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Full name Paul Andrew Smith
Born April 15, 1964, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
Current age 50 years 250 days
Major teams Warwickshire
Nickname Moonman, Smithy
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Height 6 ft 2 in
Education Heaton Grammar School
|List A span||1982-1996|
An aggressive batsman and fast - if erratic - bowler, Paul Smith was a talented allrounder with a variety of hairstyles, albeit one who never quite fulfilled his early promise. He made his maiden hundred aged 19 and in 1984 scored 1000 runs for the first time. In 1986 he was asked to open the innings with Andy Moles and he responded with 1500 runs. But he was then rather oddly dropped back down to the middle order and his batting was never quite as effective, becoming something of a bits and pieces player. His best season with the ball came in 1992 when he took 42 wickets, including four of his seven career five-fors, although he also grabbed two hat-tricks in 1989 and 1990.
He was really most effective in one-day cricket, playing a part in three winning Lord's finals and establishing himself as a key part of Warwickshire's one-day successes, and he was instrumental in their domestic treble of County Championship, Sunday League and B&H Cup - they lost the fourth and final prize, the NatWest Trophy, in the final.
Smith's career ended under a cloud, and after being released he sold a story of long-term drug abuse to a Sunday tabloid. The ECB reacted by banning him for two years, a rather pointless exercise given he was already out of the game. But his revelations cost him his marriage and his house, and left him a virtual down and out for a while before he made a courageous recovery.
He now works for the Prince's Trust in Britain and with downtown youths in LA in tough, violent districts.