Robin Smith (cricketer)
|Full name||Robin Arnold Smith|
13 September 1963 |
Durban, Natal Province, South Africa
|Height||5 ft 11.75 in (1.82 m)|
|Bowling style||Leg break|
|Relations||Chris Smith (brother)|
|Test debut (cap 530)||21 July 1988 v West Indies|
|Last Test||2 January 1996 v South Africa|
|ODI debut (cap 101)||4 September 1988 v Sri Lanka|
|Last ODI||9 May 1996 v Sri Lanka|
|Domestic team information|
|1989||Marylebone Cricket Club|
|Source: Cricinfo, 5 October 2009|
Smith was nicknamed Judge or Judgie for his resemblance to a judge when he grew his hair long. Like his older brother Chris, he was unable to play for the country of his birth because of the exclusion of the apartheid regime from international cricket, but because he had English parents he qualified to play for England.
He played for England in eleven home test series and on six overseas tours from 1988 to 1996. Smith was best known for his abilities against fast bowling, with what was regarded as a trademark square-cut that was hit ferociously.
Life and career
Smith was born in Durban, South Africa. In his first test at Headingley in 1988, he shared a century partnership with fellow South African born batsman Allan Lamb. This was one of very few century partnerships for England during the series against the firepower of the West Indies fast bowlers. The following summer, 1989, Smith was the only successful batsman in the Ashes series making two centuries. In his second hundred at Trent Bridge, he arrived with England already three wickets down chasing 600, and played some powerful shots - particularly off Mervyn Hughes whose bowling figures were, at one point 4-0-38-0.
His highest test score, 175 against the West Indies in Antigua, was made as England replied to Brian Lara's record-breaking innings of 375. Despite his domination of fast, aggressive bowling, Smith suffered from a well-publicised vulnerability to slower bowlers - particularly the leg-spin of Shane Warne.
Smith was one of England's most courageous players. He was targeted by the West Indies at Antigua in 1989-90 for fast short pitched bowling giving him no room for his favourite shots. During that innings, he was hit on the finger (subsequently diagnosed as broken) and hit flush on the jaw by a bouncer from Courtney Walsh - but neither blow forced him to retire hurt.
He scored 167 not out for England against Australia in the 1993 Texaco Trophy at Edgbaston, when Australia won by six wickets. This is the highest score made by an England batsman in an ODI, and was the highest score made by any batsman who finished on the losing side in such a game.
Despite this, when Smith was dropped from the England team it was popularly perceived as premature, particularly given his Test batting average of over 43. Backing this up is the ICC's historical rankings of Test batsmen, which placed Smith as the 77th greatest batsman in history, and 17th greatest Englishman (ahead of others such as Geoff Boycott, Alec Stewart and Mike Atherton).
- Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. pp. 152–153. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
- Smith finds right time, BBC Sport, Retrieved 3 May 2009
- "LG ICC Best-Ever Test Batting Records". Retrieved 20 December 2006.
- http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19940421/ai_n14855428. Missing or empty
- "5th Test West Indies v England at St John's, Apr 16-21, 1994 Scorecard". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
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