Graeme Smith has played a stellar role as South Africa captain over the years © Getty Images


London: Mar 5,2014


Former England and West Indies stars have paid their tributes to retiring South African Test captain Graeme Smith, who announced his desire to quit international cricket after the ”deciding” third Test against Australia.


Smith, who was appointed South Africa captain in 2003 after playing just eight Tests and has scored a total of 9,253 Test runs at an average of 48.70, signed a three-year deal to captain Surrey in 2012 and will now concentrate on playing for the English county.


According to the BBC, former England skipper Alec Stewart said that Smith, who has so far led his country to victory in 53 of his world record 109 games in charge of the Test side, will be remembered as one of cricket’s greatest captains as he is top class and a natural leader, leading from the front.


Meanwhile, sacked England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who is also contracted to Surrey next season, said that Smith is a legend given his contribution for South Africa, adding that Smith has enjoyed a magnificent career as both a captain and batsman and can retire knowing he achieved great things in his time.


Former West Indies bowling great Michael Holding also lauded Smith, saying that the captain reached the top through sheer hard work, and leadership qualities made him a great skipper.


Holding further said that he admires Smith for leaving on his own terms, adding that he is the best person to judge when to call time on his international cricket career.