Graeme Craig Smith was born to Graeme and Janet Smith on 1 February 1981. Graeme attended King Edward the VII School in Johannesburg, Transvaal (now Gauteng).
Smith made his domestic debut for Gauteng in 1999/2000 and his first class cricket debut for the United Cricket Board of South Africa Invitation XI against Griqualand in the same year. Graeme moved to the Western Province the following year.
Smith’s International debut was in 2002 in the second test against Australia at Newlands, Western Province. He scored 68 runs in the second innings. His One Day International (ODI) debut came three weeks later, in the Fourth ODI against Australia.
After South Africa’s surprise knockout in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, Sean Pollock was dropped as captain. As a result, Smith was chosen as captain for the South African test against Bangladesh on 1 April 2003. For the rest of the year, Smith had an outstanding run - including the highest score by a South African at the time (277) and a record breaking innings at Lords Cricket Ground, England (259) which remains unbeaten to date.
The following year the South African cricket team began to freefall and lost ten games in a row, causing in-fighting amongst the players and the young captain. The following year Smith was chosen as captain of the World XI against Australia in a three ODI and one test series. On 6 March 2006 one of the most exciting games of one-day cricket was played. In a match against Australia, the South African bowling was smashed for 434, the first ever four hundred score in One Day Internationals. It seemed that it was a hopeless cause but fortunately, Smith decided to lead from the front as he opened the batting and made 90 runs from just 55 balls. This coupled with his second wicket partner Herschelle Gibbs’s 175 meant that by the time they reached the twenty-five over mark, the side was on 229 for two and set to beat the total. The match culminated in a four hit by Mark Boucher in the second last ball to win the game by a wicket and one ball.
South Africa replaced Australia as the world’s number one cricket team in ODIs, in early 2007. Unfortunately, the side lost the title after losing to Australia in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
Smith led the first South African side to win a test series in Australia, in 2008. A truly momentous moment in the career of Graeme Smith was when he had to play against the Australian attack with a broken hand in an effort to draw the game and save the third test in January 2009. Australia still won the game but the crowd, on his dismissal, gave Smith a standing ovation.
Smith resigned as the captain of the South African ODI and T20 squad, while retaining the captaincy of the test squad, after being knocked out of the 2011 World Cup by New Zealand in the Quarterfinal. In August 2011, Graeme married the Irish singer Morgan Deane.
The South African test squad defeated the English side, in 2012, to become, once again, the number one test squad in the world.
In 2013, Smith led the South African test squad for the hundredth time as well as becoming the most successful test captain in history. Both of these accomplishments came against Pakistan’s tour to South Africa.
Cricket South Africa. (2012). Graeme Craig Smith, from Cricket South Africa, [online], Available at www.cricket.co.za [Accessed: 8 March 2013]|Manthorp Neil. (2004). South Africa-A team in freefall, From ESPN Cricket Information, 7 September [J6] [Online]. Available at www.espncricinfo.com [Accessed: 8 March 2013]|
Samson, Andrew. (2003) Graeme Smith will become South Africas youngest captain. From ESPN Cricinfo, 17 March [J8] [Online]. Available at www.espncricinfo.com [Accessed: 8 March 2013]|
BBC, (2011), South Africa captain Graeme Smith marries Morgan Deane, From BBC, 11 August, [Online], Available at www.bbc.co.uk [Accessed: 8 March]