Graeme Smith’s not had the best series

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Graeme Smith not leaving something

We wrote this title in the hope that we’d have some really funny thoughts to share once we started staring at the great expanse of whiteness where the body of the article’s supposed to go.

Nothing happened, so we checked Twitter and apparently Graeme Smith’s going to retire. Let this be a lesson to everyone that sometimes all you have to do is make a half-hearted effort to do something, allow yourself to become distracted, and then everything will just sort of work itself out.

In his retirement statement, Graeme Smith confessed to having left everything out on the field over the course of his career. ‘Everything’ by definition includes poo. We don’t know why he would have done that, but he’s admitted to it now.

There’s an outside chance this isn’t the most mature, insightful retirement article we’ve ever written.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Graeme Smith. Quite the batsman. He was an opener who had both (adjective1) and (adjective2). And that captaining he did. How about that, eh? Graeme Smith. He will be missed, surely. By those who noticed him doing stuff.

    Graeme Smith.

    PS: Never let it be said that we commenters don’t prop up your articles with insightful comments.

    1. That’s an excellent contribution. It brought a flood of memories of Graeme Smith doing things.

      Remember how he used to play cricket?

      Graeme Smith.

    2. He hit the ball with his bat and ran. Sometimes the ball went to the boundary so he didn’t have to run.

    3. I distinctly remember ignoring some double centuries he scored in the process of ending some England captain’s careers.

    4. I have a career, mainly in the sense of something lurching uncontrollably from one side of the road to the other before hitting a lamppost and exploding into flames.

      I like Graeme Smith, though. He played like his name suggested he should – functionally. He could never have played that way if he’d been called Tornado Explosion Godzilla. That’s a fact, that is.

    5. The sad thing is he didn’t end Michael Vaughan’s media career instead of his cricket one.

    6. If there were to be a player named Tornado Explosion Godzilla, he would bat like Shahid Afridi and bowl like Lasith Malinga.

  2. GRAEME CRAIG SMITH had the best cricket-to-name ratio of any modern player.

    He may have been more excrutiating to watch than his contemporaries like CHRISTOPHER HENRY GAYLE – particularly when playing against your team of choice – but on the cricket-to-name gauge he was miles ahead. Sure, CHRIS GAYLE is entertaining, but if you are going to go around calling yourself CHRIS GAYLE then frankly you had better deliver the kind of star quality that the combined forces of nominative determinism and pun-hungry headline writers demand. Whirlwind! Perfect storm! Blows them away! GANGNAM GAYLE”!! At his zenith, some great cricket, a great name, and a mere par score for cricket-to-name.

    On the other hand, when Ceefax 342 first brought to my attention that a youngster called G SMITH had landed a prime batting spot in the South African side, I marvelled that a name so boring could even have reached the attention of the selectors. It was so grey, how could they have discussed the subject without falling asleep? It did not dawn that as actual South Africans they may have seen this chap in the flesh, or on TV, or at least in photographic format somewhere in the back pages, whereas as a Brit my sole experience of G SMITH to date had been as a brief string of pixellated characters, flickering in a naff 80s font across a screen that flashed between his batting card and some foreigner’s carted bowling figures.

    When he first ventured three-dimensionally to these shores, and two-dimensionally onto my screen, his appearance did little to dispell the notion of dullness. But he clarified, with grindingly repetitive precision, that the large numbers I recalled seeing next to his name were not due to a teletextual typing error. And man-of-the-match interviews confirmed that, despite his name, South African cricket had not reversed historic form by plucking some bland young Englishman from the bletherregions of the County system by dint of his great-uncle having once disembarked at Durban. A proper Saffer, who had some proper Cricket in him. So much Cricket, such little Name, a mighty ratio twixt the two. It is fitting that his career comes to an end against his only serious rival for the title, MICHAEL JOHN CLARKE.

    I leave you to dwell on the depths of disappointment I felt about TINO LA BERTRAM BEST.

  3. Graeme is pretty ordinary, Graham more so, surely Steven even more so. Imagine if Steve Smith’s real name was Tornado Explosion Godzilla. He would bat like a demented Steve Smith and bowl like a demented Steve Smith.

    Just imagine.


    Steve Smith.

  4. I thought he was retiring because of his wife.

    Will Graeme Smith be missed or dis-missed.

    Sorry, it’s awful.

  5. It’s a shame Graeme Smith didn’t give 110% like most England captains. Then he could have left more than everything out on the pitch.

  6. Most Test 100s without being on the losing team:

    G Smith 27
    G Boycott & W Hammond 22
    I Bell 20
    G Greenidge 19

    1. This is about Graeme Smith, people, GRAEME SMITH! Let’s celebrate his achievements by recalling all those hours he used to stand beside the keeper in test matches.

    2. He always seemed to have a two-day old beard. Always. How do people do that? Mine’s either all shaved off or it grows until it looks to scruffy, then it’s all shaved off again.

      I can’t get the hang of trimmers.

  7. It may have been nice for Graeme to finish his career with a hundred, but you wonder if the trouble of having to wait for Mitchell Johnson to bowl his next delivery wouldn’t be an ungraceful way to end a career whatever the result. As also if his successor were nicknamed ‘Francis,’ and Australia formed a breakaway league with India and England which eventually overthrew the monarchy before forming an American colony strictly for 6-day test cricket.

  8. Graeme Smith has ended his career so that you didn’t have to think about what to write. You truly are the King, your majesty.

  9. this current series would seem to demonstrate two things pretty clearly:

    1. “momentum” is, indeed, absolutely meaningless in a test series (or any series, in all probability)

    2. smith’s saffers, for whatever reason, are absolutely incapable of winning a home series against the aussies. maybe his successor (i presume AB) will do better in that regard. meanwhile, this is just another “number one team” which didn’t quite live up to its billing. (but is that not better for the game?)

    1. South Africa are worse at home, they’ll have to lose an away series before they fail to live up to their billing.

    2. Since Kallis retired their billing has been “number one team on the wane”. Now Smith’s gone, Steyn is looking fragile and Philander’s figures are trending toward the mortal.

      So ummm… the fucking Aussies are back. Here’s to another era of mean spirited, surly cricketing excellence. Huzzah!!

      Here’s to badge kissing, hat worshiping, team song singing onanism.

      Graeme Who? I miss you already.

      (PS… why doesn’t spell check recognise “Onanism”?.. I mean really…)

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