Durban - Veteran Dolphins player Daryn Smit has announced his retirement from the Durban-based franchise that he has represented throughout his career.
The 32-year-old will bow out at the end of the current season as he plans to return to his English county club Ramsbottom, which he has represented in the last three seasons in the Lancashire league later in the year.
The batsman, wicketkeeper and part time spinner has been a popular member of the franchise side for 14 years, and a senior and leader in the team.
"I have enjoyed a long and committed career with the Dolphins and never seriously considered playing franchise cricket anywhere else other than in Durban and for this team," said Smit.
"I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given here and have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the franchise. I will see out the rest of my contract with the Dolphins and be committed, as always, to contributing whatever I can in the remaining matches of the season.
"I am proud of my 14 year career. I’ve never been motivated by money and in these modern times it’s quite rare for a cricketer to remain with one team for so long. I’ve seen many players come and go and have forged some lasting friendships with team mates and other people through cricket.
"I’m stepping down and leaving Kingsmead with many good memories and with a smile on my face, which is important for a player to do whenever possible.
"I would like to thank the Dolphins and KZN Cricket Union, especially my team mates, the coaching and support staff and those administrators who have been closely involved with the team.
"I would also like to thank the players association, SACA, for its great support and for assisting with my education, personal development and preparing me for life beyond cricket.
"My wife, Sarah, and I are looking forward to exciting new times in the UK and I hope to continue to play for my club Ramsbottom in the Lancashire League. At 32 I still have a lot to give to the club so this is by no means the end of my playing career,."
Smit said that to him, cricket was more than just a game and there are so many memories that he holds dear to his heart on and off the field.
"Definitely something that cricket has afforded me over the last 15 years was an opportunity to travel, to see different countries, meet different people and experience the world and that is something I would have probably never achieved had I worked an ordinary office job," he said.
He is most proud of winning the Ram Slam T20 competition in 2013/2014 and making the representatives’ teams – the SA U19, emerging players’ team, South Africa 'A' side as well as being selected for the 2009 T20 World Cup initial squad.
Smit, who made his first-class debut in 2004, has amassed just under 5500 runs in the four-day format with a top score of 156* along with 324 catches and 106 wickets.
His strong glove work and steady leg-spin bowling always offered the Dolphins a variety of options and his commitment to the side in all formats of the game could never be faulted.