning something about cricket before putting wild conspiracy theories out there.

  • Belinda Clayton - 2014-03-03 22:46

    About time he left,poor excuse for a captain

      Jaci Malvern - 2014-03-03 22:55

      you a poor excuse for a woman

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-04 00:27

      Crap Nel reckons he's the only one who knows the game and every contradictory opinion must be wrong... Take those rose tinted specs off boy, and see what the real world looks like.

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-04 00:50

      Lol ! You thought of that one all on your own Krap ?

  • Barney Klaasin - 2014-03-03 22:46

    Biff we as cricket loving fans would express our gratitude for a job well done and believe you will be honoured among the greastest players of the game.Thanks for your contribution for your country.Enjoy your time with family

  • Hamza Ahmed - 2014-03-03 22:48

    smith has been class for ages.....really young captain led SA to No.1 but his form had dipped so alarmingly it is the right decision.

  • ravikesh.kalicharran - 2014-03-03 22:50

    Gosh he is still young... Shouldn't have retired ... Everyone goes thru bad patches... Will miss him

      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-03 22:57

      I think that it wasn't a question of age so much as time at the top. He took over at a very young age so, even though he's only in his early thirties, he's been doing it forever. I guess, like all of them, the thought of being away from family and home eventually became greater than his love of cricket and passion to keep succeeding and working. Anyway, all the best to Biff and many thanks for the years of service to SA cricket. He has certainly made his mark in history.

      ravikesh.kalicharran - 2014-03-03 23:04

      Thanks Richard Barnes..,as usual you put things in perspective.

      ravikesh.kalicharran - 2014-03-03 23:06

      Thanks Richard Barnes .., as usual you put things in perspective

  • Steven Berry - 2014-03-03 22:51

    Thank you Mr Smith

  • Train Locomotive - 2014-03-03 22:51

    Greatest Day ever,I am so happy,just opened my weekend champagne

      Jaci Malvern - 2014-03-03 23:12

      ja jou dronkgat ....is lekker om 'n poephol te wees reg dom Train

      Theo Weber - 2014-03-04 00:50

      You are a prize prick

  • Tian Nel - 2014-03-03 22:51

    south african cricket is looking bleak for the future the new players look average..yeah we have de kock and elgar who looks promising.but mark my words sa cricket will be going downhill from here.

  • Hanno Van Helsdingen - 2014-03-03 22:52

    Very sad. He was struggling but boy I will only remember the good knocks - and there were plenty of those. Enjoy bring wth your family and thx for being the best SA captain ever.

  • Rick Taylor - 2014-03-03 22:53

    Judging by the comments below, I am ashamed to be a south African supporter, as they seem to be the most fickle... Smith was and is a legend, tasked with rebuilding a team after the eraof Hansie, and will be remembered for some incredible cricket. He took us to the top, maybe it is time for him to go, but let's not forget what he has done... South Africa will be less without him...

      Rick Taylor - 2014-03-03 23:02

      I know, but pollock had an even harder job, as it was Hansie's team, smith had the opportunity to move away from that and build...

  • Zoheb Hassan - 2014-03-03 22:53

    Thank you for all those years of cricket and for everything you've helped the proteas achieve, you are a brave captain who saw its time to quit and have done so.. Good luck and thanks for all the great memories.. A true proteas legend and one of the best captains

  • Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 22:54

    Lets give him a great send off otherwise he could suffer from depression thinking his people have turned against him.

  • Moses Govender - 2014-03-03 22:54

    Major loss for SA cricket. Smith had his problems. ..but often when the chips were down and he was at the crease you always knew we had a chance. He is too young to retire from Test cricket. Too bad too many people slacked off him and Kallis. Now SA will truly feel their Loss!

  • Xolani Mncina - 2014-03-03 22:55

    but graeme... no man :(

  • Jan Astrant - 2014-03-03 22:56

    julle is mos nie FANS se gat werd nie man

  • Thabo Malose - 2014-03-03 22:56

    you should've done that, a long time ago. U have cost us dearly last few years.

      Jan Astrant - 2014-03-03 23:00

      he made us no.1 the last few years what are you talking about boet...greatest captain this country has ever seen

      Rick Taylor - 2014-03-03 23:04

      Cost us dearly? we are number one, please explain how he cost us?

      Kagiso MrKg Masubelele - 2014-03-03 23:12

      we havent lost a series since 2008 under his leadership and his cost us? What pot are you smoking?

      Theo Weber - 2014-03-04 00:52

      Are you smoking weed or just plain stupid

  • Paul Muirhead - 2014-03-03 22:56

    Absolutely disgusted with some of the comments made here by so-called patriotic South African sports fans after a decade of loyal service from the greatest captain this country has ever seen

  • Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 22:57

    Lets give him a proper send off otherwise he will suffer from depression thinking that his own people have turned against, then what will he tell his grandchildren on his career.

  • johan.vonsolms - 2014-03-03 23:00

    Biff you will be a great icon of SA Cricket. The comments from some of the people who I am willing to bet never achieved anything in their lives are uncalled for.

  • Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 23:03

    So who is going to be the next captain? ....don't tell me its Amla because we need him in his 100% batting concentration

      Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 23:11

      Jaycee lets hope he equals to the task and be consistent in both roles

      Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 23:45

      I hope so friend i hope so

      Japie Du Bruyn - 2014-03-04 08:26

      If I look what CSA did to Ray Jennings - The new Protea captain will then be Thami Tsolikile

      Henry Dube - 2014-03-04 09:10

      Why would they do that?....if they do that they would turn proteas into David moyes' Manchester united

  • Kagiso MrKg Masubelele - 2014-03-03 23:03

    not sure if SA Cricket is ready to loose such a great leader, Smith has been a great player for this country and because of him we can be proud of our SA Cricket team. Pity some people will hate because they know nothing about the game. If anyone says Smith isnt a great player then they should stop watching cricket cause clearly they havent picked up a bat in their life......Farewell great ONE.

      Theo Weber - 2014-03-04 00:54

      Great words spoken and I agree with you

  • Rudolf Meiring - 2014-03-03 23:03

    Graham, do not listen to negative comments. The Lord gave you a talent and you and your team gave us much joy over the years. Enjoy whatever you plan, with your wife and kids. They will appreciate your presence. Person will never satisfy all. Thanks for the good innings, and 15 years was a good one!

  • Trix Roux - 2014-03-03 23:08

    Good call pity he retired long ago reflected in his performances....

  • Danie Louw - 2014-03-03 23:11

    Leaving before the ship drowns,says a lot about you captain

      slp.mulligan - 2014-03-03 23:32

      How does a ship drown. Says a lot about you...

      Theo Weber - 2014-03-04 00:57

      You should go and drown yourself if you only knew how to. The ship as you state will drown without him.

  • Kyle TheKing Oelofse - 2014-03-03 23:12

    Goodbye!!!!! Best news ever!!!! Absolutely USELESS!

      Gary Alec Nash - 2014-03-03 23:17

      You are a dick, sir.

      Kagiso MrKg Masubelele - 2014-03-03 23:20

      your an excuse of a human being if you think smith is useless. Your an idiot of note.

      Coenraad Vaneeden - 2014-03-03 23:29

      My be you

      Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 23:50

      Kyle give the guy a break, Biff deserves a perfect send off just like any other cricketer