March 4, 2014

'The heartbeat of the team'

ESPNcricinfo staff
Reaction from around the world after Graeme Smith announced his retirement

"He has been a mighty warrior, a leader of men and an exceptional part of our international cricket. Following the recent retirement of Jacques Kallis from Test cricket, there is no doubt that we are now ready to move into a new era and it is our job to build on the solid foundations that these great players leave behind."

Haroon Lorgat, the CSA chief executive

"He's a guy who has always played under a lot of pressure ... he has always found the inner strength to make sure he concentrates on his own performances, and he leads the team irrespective of what perceptions of him are, his presence alone will be sorely missed."

Russell Domingo, the South Africa coach

"I thought he had a year or two, look everyone's situation is different, maybe it is a good time for him to move on, he's obviously got his reasons, his personal reasons. I'd rather look back to a superb career, and just say congrats on what he has achieved over many years."

AB de Villiers, the South Africa batsman

"He's been the spearhead of our team for a number of years, leading the team from age 22, he's been the heartbeat of the team ever since, he will be sorely missed." JP Duminy, the South Africa batsman

"@GraemeSmith49 biff,a career to be proud of and a leader who lead from the front!! Our 3 triple century partnerships,my highlight! Congrats."

Herchelle Gibbs, the former South Africa opener, on Twitter

"Hearing huge news out of SA. @GraemeSmith49 is retiring! For what he has done for SA cricket - the man is a legend! Congrats my Surrey BFF!"

Kevin Pietersen, the former England batsman, on Twitter

"What a magnificent career @GraemeSmith49 has had as captain and batsman.He can retire knowing he achieved great things in his time."

Pat Symcox, the former South Africa spinner, on Twitter

"Congrats @GraemeSmith49 on a wonderful career. Still chuckle at him calling me Peter Schmeichel on tour of 04. #bettergoaliethangloveman"

Geraint Jones, the former England wicketkeeper, on Twitter

"An immense contribution to SA cricket and the game at large. Wonderful career. Congrats and all the very best @GraemeSmith49, #CheersBiff"

Mpumelelo Mbangwa, the former Zimbabwe seamer, on Twitter

"Huge congrats @GraemeSmith49 on an outstanding career for SA. Great leader and player. SA will miss him @surreycricket welcome him back."

Alec Stewart, the former England captain, on Twitter

"Another great leaves the international circuit @GraemeSmith49 what a legend. Huge loss for SA"

Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan allrounder, on Twitter

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