No ‘Regrets’ from Graeme Smith on his Forced Retirement Decision in 2014
Veteran South African Cricket Team batsmen Graeme Smith, who has retired from the international cricket following the culmination of Cape Town Test against Australia in March 2014, has no regrets whatsoever over his somewhat a forced decision. Above all, his retirement has shocked the cricket world like his former teammate AB de Villiers, who retires from the International fold in 2018. He revealed that he has no regrets on hanging his boots even though he was young to extend his international stint more for a couple of years.
Smith is proud of doing what he was capable of doing for his country. He also recalled about the good times with the national fold to relish the memories.
“I have no regrets. I look back – it was an incredible time when things were created. And I was able to achieve things. I’m pretty proud and I don’t find myself pondering on a daily basis about the “what ifs”. I just keep remembering the magnificent times I was fortunate to have in South African cricket,” Smith told Rayder Media.
No control over situations:
The 38-year-old Smith is among a few captains who have shouldered the responsibility at a very young age. Cricket South Africa (CSA) has handed over the captaincy job to Smith at the age of 22. And he eventually succeeded in his stint.
To talk about Smith’s leadership potential, Smith led the Proteas to No.1 spot on the ICC Test Rankings for a longer period. He further opened the innings to amass runs at the will.
The southpaw in Smith has been among the top-scorers for the Proteas. However, the personal issues further pushed him to announce his retirement from top-flight cricket at the age of 33.
“I retired young, at 33 – and probably had a good couple of years left in me. I had a very full career, having captained my country since the age of 22. But 11 years in that job does certainly take its toll. Life situations weren’t simple at that stage – getting divorced and my daughter got burnt with hot water,” Smith added.
The star batsman, Smith himself, revealed that things went haywire when he was doing well for the South African team.
So much so, Smith has represented the Proteas between March 2002 and March 2014.
Also, Smith maintained he and his family had to face a tough time during a little over a decade. He stated his daughter Cadence Christine Smith received burn injuries from hot water.
“That’s all she’s known of me really. She sees me on the TV and that was a moment where I realised I’m pretty happy with the decision I’ve made,” Smith told The Sunday Times following his retirement announcement in 2014.
Satisfied enough with his decision, Smith also revealed the unavoidable circumstances drained him psychologically which pushed him to bid adieu to the international cricket.
“I think the whole situation I was facing was sort of mounting on me with the emotional and mental stress I was under,” Smith said.
Smith hails former Proteas coaches:
Smith who has a lot of achievements to boast about. But he has often backed the teammates to put country first. He is further having fond memories of the dressing room while lavishing praise on Gary Kirsten and concurrent Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur.
“We had built that environment into a very successful one through time with [former coaches] Mickey Arthur and Gary Kirsten – and we were a very high-performing team,” Smith concluded.
In conclusion, he added Russell Domingo was an unproven candidate at the helm of affairs back then. Also, Smith said a lot had happened that time around which pushed him to ‘walk away’ from the game.
In overall 117 Tests, Smith has amassed 9265 runs at an average of 48.25. He slammed 27 tons and 38 half-centuries.
Smith has also featured in 197 ODIs and 33 T20Is for the Proteas. He registered 6989 runs. He also smashed 10 tons and 47 fifties in the day-long format.
Plus, he has played 33 T20Is between 2005 and 2011 for South Africa.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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