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Mon May 01 02:22:05 SAST 2017

Graeme Smith retires from international cricket

Telford Vice | 2014-03-04 00:05:42.0
TWO-TON MAN: Proteas' captain Graeme Smith celebrates his double century during the second day of the second Test against Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium yesterday. It was his fifth Test double century.
Image by: GALLO IMAGES

The cricket world was rocked last night when Graeme Smith announced his retirement from the international game.

The timing of Smith's announcement - which came at 10:22 last night, day three of the third test against Australia at Newlands - is sure to attract withering criticism.

Not only will it appear that Smith has deserted his team in the middle of a test, he will be seen to have done so in the throes of a match against their most vaunted opponents, and in a test and a series that they would appear to be losing.

"This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life," Smith was quoted as saying in a Cricket SA statement.

"It's a decision that I have been considering since my ankle surgery in April last year.

''I have a young family to consider, and I felt that retiring at Newlands would be the best way to end it because I have called this place home since I was 18 years old."

Smith, the longest-serving captain in world cricket, has led South Africa since 2003.

He relinquished the T20 leadership in August 2010 and the one-day captaincy after the 2011 World Cup.

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