On this day in 2014: Graeme Smith announces his international cricket retirement
South Africa captain Graeme Smith announced his retirement from international cricket on this day in 2014.
The 33-year-old opener called time on his international career after 347 matches for his country.
Smith told team-mates the news after the close of play on day three of their final Test match with Australia in Cape Town, a match which South Africa went on to lose by 245 runs.
The shock decision came three months after Jacques Kallis also announced his retirement.
Smith made his first-class debut for his country at the age of 21 and went on to score 37 centuries, 27 in Tests and 10 in one-day-internationals.
Smith’s decision to call time on his international career had no impact on his domestic cricket, and he continued to play for Surrey.
A recurring ankle injury had disrupted Smith throughout his career and after suffering with form, Smith admitted the decision to walk away was “the most difficult” he has ever had to make.
He said: “This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life. 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.
“I have always been someone who has left everything out there on the field for my team and for my country.
“I’m extremely honoured and proud to have had the privilege to lead so many wonderful players and to have been a part of building the Proteas culture to what it is today. It is a culture that every player can be, and is, immensely proud of.”