South African skipper Graeme Smith announced a shock retirement from international cricket on Tuesday. We take a look at the highlights of the veteran batsman’s career.
When he was given the South African Test captaincy at the age of 22, with just 8 Tests under his belt, most people said, “Graeme, who?” His promotion as ODI skipper after South Africa's disappointing performance in the 2003 World Cup raised many eyebrows. At first sight, anyone could easily mistake Graeme Smith for a rugged rugby player. His intimidating physique doesn’t exactly fit the description of cricketing gentleman.
But perhaps that’s why he was chosen to lead South Africa.
The Proteas were yet to completely shake off the cobwebs of the match-fixing scandal when he took over the reins from Shaun Pollock. They needed someone who could break away from the past and instill fresh belief in a team of promising youngsters. With his resolute batting, his aggression on the field, and an ability to keep the team’s morale high in adverse situations, Smith led SA out of the abyss of the fixing scandal. He led them to two historic series wins in Australia and saw them become the top Test team for the first time in history. He went on to become the only man to lead a team in more than a hundred Tests (109 including the ongoing Test against Australia).
A quiet conqueror, a man who always got the job done without much fuss, Big Biff will forever be remembered as the man who bullied South Africa to the no. 1 rank.
Click on to check out the highlights of Graeme Smith’s international career.