Tuesday, March 04, 2014

South Africa great Smith calls time on international caree

South African Graeme Smith, international cricket's longest- serving captain, sprang a shock as he announced he would retire from all international cricket after the current third Test against Australia at Newlands.

The 33-year-old -- whose long-time team-mate Jacques Kallis retired from test cricket in December though he wants to remain part of the one day side -- had said only on Friday that he still had things to achieve in international cricket.
However, after another batting failure in the present series, he made just five in the first innings on Monday, he decided it was time to call it a day and told his team-mates of his decision.
Smith captained South Africa in 108 Test matches, including the present match, over 11 years. He also captained a World XI against Australia in Sydney in 2005.

His total of 109 Test captaincies is 16 more than the previous record held by Allan Border of Australia.
He has captained South Africa to 53 wins, beating Australian Ricky Ponting's record of 48 wins as a Test captain. Under his leadership, South Africa lost 27 matches and drew 27, excluding the current Test.
His shock announcement came after he told journalists at his pre-Test press conference on Friday he had no plans to retire.
"There are still things I want to achieve in the game," said Smith, who when he first led the side, against Bangladesh in 2003, was the third youngest captain in Test history.
Under his leadership South Africa rose to become the number one team in Test cricket. In 38 series of two matches or more he has had 22 series wins and seven losses, with nine drawn.
Smith captained South Africa in 149 one-day internationals before relinquishing the role in 2010.
South Africa won 92 matches under his leadership, with 51 losses, one tie and five no-results.
He also captained South Africa in 27 Twenty20 internationals, winning 18 and losing nine.
As a determined left-handed opening batsman, Smith has scored 9,262 runs in 117 Tests at an average of 48.49 with a second innings against Australia to come.
In 347 international matches across all formats he scored 17,228 runs.
He is currently the most successful Test captain, having overtaken Ricky Ponting's 48 Test victories.
Smith holds the world record of captaining in most test matches (102–101 as captain for South Africa, and 1 for ICC).
Smith holds the world record of highest number of wins in test matches as a captain with 50 wins.
Smith holds the most number of centuries (15) by a captain in test match wins.
He also holds the world record of a non-wicketkeeper taking most catches (82) in test match wins.
Fastest South African cricketer to reach 1000 test runs.

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