Full name Neil Smith
Born April 1, 1949, Ossett, Yorkshire
Died March 3, 2003, Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England (aged 53 years 336 days)
Major teams Cheshire, Essex, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|First-class span||1970 - 1981|
|List A span||1970 - 1989|
Neil Smith died of cancer on March 3, 2003, aged 53. Smith served a fouryear apprenticeship as Yorkshire's Second Eleven wicket-keeper and seemed the natural successor to the long-serving Jimmy Binks in 1970 but, after a shaky start, was usurped in mid-season by 18-year-old David Bairstow, who took his A-Levels at 7 a.m. so he could play. Bairstow established himself, and Smith moved to Essex to succeed Brian Taylor in 1973 and spent the next eight years as a stalwart of that famously perky dressing-room. Technically, many thought him a better gloveman than Bairstow, but he was on the large side, and irritated Graham Gooch by eating a lot and getting larger. This helped his often beefy batting, which had minimal backlift but considerable power: Essex occasionally used him as a pinchhitter long before the term was ever used. In 1981, he lost form and was again ousted in mid-season, this time by David East. Smith captained the second team for a season then went back north to go into business.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Stats highlights from the fourth day's play in Antigua where Ashwin's maiden five-wicket haul outside Asia bowled India to an innings victory
Also: the fastest Indian to 50 wickets, and Yasir Shah's unwanted "double-hundred"
Dav Whatmore talks about how things went downhill fast during his curtailed stint as Zimbabwe's coach
Shorter matches spell good news for spectators and broadcasters. Cricket has a little to lose and a whole lot to gain by truncating its premier format
A crushing victory over Pakistan gave England plenty to be pleased about but familiar concerns remain over the make-up of the side
Sri Lanka's lead spinner must feel like a bus driver in charge of a spluttering vehicle as the hosts strive to challenge a strong Australian side