On this day in 2014: Graeme Smith announces his international cricket retirement

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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.

Cricket – Fifth Natwest One Day International – England v South Africa – Trent Bridge
Graeme Smith struggled for form in the latter stages of his international career (Rui Vieira/PA)

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.

Cricket – LV= County Championship – Division Two – Surrey v Glamorgan – Day Two – The Kia Oval
Graeme Smith continued to play for Surrey despite international retirement (Adam Davy/PA)

“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.”

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