Paul Smith (cricketer, born 1964)
Paul Andrew Smith born 15 April 1964 in Gosforth, Northumberland is a former English cricketer who played for Warwickshire from 1982 to 1996. He represented England in the Hong Kong and Singapore Sixes.
A mercurial allrounder, Smith was a big hitting right-handed batsman and genuinely fast right arm bowler. He made four first class hundreds in his 221-game career, the first when he was just 19, and in 1986 he became the youngest Warwickshire player to score 1,500 runs in a season. He was a key player in the side which won an unprecedented Treble in 1994 (County Championship, Sunday League and Benson & Hedges trophy), taking the Man of the Match award in the final of the Benson & Hedges trophy against Worcestershire. The following year in 1995, he again played an important role as Warwickshire completed the double of County Championship and Natwest Trophy. In all, Smith played in 6 Lords one day finals during his career.
Along with opening partner Andy Moles, Smith holds a world record after the pair shared 8 consecutive opening partnerships of 50 plus. In first class cricket he scored a total of 8173 runs at 26.44 with a best of 140. With the ball he took 283 wickets at 35.72 which included two hat-tricks and a best of 6 for 91. Always a potent force in the one day game, able to turn a match with bat or ball, he won 3 titles with Warwickshire in the 50 over game and won all domestic trophies several times. His one-day career saw him amass a combined 4430 runs and 234 wickets.
Late in his career, Smith drew great pride from becoming the first white cricketer to play for Cape Town club St Augustine’s during the dismantling of apartheid. This sprang directly from the recommendation of former Warwickshire coach, the late Bob Woolmer, and carried a cultural significance as St Augustine’s CC had famously once been the cricketing home of the legendary Basil D’Oliviera.
He retired in 1996 and soon after was quoted in a Sunday tabloid as having admitted to drug use in the latter stages of his career. The ECB banned him for two years. Smith formed CWB (Cricket Without Boundaries) with Pertemps Group Chairman Tim Watts with the aim of linking sport to the classroom and then employment. CWB saw a 40% participant return to work. Other projects he initiated included Coachright who linked sport to academic accreditation. Over 150 schools and 20 community groups benefited from the initiative.
He struggled with life after cricket and moved to America for a time where he became involved with the Compton Cricket Club in Los Angeles which seeks to use the spirit and disciplines of cricket to turn youngsters away from crime. This led to Smith being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from Los Angeles City for in 2003, He also works with the Prince's Trust in the U.K.
In 2007, Smith published a revealing autobiography entitled Wasted?, described by one reviewer as "far from a conventional read" and a work of "refreshing honesty".The book was nominated for the shortlist of the Sunday Times Newspaper Book of the Year Award.
- Wrote a weekly article for the Birmingham Post 1998 – 1999 – 2000. Has since written articles for a variety of magazines.
- Has a Hospitality room named after him at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
- Global Ambassador for the Compton Cricket Club
- "What the death of Tom Maynard tells us about cricket and drugs". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
- "Warwickshire wildman starts to make up for lost time". The Guardian. London. 2007-05-31. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
- Luke, Will (2007-05-27). "The drugs don't work". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- Wasted?, by Paul Smith, published by Know the score books (2007), ISBN 978-1-905449-45-3