Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith


About Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith made history by becoming the youngest Test captain for South Africa at the age of just 22. He assumed the captaincy from the popular Shaun Pollock following their disappointing 2003 World Cup campaign. Smith, a strong left-handed opener, quickly established himself as a formidable presence in the top order, achieving back-to-back double centuries in England. His remarkable scores of 259 and 277 unequivocally justified his selection as the national captain.Under Smith’s leadership, South African cricket underwent a significant transformation, evolving from perennial underachievers to the pinnacle of the ICC Test rankings. While they may not have claimed titles in the shorter formats of the game, South Africa consistently maintained their status as one of the most reliable sides in world cricket.One of the most memorable moments of Smith’s career was the historic series victory in Australia, where his team triumphed 2-1, marking a truly unforgettable summer of cricket. Smith’s reputation as one of the toughest individuals in cricket was further solidified when he courageously returned to bat at the SCG after breaking his hand due to a fierce Mitchell Johnson delivery. Although he fell just 10 balls short of saving the match, his heroic effort earned the admiration of everyone at the ground.Smith sealed a successful career by leading his team to a series win in England, securing the number one Test ranking in the process. During the series, he also reached a personal milestone, playing in his 100th Test for South Africa. Smith holds numerous records in South African and world cricket, including the record for the highest opening partnership of all time. His partnership of 415 runs with fellow opener Neil McKenzie marked the fourth occasion he had been part of an opening stand exceeding 300 runs, setting a world record of its own.Often referred to as “the Bully” by his peers, Smith maintained excellent statistics throughout his career. In his 197 ODI matches for South Africa, he smashed 10 centuries. Similar to his predecessor, he was compelled to relinquish the captaincy after South Africa’s exit in the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup, following which Smith retired from the role of captain. He concluded his Test career with an average of 48.25, amassing 27 centuries in his 117-match journey.
Profile Details
Full NameGraeme Smith
BornFebruary 01, 1981, Johannesburg, Transvaal
CountrySouth Africa
Batting StyleLeft Handed Bat
Bowling StyleRight-arm offbreak

Graeme Smith Career Statistics

Career Batting Stats

FormatMatches (M)Innings (Inn)Not Outs (NO)Runs (R)High Score (HS)Average (Avg.)Balls Faced (BF)Strike Rate (SR)Hundreds (H)Fifties (50x)Fours (4s)Sixes (6s)

Career Bowling Stats

FormatMatches (M)Innings (Inn)Balls (B)Runs (R)Wickets (W)BBMAverage (Avg.)Economy (Econ.)Strike Rate (SR)5W10W
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Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith, England vs South Africa, 1st Investec Test, 2012

Graeme Smith is one of the widely known cricket player of South Africa national team. Known not only for his prominent skills as an opening batsman, but also for his numerous controversies.

Summary and Key Takeaways


Graeme Smith: Most Controversial Opening Batsman of the Proteas

Graeme Smith, Australia vs South Africa, 2nd Test, 2012

Graeme Smith, a towering figure in the world of cricket, has left an indelible mark through his remarkable career.

Born on February 1, 1981, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Smith emerged as a formidable left-handed opening batsman and a strategic captain for the South African national team.

Early Career

Smith’s cricket journey began at King Edward VII School in Johannesburg, where his talent quickly became evident.

His early promise was recognized with selection for the South Africa Under-19 team, where he showcased his potential in both Tests and ODIs, including appearances at the U-19 Cricket World Cup in 2000.

Domestic Career

Smith’s domestic career was marked by significant contributions to various teams, including the Cape Cobras and Western Province in South Africa.

His prowess was not limited to his home country; he also made his mark in county cricket with Somerset in England, where he captained the team and scored his maiden first-class triple hundred.

International Career

Smith made his Test debut for South Africa in 2002 against Australia and quickly established himself as a key player.

His breakthrough came during the tour of England in 2003, where he scored consecutive double centuries, including a monumental 277 at Edgbaston and 259 at Lord’s, the latter remaining the highest score by a foreign player at the iconic venue.

Under his leadership, South Africa achieved significant milestones, including their first Test series victory in Australia in 2008-09.

Smith’s captaincy was characterized by his aggressive approach and ability to lead from the front, qualities that helped South Africa become a formidable force in international cricket.

IPL and Franchise Career

In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Smith played for the Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors India, bringing his aggressive batting and leadership to the franchise cricket arena.

His tenure in the IPL was marked by impactful performances and valuable contributions to his teams.

Career Across Formats

  • Test Cricket: Smith’s Test career is highlighted by his resilience and consistency at the top of the order. His ability to play long innings and set up matches for his team underscored his importance in the Test arena.
  • ODI Cricket: In ODIs, Smith was known for his aggressive starts and ability to anchor the innings, contributing significantly to South Africa’s successes in the format.
  • T20 Cricket: Although his T20 international appearances were limited, Smith adapted his game to the format’s demands, showcasing his versatility as a batsman.

Retirement and Beyond

Smith retired from international cricket in 2014, citing a need to focus on his young family and a dip in form as the primary reasons.

Post-retirement, he has taken up roles that contribute to cricket off the field, including a stint as South Africa’s permanent Cricket Director, where he continues to influence the game in his country.

Cricket Records of Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith, South Africa vs New Zealand, 2nd Test, 2013

Graeme Smith, the stalwart South African opener and one of cricket’s most esteemed captains, has etched his name in the annals of cricket history with a series of remarkable achievements.

His tenure from 2002 to 2014 was marked by numerous records in Tests, ODIs, and T20Is, underscoring his versatility and leadership on the field.

Top Records

Test Matches:

  • Most Matches as Captain: Smith led South Africa in 109 Test matches, the most by any player in this format.
  • Most Runs in a Calendar Year: Amassed 1656 runs in 2008, ranking him 4th globally for the most runs scored in a single year in Tests.
  • Most Double Hundreds in a Series: Achieved two double centuries in a series, placing him 2nd in this category.
  • Hundred and a Duck in a Match: A unique record where he scored a century and got out for a duck in the same Test match.
  • Fastest to 1000 Runs: Smith is the 9th fastest player to reach 1000 Test runs, achieving this in just 17 innings.
  • Most Catches in an Innings: Equalled the record for the most catches in an innings by a non-wicketkeeper with 5 catches.
  • Highest Partnership for the Fifth Wicket: Smith was part of a 338-run stand, the 6th highest for the fifth wicket.

One-Day Internationals (ODIs):

  • Most Matches as Captain: Captained South Africa in 150 ODIs, the 7th highest globally.
  • Dismissed for 99: Smith holds the unique record of being dismissed for 99 in ODIs.
  • Most Innings Before First Duck: Had 67 innings before recording his first duck, the 5th highest in ODIs.
  • Most Catches in an Innings: Shares the record for the 2nd most catches in an ODI innings with 4 catches.

Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is):

  • Most Runs in an Innings by a Captain: Scored 89* runs, the highest by a South African captain in T20Is.

Combined Test, ODI, and T20I Records:

  • Most Matches as Captain Across Formats: Led in 286 international matches across all formats, the 4th highest globally.
  • Hundreds in Consecutive Matches: Smith scored centuries in 4 consecutive matches across formats, a record shared by few.
  • Most Catches in Career Across Formats: Took 292 catches in his international career, placing him 9th overall.

Notable Test Records:

  • Most Runs in Career: Accumulated 9265 runs, ranking 17th globally.
  • Most Hundreds in Career: Scored 27 centuries, the 21st highest in Test cricket.
  • Youngest to Score a Double Hundred: Achieved this feat at 21 years and 259 days.

ODI Highlights:

  • Fastest to 5000 Runs: Smith is among the top 20 fastest players to reach 5000 ODI runs.
  • Most Fifties in Career: Recorded 57 half-centuries in ODIs.

Family and Personal Story of Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith vs Dale Steyn, 2012

Smith, a name synonymous with South African cricket, has a rich family background that complements his illustrious career on the cricket field.

Born on February 1, 1981, in Johannesburg, Transvaal (now Gauteng), South Africa, Smith was raised in a nurturing environment that played a pivotal role in shaping his future.

Family Background

Graeme Smith was born to Graham and Janet Smith, who provided a stable and supportive family environment. His parents’ guidance and encouragement were instrumental in his early involvement in cricket, fostering a passion that would later define his career.

Education and Early Life

Smith’s cricket journey began at King Edward VII School in Johannesburg, a place where his talent was nurtured and honed. His school years were not just about academics; they were also about laying the foundation for a future cricketing legend.

Personal Life

Graeme Smith’s personal life has been as eventful as his cricket career. He was first married to Irish singer Morgan Deane in August 2011.

The couple was blessed with two children, a daughter named Cadence Christine Smith and a son named Carter McMorrin Smith.

However, their marriage ended in divorce. Smith found love again with Romy Lanfranchi, whom he married after five years of dating.

The couple welcomed their first child together in December 2016, further enriching Smith’s family life.

Net Worth Report of Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith vs Andrew Strauss. England vs South Africa, 1st Test, 2012

Graeme Smith, the former South African cricket captain and a renowned figure in the cricketing world, has had a successful career both on and off the field. His financial journey reflects his achievements and contributions to the sport.

Net Worth and Earnings

Graeme Smith’s net worth is a testament to his successful cricket career and various endorsements. While exact figures vary, it is estimated that Smith’s net worth is around $15 million.

Salary Increase at Cricket South Africa (CSA)

Smith’s role as CSA’s director of cricket saw a significant salary increase from R4.1 million to R5.4 million per annum.

This adjustment was made to compensate for the loss of personal revenue that Smith experienced upon taking up his position at CSA.

The increase was justified by the need to balance Smith’s financial commitments and the value he brought to South African cricket in his administrative role.

6 Biggest Controversy in Graeme Smith’s Career

Graeme Smith, Yuvraj Singh, Mark Boucher, Anil Kumble, SA20 Launch Event

Graeme Smith, the former South African cricket captain, has been embroiled in various controversies over the years, ranging from on-field incidents to personal life challenges. Here’s a comprehensive look at these incidents, arranged from the most recent:

1. Racism Allegations Cleared (2022)

An independent arbitration panel cleared Graeme Smith of allegations of racist behavior during his tenure as the national team’s captain and later as Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Director of Cricket.

The Social Justice and Nation Building (SJNB) hearings initially brought these allegations to light, scrutinizing Smith’s decisions, particularly around the non-selection of Thami Tsolekile.

The panel concluded that Smith’s actions could not be proven to constitute unfair racial discrimination or evince racial bias.

2. SJN Commission Report (2021)

The SJN Commission accused Cricket South Africa (CSA), Graeme Smith, and other prominent figures like AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher of engaging in racially prejudicial conduct against players.

The commission, led by Dumisa Ntsebeza, highlighted instances of alleged discrimination, including the handling of Thami Tsolekile’s non-selection and Khaya Zondo’s exclusion during a tour in India in 2015.

Smith and de Villiers denied these charges, emphasizing their decisions were based on cricketing reasons.

3. Dead-Ball Controversy Against England (2012)

During a Test match against England at Headingley, a dead-ball call by umpire Steve Davis sparked controversy. The call negated a delivery from Steven Finn, which had resulted in Smith’s catch at slip.

The umpire’s decision was influenced by Finn’s habit of dislodging the bails at the non-striker’s end during his delivery stride, which the South African openers found distracting.

The incident left England’s James Anderson and the team frustrated, although they chose not to dwell on it publicly.

4. Ball-Tampering Incident (2013)

In a Test match against Pakistan in Dubai, the South African team was penalized for ball-tampering, leading to a significant controversy.

Umpires Ian Gould and Rod Tucker penalized the team five runs and replaced the ball, deeming it had been tampered with.

This incident raised questions about the integrity of the South African team’s dominant performance in the series.

5. Controversial Graeme Smith Century (2010)

Smith’s century against England in Johannesburg was marred by controversy when he was caught behind off Ryan Sidebottom, but the third umpire, Daryl Harper, did not have his speaker level up high enough to hear any noise on the television replays.

Despite clear evidence of an edge, Smith was allowed to continue his innings, eventually scoring 105 and significantly impacting the match’s outcome.

6. Personal Life Controversy (2015)

Smith’s personal life came under scrutiny when his wife, Morgan Deane, revealed that she found out about their divorce through a text message Smith had mistakenly sent to her, which was intended for his lawyer.

Deane also claimed to have discovered that Smith had been having an affair, leading to their separation. Graeme Smith denied these allegations, emphasizing the importance of maintaining privacy and dignity during the divorce process for the sake of their children.

Anything You Need to Know about Graeme Smith

What is Graeme Smith famous for?

  • Exceptional Test captain: Arguably South Africa’s most successful Test captain, leading them to 53 wins in 109 matches, the most by any South African captain.
  • Solid opening batsman: A prolific left-handed opener, accumulating over 9200 Test runs at an average of over 50, including 27 centuries.
  • Resolute leadership: Known for his strong will, determination, and strategic mind, inspiring his team to several memorable victories.
  • Controversies: His captaincy and personality attracted some criticism at times, particularly regarding selection decisions and on-field behavior.

Did Graeme Smith play IPL?

Yes, Graeme Smith did participate in the IPL, but for a relatively short period compared to his overall cricketing career:

  • He played for the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season (2008) and the following two seasons (2009 and 2010).
  • He opened the batting and captained the team in 2008, forming a successful partnership with Swapnil Asnodkar.
  • Overall, he scored 307 runs in 14 matches with a highest score of 91.

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