County news May 22, 2014

Graeme Smith out for season with knee injury

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 03:36
Smith loss 'a huge blow'

Graeme Smith has been ruled out of the rest of the English season after fracturing his right knee. He will return to South Africa and his former national team-mate, Hashim Amla, will arrive for a month-long stint with Surrey while Gary Wilson will take on the captaincy this week.

It continues a blighted stint for Smith as Surrey captain after he signed a three-year deal in late 2012. His first season, last year, was cut short when he needed ankle surgery and now this summer is curtailed after less than two months.

Alec Stewart, the Surrey director of cricket, revealed Smith had been battling the pain for the last week or so during which the county had seen an upturn in results after a tricky start to the season.

"He's done his very best to play through a lot of pain. He's taken a lot of pain killers to get through the last 10 days or so," Stewart told BBC London. "But the scans showed the fracture and it was non-negotiable, he had to go for this operation.

"You have to accept it, and the good thing is we've been able to get Hashim Amla over at short notice. Cricket South Africa have been excellent with their dealings and we'll have him for the majority of June and then we'll see where we are after that."

Smith retired from international cricket after the final Test against Australia, in Cape Town, but said he was fully committed to seeing through his Surrey deal.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on May 27, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Alec Stewart must find an Englishman to take over as the Captain of Surrey to allow progression into the England XI.The outcome of this is that over the hill injury prone oversea's players have been been taking the place of up and coming Englishmen with great potential to become part of the England Test Team.This would not happen anywhere else in the world,therefore English County Cricket should not be the Finishing School for overseas cricketers who return later to embarrass the home side.In my opinion spectator's in England want to watch county cricket played between two teams filled with England qualified players.

  • ian on May 24, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    @Posted by reyhoopchip on (May 23, 2014, 10:08 GMT). Although I have great respect for Alec Stewart, I think he's made a major gaffe over Smith's three- year contract. In foootball, no one would be signed up for three years with a chronic knee injury! Surrey was (and still is) in a great deal of trouble. And with Smith's return home, morale must have again returned to a very low point. Certainly Surrey needs a guiding hand - a father figure on the field - so I can understand how this failed appointment came about. Who else is there? Dare Surrey appoint KP as full time captain? Now, there's an interesting topic! Stranger things have happened, but not many! (I'm not sure that I'd be completely happy with it either!). Long term, I can see Ansari as skipper. BW.

  • Ray on May 23, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    Sangakkara to take over as skipper for the rest of the season after the tour has finished?

  • Russell on May 23, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    @nutcutlet - the Smith deal was pretty much an Alec Stewart deal - do you blame him for ignoring Smith's pre-existing injuries...a gamble too far?

  • ian on May 23, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    I'm sure that Graeme Smith is very disappointed that, for the second successive season, he has had to abandon Surrey and tend to his troublesome knee. His last on-field contriibution as a batsman, the ton against Glos that secured a rare win, was a sign that Surrey was beginning to turn the corner and recapture some self-belief. Now we read that even that innings was played with the assistance of pain-killers. It could be put down to bad luck, but the whole deal that brought Smith to the Oval was a fingers-crossed exercise from the outset. Smith's knee problems have been known about across the cricket world for the last three years, so how GS and his knee were expected to withstand the relentless season-long grind of county cricket defeats logic. It was a flawed decision, as I said a year ago. The deflation felt by all at Surrey is palpable. Once again their lack of onfield experience is totally exposed. The permanent Smith replacement needs to be fully fit from the outset.

  • Russell on May 22, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    yes it is Chris - you're losing the captain and the opening bat in Smith...sure Amla may or may not be a decent replacement...with our revolving door of international stars last year we still got relegated - so yes, as members we invested in 3 years of Smith and it looks odds on we'll end up with 2 months - devalued membership

  • Jeff on May 22, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    @ the facebook guy who thinks amla is an adequate replacement for smith - smith would have played the full season, amla will play four or five games then go home. thats the difference.

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    @ reyhoopchip: hashim amla comes in and that's your membership devalued? hashim amla? prolific as well as graceful? neither of which you can say about smith these days, bless him

  • Russell on May 22, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    to paraphrase Oscar, once is a misfortune, twice is careless - can't help thinking after his years of carefully managed international cricket that his body has just been unable to adjust to the week-in week-out county grind...another year's membership devalued

  • Steve on May 22, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    This might be it for Smith from active cricket. He has become quite injury prone last 4-5 yrs to the point that no T20 league was even interested to have him on the bench. He should fully retire and save his body for life after cricket for his young family.

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