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
Background to the Chris Cairns perjury case and what to expect over the coming weeks
Stats highlights from the first T20I between India and South Africa in Dharamsala
Plays of the day from the first T20 between India and South Africa in Dharamsala
Who is the better bowler in challenging conditions?