News24

Timing of Smith retirement odd

2014-03-04 12:37

Cape Town - First it was Jacques Kallis and just three months later it is the turn of Test captain Graeme Smith to hang up his cricket boots for the Proteas.

After playing 166 Tests, Kallis retired from the Test format at the age of 38, but said he intended to continue playing the 50-over game, hoping for a spot in the One-Day International (ODI) side for the 2015 ICC World Cup.

Smith, meanwhile, made it clear he was retiring from all forms of international cricket on Monday.

Smith broke the news to his team-mates after close of play during the third Test against Australia at Newlands.

He said it was something he had been considering since his ankle surgery in April last year and had a young family to consider.

Interestingly, his retirement comes exactly a week after Cricket SA announced the Proteas fixtures leading up to the world cup.

The next Test match for South Africa is scheduled in December against the West Indies. After a nine-month gap, it will be the first of a three Test series.

Smith had been effectively dropped from the one-day side in December during a three match ODI series against India. Though part of the squad, Quinton de Kock was chosen ahead of him for the first ODI on December 5.

The 20-year-old scored 135 off 121 balls and led the Proteas to a 141 run win over India, seemingly closing the door on Smith.

After the game, CSA said in a statement that Smith had returned to Cape Town to focus on his Test match preparations for the upcoming two-match series against India, which started on December 18.

Opening the batting, the left-handed De Kock went on to score two more centuries making him only the fifth player to hit a hat-trick of hundreds in ODIs after Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar and South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers.

Having played in three world cups, Smith had little chance of making it to another.

While the Test series against India was a decent one for Smith - with scores of 68, 44, 47 and 27 not out at an average of 62 -- he has struggled in the current Test series against Australia, averaging 8.4 from five innings.

At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Smith was asked how many Newlands Test matches he had left in him but gave no indication of an imminent retirement.

"I don't spend too much time thinking about that," said Smith.

"I definitely don't see myself playing to the age of Kallis or Sachin Tendulkar [40], not that I'm in the same bracket as them. Hopefully I'll know when the time is right.

"I'm 33 now, and still have a lot more to do in the game."

His retirement on Wednesday, at the end of the third Test against Australia, brings to a close a 12 year career.

It began with his Test debut against Australia in Cape Town in March 2002 - the same venue where he now brings down the curtain.

Smith will continue to play for English county Surrey where he signed a three-year contract last year.

SAPA

Comments
  • Terry Burne - 2014-03-04 12:48

    Perhaps he got sick and tired of the constant criticism by a number of imbeciles who just want him gone. His form has dropped over the past year, but he still has a prolific record, both as a batsman and as a captain. He has never had a great batting technique, and was successful because of great hand-eye coordination, and the force of his personality - unfortunately, over the past year or so, the hand-eye coordination has started to slip, and more and more bowlers are managing to work him out. Perhaps he has got the timing right by leaving now, rather than hanging on and destroying his legacy. Go well Graeme Smith.

      Daniel Wessels - 2014-03-04 12:55

      hopefully he will have a good last innings like the King did, what worries me is the amount of experience we are losing in less than 12 months. hope our new captain will be wise enough to keep us at no 1 for another few years.

      Hebe Mabo - 2014-03-04 12:56

      We'll miss you Biff

      KevinKey - 2014-03-04 13:22

      Redeemed himself by retiring - his form "of late" doesn't justify his inclusion in the side.

      fargone - 2014-03-04 13:37

      Have to agree with skinny, yes Biff had a good record but had lost form, records do not win games, current form does. I am one of those imbeciles who wanted him gone, may well be the best thing to happen to the team for a long time, SA needs a new breed of Cricketers, hungry and abitious young guys. When the current u19's start filling up places SA may well have one of the best teams ever!

      Avon Asac - 2014-03-04 13:37

      Platberg please tell us who these better players in the wings are? And who is going to captain us? AB and Faf haven't exactly set the scene alight with there T20 and ODI captaincy.

      Nick Collis - 2014-03-04 14:01

      Good post Terry but perhaps he should have retired after the test! I wonder if in some weird way he wasn't taking pressure of himself for the very important second innings knock ahead? Whatever.....it still been a great career!

      Andre Bosch - 2014-03-04 15:20

      From Smith's scores it seems like he retired before this test.

  • Hebe Mabo - 2014-03-04 12:51

    We'll miss you Biff.

      Ali Bhama - 2014-03-04 13:48

      We definitely missed his captaincy this series. Clarke showed him how to be a captain

  • Bradley Kecskes - 2014-03-04 12:56

    hence our Cricket is K&K!!!

  • Albertus Lombaard - 2014-03-04 12:58

    Man, he is just gatvol at the moment, let him be. Don't be surprised if he makes a comeback at the end of the year, he just wants CSA's shackles of him.

  • frankvankaapstad - 2014-03-04 12:58

    Don't be stupid now CSA, bring in De Kock and have him keep and bat, he is an awesome talent. AB is the best batsman in the world, he needs to be rested before every innings he plays.

  • Lor Dantebellum - 2014-03-04 12:59

    Amla for captain !

      Keiran Reilly - 2014-03-04 14:28

      Everyone would be happy.... except maybe Hash himself. And SAB may also have a problem with it - no matter how accomodating they are the captain is in front of the camera a lot and thats where they get there exposure.

  • Rei Farinha - 2014-03-04 13:01

    When is it a good time? There's always going to be "conspiracy" that may raise this same question ... No doubt he's made the right decision both for himself and the team ... He'll be missed

  • Andrew Worrall - 2014-03-04 13:03

    He blamed the pitch for the draw with India saying it was too slow. he blamed the pitch at Centurion saying it was too fast. He didn't arrive back with his team after the world cup exit, but chose his girlfriend at the time. His form of late has been inconsistent. He does have a big head. He did well over the years, I will admit. I was his number 1 supporter but with the lame excuses and after the World Cup scenario, I lost respect. I vote for Faf to captain. He has a Clive Rice/Hansie feel about him.

      Gerhard Burger - 2014-03-04 13:16

      He did not arrive back with his team after the world cup,because you don't pay tax on money earned abroad,provided you are 182 days out the country for that tax year,he needed some more days out the country.

      Michael Morris - 2014-03-04 15:49

      "Clive Rice/Hansie feel about him..." and how did you come to that conclusion?

      Bardof Blairgowrie - 2014-03-04 17:06

      andrea woral, to compare smith to Hansie or Rice is ridiculous.

  • Jorge Da Silva - 2014-03-04 13:12

    Perhaps he will represent Ireland!

  • Kevin Lester - 2014-03-04 13:16

    Good riddance. Get that dead weight out of there and start repairing the damage created by him.

      Michael Morris - 2014-03-04 15:51

      What damage?

  • Imraan Baron - 2014-03-04 13:17

    Smith must voetsek he is the most useless idiot of a captain he just ate the money all the way and went into hiding when his team came back with their tail between their legs from the world cup ......Good riddance of that idiot

  • Piet Fourie - 2014-03-04 13:32

    Weighed & measured and found wanting, not once, not twice but thrice. Happy retirement !

  • Suren Lutchman - 2014-03-04 13:53

    Some forget that because of biff great's like Klusner and Pollock called time on their careers sooner than they should have. He had his moments, I'll give him that.

      Michael Morris - 2014-03-04 15:56

      Pollock was already done and dusted when he retired. It was his time to go. Didn't take anymore wickets and slow as hell.

  • nathi.mfaka - 2014-03-04 14:03

    It came to his senses that, he is been a passenger all this time. Thanks for realizing that you won't be missed.

  • Vijandren Naidoo - 2014-03-04 14:07

    Great cricketer, All the best Graeme

  • harold.marsberg - 2014-03-04 14:14

    Ol' Biff had his moments.....he was thrown in the deep end and he had the character to rise and lead the team to plenty of successes. He is in poor form currently so he has recognised that cricket is probably not his priority anymore, what with his young family and all. He is also an Irish citizen these days so will probably pop up in their squad for the World Cup seeing as he probably would not make the Proteas squad.......

  • Johan Pretorius - 2014-03-04 14:18

    Right decision. In light of Michael Clarke' performance what a captain's roll ought to be, Smith was shown up big time

      Michael Morris - 2014-03-04 16:06

      I would like to see MC captain under the conditions that Graeme or Hansie or Kepler had to captain, hell, even Pollock. I tip my hat to any person that captains a South African sport's team. Too much politics.

  • Keiran Reilly - 2014-03-04 14:20

    With all due respect to all of you Smith is not retiring due to a lack of form. 2 and half games does not define an opening batsmans form. Prior to the Aus tour he averaged 50 odd against India, scored a double ton against Pakistan and on his previous away tour won a game in Perth with Hashim. thats all in the last 10 to 12 test matches. Did pretty demn well on his last tour to England before that as well. Most opening bats around the world would kill for his recent test record (last 10 to 15 games)never mind his career record. It may be that Mitchel Johnson has the wood over him slightly but Smith could be the best opening batsman in the world for another 5 years if he chose to do so. His form is certainly no reason to retire.

  • Keiran Reilly - 2014-03-04 14:21

    Nick - I think he earned the right to announce it before he walked out onto Newlands one last time.

  • Gary Wynn√® Vickers - 2014-03-04 14:47

    You right timing is old, I think is is a question of retire or get fired

      Michael Morris - 2014-03-04 16:08

      And you would now...why?

  • Juan Pierre De Wet - 2014-03-04 15:16

    The focus should be on defeating the annoying Aussies in the final test. Now Biff suddenly anounces his retirement before there is an outcome, and tries to shift the focus to him. That says alot about his character. What a selfish, arrogant and self centered Choker!!

      Michael Morris - 2014-03-04 16:10

      Maybe he tried to get them to focus, because they looked pretty flat in the fist innings. Get them charged up. Ever thought of that, before you started to spew drivel?

  • Bardof Blairgowrie - 2014-03-04 17:02

    Strange chap.

  • Herman Fourie - 2014-03-04 17:35

    a Captain should never give up or attend to personal emotions or priorities whilst in battle - he at least should have lead his team to the end of the game. New energetic and leading captain, placing the team first and serving the team with his leadership and contributions is maybe just what we need to stay at number 1.

  • rion.britz.5 - 2014-03-04 19:26

    Its the Irish side of life

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