Ed Smith (cricketer)

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Ed Smith
Personal information
Full nameEdward Thomas Smith
Born (1977-07-19) 19 July 1977 (age 41)
Pembury, Kent, England
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
BowlingRight-arm medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 617)14 August 2003 v South Africa
Last Test4 September 2003 v South Africa
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition Tests FC LA T20
Matches 3 191 134 25
Runs scored 87 12,789 3,798 573
Batting average 17.40 41.79 31.13 22.92
100s/50s 0/1 34/54 2/26 0/3
Top score 64 213 122 85
Balls bowled 0 108 0 0
Wickets 1
Bowling average 119.00
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 1/60
Catches/stumpings 5/– 85/– 29/– 6/–
Source: Cricinfo, 3 November 2008

Edward Thomas Smith (born 19 July 1977) is an English author and journalist, former professional cricketer, and cricket commentator.

Smith was born in Pembury, Kent. He attended Yardley Court, Tonbridge School and Cambridge University before playing First-class cricket for Kent, Middlesex and England.

Prematurely retiring from professional cricket due to injury in 2008, at the age of only 31, he became an author and journalist and in 2013 he joined the BBC's Test Match Special as a commentator for The Ashes series against Australia. He replaced James Whitaker as England's chief national cricket selector in 2018.[1]

Early life[edit]

Smith was educated at Tonbridge School where he was in the dayboy house Welldon House and his father, novelist Jonathan Smith, taught English for most of his career.[2] He went on to Peterhouse, Cambridge to read history and earned a full blue playing for the university cricket team. He scored a century on his first-class debut for Cambridge University Cricket Club in 1996[3] and graduated with a double first despite devoting much of his time to cricket.[4]


Smith played three home Test matches for England versus South Africa in 2003. He made 64 on debut, but scored only 23 runs in his next four innings, and was dropped for the subsequent tour of the subcontinent.

Smith was a tall right-handed batsman with a penchant for the drive and represented England, Cambridge University, Kent and Middlesex.

During thirteen seasons of first-class cricket, he scored 34 centuries. He hit a peak in 2003, scoring 135, 0, 122, 149, 113, 203, 36, 108 and 32 for Kent in July of that year. He averaged 72.99 for the 2003 first-class season when he was selected for England.

He left his native county following the 2004 season and joined Middlesex for 2005. He captained the county for two seasons during 2007 and 2008. After missing most of the 2008 season due to an ankle injury, Smith announced his retirement later that year.[5]

In 2012, Smith became a commentator for the BBC's Test Match Special.[6]

He continued to play cricket as an amateur on the Authors XI team, which is composed of British authors and journalists, and contributed a chapter to the team's book The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon.[7]

Literary career[edit]

Smith's first book, Playing Hard Ball, describes his interest in the game, psychology, history and mythology of American baseball and compares it to cricket. His diary of the 2003 season, On and Off the Field, was named the 2005 Wisden Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and The Cricket Society Book of the Year Award in 2004.[8][9] In Luck: What it Means and Why it Matters (2012) Smith examines the concepts of luck, fortune, destiny and fate in sport and beyond.[10]

Smith is also a regular columnist and contributed cricket book reviews for the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and history book reviews for the Sunday Telegraph.[11][12] He writes a weekly column for the New Statesman.[13] In July 2016, Smith was accused of plagiarism[14][15][16] in an article he wrote for ESPNcricinfo. The article was subsequently removed from the website, with editor-in-chief Sambit Bal noting that the article "bore striking similarities to parts of a piece published in the Economist a few days prior".[17]


  • Smith, E.T. (2003) Playing Hard Ball. Abacus Books. ISBN 978-0349116662[18]
  • Smith, Ed (2005). On and Off the Field. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0141015897[19]
  • Smith, Ed (2009). What Sport Tells Us About Life. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0141031859[20]
  • Smith, Ed (2012). Luck: What it Means and Why it Matters. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1408815472[21]


  1. ^ Cricket: Ed Smith set to be named new England national selector BBC News, 18 April 2018
  2. ^ "The best teachers will always bowl you over". London: The Guardian. 19 June 2011.
  3. ^ Llewellyn, David (31 December 1997). "Cricket: A student's love of the game and attention to detail can bring him first-class honours". London: The Independent.
  4. ^ "Celebrities tell us about their first year at university". London: The Guardian. 14 August 2008.
  5. ^ Cricinfo staff (25 November 2008), Ed Smith announces his retirement, Cricinfo Retrieved on 25 November 2008.
  6. ^ Mountford, Adam (14 May 2013). "Test Match Special returns". BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  7. ^ Authors Cricket Club (2013). The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4088-4045-0.
  8. ^ "Book Club – Luck: What It Means And Why It Matters by Ed Smith". BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  9. ^ "The Cricket Society and M.C.C. Book of the Year Award 2012". The Cricket Society. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  10. ^ Ed Kemp (19 June 2013). "A Drink With… Ed Smith". All Out Cricket. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  11. ^ "The Wisden of umpire Archer". London Evening Standard. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  12. ^ Robinson, James (7 October 2009). "Former England cricketer Ed Smith joins the Times". guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Ed Smith". New Statesman. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Ed Smith pulls a Melania Trump | The Cricket Couch". thecricketcouch.com. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  15. ^ "A CRICKETING VIEW: Ed Smith Pulls A Melania Trump (But Not As Well As Melania Trump)". cricketingview.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  16. ^ "BBC staff upset as specialist Olympic reporters are overlooked for Rio". Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  17. ^ "An explanation". Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Baseball Discovered: Who's Who – Ed Smith – Cricket Player/Author". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  19. ^ Lezard, Nicholas (30 April 2005). "Testing times". guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  20. ^ Lewis, Tim (23 March 2008). "No ifs, plenty of butts". guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  21. ^ Michaels, Adrian (5 April 2012). "Luck: What it Means and Why it Matters by Ed Smith". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ben Hutton
Middlesex County Cricket captain
Succeeded by
Shaun Udal