Smith receives 'priceless' gift

2010-01-14 22:45

Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – Priceless. That was the verdict from Proteas captain Graeme Smith on the South African Test cricket shirt signed by international captains for him in recognition of his contribution to cricket in the country.

The players that signed also captained their countries in more than 50 Tests.

The unique gift was the idea of Rob Fleming, who is linked to main sponsor Castle Lager. Fleming said it was a task that took him more than a year to complete.

“I thought long about what we could get Graeme as a gift. He has just about everything you can think of,” said Fleming.

“I had to courier this shirt all over the world. Every time it came back with another signature, there was a sigh of relief.

The most difficult one to get was Viv Richards in Antigua. But we finally got it and could hand over the shirt to Graeme.”

Smith, who has captained South Africa in 72 of the Tests he has played, said on Thursday that it was a remarkable gift.

“I will always treasure this gift and it is humbling to be in the company of such great names in world cricket,” he said.

“It’s priceless and you cannot measure it in rand terms.”

The only other South African captain to have skippered the country in more than 50 tests is the late Hansie Cronjé, whose total stands at 53.

International captains that signed the shirt are Australians Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor, Windies Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards, as well as Englishman Michael Atherton, New Zealander Stephen Fleming and Sri Lankan Arjuna Ranatunga.


  • Sobers - 2010-01-14 23:48

    Big deal... want to return the choker to Richie mac Caw?

  • David - 2010-01-14 23:53

    Well done.

  • Stephen - 2010-01-15 00:52

    Well done Graeme, gratz

  • Van - 2010-01-15 04:42

    It's so bloody sad that Hansie is not around to sign this shirt. That is ALL thanks to Cricket South Africa (or whatever they are called), for ruining his life. You in particular Bacher, shame on you.

  • Robin Grant - 2010-01-15 05:35

    A wonderful idea, well done Rob Flemming !!!!! Congratulations Graeme you have done us all proud.

  • ND GREEN - 2010-01-15 06:08

    well done for all that hard work, the gift is priceless.

  • dvds - 2010-01-15 07:30

    Where's Ponting? He is busy with his 66th test as captain, I think

  • FOTA - 2010-01-15 07:36

    Bank vault stuff, and one in the eye for all those armchair critics that constantly nip away at Graeme's heels. He has proved himself and is respected by those that know best - his peers.

  • Pete - 2010-01-15 07:46

    Well done Skip!!!! Nicely done by also including Hansie's name.

  • Don R - 2010-01-15 07:50

    An astounding gift: Congratulations to Graeme for achieving this prestigious mile stone. Graeme your signature should now be added. I would like to thank you for your Captaincy and your contribution to cricket in our country.

  • mathews ngomane - 2010-01-15 07:51

    I am proud of you Sir and all the guys you have worked so hard with. I am inspired by dedication and couragage you have showed over the past years of your captaincy even when the media seemed to be writing you off you never withered. South Africa is for humbled people like you. Sure you can only be what God has planned for and indeed He rewards hard work above all. I'm gonna cry... Thank you Sir graeme Smith

  • Steve - 2010-01-15 08:00

    Richly deserved! being a captain of a South African sports team is unique and besides results on the field, he has to deal with ll sorts of unwanted outside influences and so called 'fans' calling for his head. Smith is a respected skipper throughout the world, and just like Kallis and Boucher, will only realise his true worth once he's gone.

  • AJ - 2010-01-15 08:26

    As far as appropriate gifts go, he'll treasure that one.

  • siyolo - 2010-01-15 08:31

    49 tests too many.....

  • Just Cricket - 2010-01-15 09:01

    @dvds. Good observation. Actually Ponting his captaining his 67th match. Michael Vaughan is also missing from the list (51 matches). Maybe it will be added later? Atherton also captain 54 not 55 matches as on the jersey. Gives me goosebumps when I read the report. Well done captain Smith!

  • Just Cricket - 2010-01-15 09:07

    @siyolo. How old are you? Whatever your age, deduct all but 1 year and that is how long you have lived to many you oxygen thieve. Do us all a favour and Fluk OFF @***le.Reconciliation my butt if there are fools like you.

  • Just Cricket - 2010-01-15 09:09

    @SPORT24 please stop publishing siyolo's comments. He is just plainly a stirring palooka. Thanks.

  • Centurion - 2010-01-15 09:19

    Congrats Graeme - you are an inspiration. Van, how did CSA (and Ali Bacher) ruin Hansie's life? - there is no place in sport (or the country for that matter) for dishonesty. I was a support of Hansie but what he did was unforgivable.

  • @siyolo - 2010-01-15 09:19

    Now, be a good boy and go watch something you know, like soccer.

  • @ siyolo - 2010-01-15 09:20

    So going back to 2003 who would be your captain??

  • @Siyolo - 2010-01-15 09:22

    Go jump in a lake boet. Why comment on a positive story and put a negative spin on it.

  • Vernon Cecil - 2010-01-15 09:24

    Great comment Siyolo. Think you had better get back to your monopoly and snakes and ladders game in the library than rather make any sports comments.....

  • Rodders - 2010-01-15 09:27

    Well done Graeme - you've always been my boy, even in the rough times at the beginning of your career as captain, and the fact that you've captained SA in 72 tests to date puts you fourth on the all time list at present -- you go boy!!! @ Van: Cricket SA didn't ruin Hansie's life, he ruined it for himself by cheating and dragging SA cricket's name through the mud, not to mention costing us the World Cup in 1999 in order to put money in his back pocket and placing our cricket in such a ditch that it's taken us years (and the inspired captaincy of Graeme Smith) to finally drag ourselves out of it!! (Although I do wonder where Ricky Ponting's signature is...)

  • @SIYOLO - 2010-01-15 09:37

    SIYOLO you are a &^*^%$ idiot. go play in the gutter

  • David - 2010-01-15 09:38

    Vert cool, well done MY CAPTAIN

  • AJ @ Siyolo - 2010-01-15 09:39

    Let me guess, Tshabalala should have been captain hey. You being anti-white is not my problem.

  • BlouBul - 2010-01-15 09:45

    Gaining this gift is good, but he lost the most important gift, Mienkie vd Westhuizen. What a beaut!

  • Ash - 2010-01-15 09:59

    @SIYOLO...and 1 too many comments from you.

  • sa - 2010-01-15 10:11

    Well done Smith you deserve it..You always try too lead from the front i never liked him at the start off his career but he has matured and is not only a great player but has turned into a outstanding person and a great leader.Nobody in the current SA team can replace him as a captain.My favouite SA skipper was hansie and now smith is a close 2nd.

  • jeff - 2010-01-15 10:26

    Graeme, so richly deserved! My grandmother thinks you are faboulous, my wife thinks you are the best thing since sliced bread, my kids of 15 and 7 idolise you and to top it all, my work colleagues think you are amazing.Well done, bugger.( From an ex-Aussie now living in your beautiful country!)

  • JustinD - 2010-01-15 11:24

    @Siyolo Smith has captained as many tests as youv'e broken into houses.....piece of s***!!

  • Sipho - 2010-01-15 11:56

    Well done Smithy. I wish you all the best.

  • manutius - 2010-01-15 11:57

    Man, what a gift and well deserved. Must be damned near priceless.

  • DocDee - 2010-01-15 13:55

    What a pity about the missing HANSIE signature !

  • Just Cricket - 2010-01-15 13:57

    Eish Sport24 publish my comment! Ponting's name is not there, busy with his 67 test match as captain, Vaughan is missing too (51 matches) and Atherton was captain in 54 matches not 55. Well done Smith, now work on you win ratio!

  • @Jeff - 2010-01-15 18:38

    Hey Jeff, its your country too now.

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