Graeme Smith has had an unlucky season.
First the Proteas captain needed surgery
on a troublesome elbow, then he broke his
finger twice on the cricket field.
It was the nasty delivery from Australia speed
merchant Mitchell Johnson that fi rst did him in,
then the same finger suffered further damage
during the lucrative Indian Premier League
when his campaign was cut short after the
fi nger snapped while he was attempting to take
a catch. But South Africa's Captain Courageous is
known to overcome such setbacks with relative
ease. He once batted with a broken hand in
Australia as he tried to save his side from defeat.
The tall left-handed batsman is one of the
most prolifi c run-getters in the history of South
African cricket. He scored consecutive double
centuries during South Africa's tour of England
in 2003 � fi rst getting 277 at Edgbaston, then
a magnifi cent 259 at the home of cricket, Lord's.
The 277 is the highest individual score ever
made for South Africa, whereas the 259 is the
best innings played at Lord's by a foreign player.
Smith is one half of South Africa's best
opening team and has been involved in each
of the four innings in which the Proteas have
exceeded 300 runs. His Cobras teammate,
Herschelle Gibbs, partnered him in three of
those stands, and he batted with Neil Mackenzie
in his world-record 415 partnership against
Bangladesh in 2008.
Early this year Smith released his biography,
A Captain's Diary. All this, and he's just 29. But
then his achievements are hardly surprising
given that Cricket South Africa trusted him to
lead the Proteas when he was only 22, making
him the youngest South African captain ever.
Those who criticised the decision at the time
have been forced to sit back and marvel at this
prolifi c batsman and leader. � Phathisani Moyo
Lunch spot: Caveau Wine Bar and Deli, Newlands, Cape Town