Graeme Smith retired from international cricket in March 2014  © Getty Images
Graeme Smith retired from international cricket in March 2014 © Getty Images

Jul 27, 2014

Graeme Smith, the former South African Test captain, spoke about his retirement in a recent interview and said that his daughter’s injury pushed him to make the call. Smith retired from international cricket in March 2014, playing his last Test against Australia. He has captained in the most Test matches in the game’s history and is easily South Africa’s most successful captain.

Speaking to Ruda Landman, Smith said, “When I think about it, it was a really stressful time in my life. She was burnt with hot water down her face, arm and leg. When she got hurt, we were in the middle of a massive series against Australia. I was taking her to the hospital on the morning of the game, having the procedure and then having to leave to go to play the Test match.”

“I’d walk in with her, she’d be gassed and put out, then I’d lay her down on the bed, walk out, wait for her to recover and then go to the ground to play against Australia. It was a very stressful time and probably played a big role in why I retired,” Smith revealed.

Speaking about his successor Hashim Amla, Smith said that he wouldn’t have initially picked him as a leader. “It’s going to be interesting to watch. I have so much respect for Hash as a person and a cricketer. He is an outstanding cricketer. I don’t think initially he would have been my first choice because he operates in a very removed way, he’s very calm, relaxed and slightly removed in the environment. He’s a very religious guy,” said Smith.

However, Smith backs Amla to succeed and believes that he has it in him to take the pressures of captaincy, “But I think it’s going to be interesting to see how he stands up now, being shoved, kind of a way, into the front. He has to make decisions for the team, attend all the meetings, all the press conferences but there’s no doubt in my mind that he has the capacity for it.”

Smith did say that he misses his teammates and the camaraderie, but now he is settling into retirement. He could not however, continue playing for Surrey as a knee injury put him out. Thus, he would not return for 2015.