Full name Michael John Knight Smith
Born June 30, 1933, Westcotes, Leicester
Current age 82 years 31 days
Major teams England, Leicestershire, Oxford University, Warwickshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Education Stamford School; Oxford University
Relation Son - NMK Smith
|Test debut||England v New Zealand at Birmingham, Jun 5-9, 1958 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Australia at Nottingham, Jul 13-18, 1972 scorecard|
|First-class span||1951 - 1975|
|List A span||1964 - 1975|
|Test debut||Australia v India at Brisbane, Nov 29-Dec 2, 1991 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v India at Cape Town, Jan 2-6, 1993 scorecard|
|ODI debut||India v West Indies at Perth, Dec 6, 1991 scorecard|
|Last ODI||New Zealand v Pakistan at Sharjah, Nov 15, 1996 scorecard|
Warwickshire team-mates of Mike Smith, who was universally known as "MJK", rated him the best county batsman, and the most straightforward and unselfish captain, of his time. His leadership qualities, which included fielding at forward short leg before helmets and shin-guards were in vogue, were possibly the biggest factor in his captaining England in half his 50 Tests, including successive tours of India, South Africa and Australia. Surprisingly, he was uninspired as manager in two tours in the 1990s. His great strength as a batsman was his pragmatism. He observed that that all bowlers except offspinners had most of their fielders on the off side, so considered it only sensible to aim to score most of his runs to leg, which he dubbed "The man's side". He was a quick judge of line and length (despite, or perhaps because of, wearing glasses), a six-footer of wiry strength, and the possessor of a strong right hand. He was able to fetch to midwicket balls that pitched a foot or more clear of the off stump, a gift that, allied to the sweep and pull, made him harder than most to bowl to. If the method wasn't all that easy on the eye, it was mighty effective in the county game: six times running (1957-62) he made 2000 runs in a season, most of them at a cracking pace. His son, Neil (NMK), played a handful of one-dayers for England and also captained Warwickshire.
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1960
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