Smith retirement no quick call

2014-03-06 17:03

Cape Town - South African captain Graeme Smith admitted he started considering retirement in July last year.

Smith said when former coach Gary Kirsten left the Proteas setup in July 2013, it started the ball rolling.

"It certainly was on my mind then, for me, when Gary left that was sort of when the process started," said Smith after he played his final match for his country against Australia, in the third Test in Cape Town, on Wednesday.

"When he left as coach, that's when the thought entered my mind. It's been a period of time processing that.

"With everyone around you telling you that you're 33 and you still have a lot to offer, I still feel like I could perform over the next period of time. But I have a real peace that this was the time for me to go."

South Africa lost to Australia in the final Test, handing the visitors a 2-1 series triumph.

Smith announced his retirement during the middle of the Test on Monday after the close of play on day three.

Smith struggled in the series with just 45 runs in six innings, and said the decision to retire had weighed heavily on his mind.

"The way I felt now was that it was time to move on. I haven't had my best series," he said.

"I felt really good in the past two series. Knowing that the end was near made it difficult to find the right space to perform in.

"I certainly had no doubt that this was the time to finish."

Smith said it would have been a dream come true if the Proteas won a world cup during his time in charge.

"I think the natural thing would have been to win a world cup," he said.

"That would've been ticking all the boxes. That dream remains for me. I would love to see a South African team go on and win a world cup now. Once they do I think they'll win many."

Smith was also unable to taste victory over Australia in a series in South Africa, but insisted that it did not bother him too much.

"For me not beating Australia here is disappointing. But to have won twice away in Australia hurts Australians more. So I'll take that as a positive."

Australian captain Michael Clarke had no doubt Smith would go down as one of the greats of the game.

"I think Graeme is going to get a lot of recognition and credit, but he deserves more," said Clarke.

"He's been a fantastic leader, a great player, one of the greats of the game. The game is a sadder place with him retiring. He's only 33 years old, and in my opinion, I think he could've played a lot longer if he wanted to.

"You see the fight that South Africa showed today, that's credit to Graeme."

Smith made his Test debut against Australia almost 12 years ago at Newlands - the same venue and against the same opposition as his final Test.

He scored 9 265 Test (average 48.25) and 6 989 One Day International (average 37.98) runs.


  • William Hallett - 2014-03-06 17:31

    He is lying, he new very well that he better leave after this test because he had become a burden on the team for quite some time now, and was afraid he would be asked to step down.

  • Johan Coetzee - 2014-03-06 17:37

    We were severely outplayed in all facets and beaten by a better team. A team that wanted to win and has plenty of common cricket savvy, something that our boys clearly don't possess. All their bowlers are pin sharp accurate, something Dale and his squid knows boggerol about. We don't think enough about the game and uses pre-world war 2 tactics, outdated and inefficient. Their batsman destroyed our attack and we kept on doing the same old thing all over again, bowling short and wide. Can we tolerate a bowling attack where only 6 out of a 100 balls will hit the wickets? Our coaching team failed the players and I begin to understand why Garry Kirsten left so suddenly. Graeme Smith, I am not a great fan of yours but I must give some credit where due. You achieved many mile stones and was part and parcel of our buildup to the no 1 cricket rating. A position that we will surely pass on to Australia in the near future. Thanks and enjoy your family.

  • Makede Pikela - 2014-03-06 17:38

    i blame bafana bafana and chiefs for this

  • Mirko Zan - 2014-03-06 18:24

    Good Riddance

  • Vaibhav Rahangdale - 2014-03-06 19:05

    Smith was fine leader and he had a cricketing brain. After him SA don't have a perfect man for captaincy.

  • Franklin Meiring - 2014-03-06 19:16

    dont worry ,smith is going to play for irland in the next world cup,die een se dood is dieander een se brood,smith se brood is lankal al kant gebotter.

  • Matt Prinsloo - 2014-03-07 08:30

    The batsmen with good techniques last longer than the ones who rely on hand-eye coordination...

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