Smith never realised his dream of captaining South Africa to World Cup glory
South Africa Test captain was highly considering giving up his captaincy in all forms of the game after last year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) 50-over Cricket World Cup, according to a report.
However, Smith was stopped and talked out of giving up his leadership role by coach Gary Kirsten, the report also said.
Smith led South Africa in all three formats of the game for eight years, but decided to step down as captain from Twenty20 cricket in August 2010 and ODIs in April 2011.
Smith wanted to step down as Test captain at the same time he gave up the leadership position in ODIs, but Kirsten managed to get him to reconsider.
Smith, was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying: “After the World Cup, when things were tough, it certainly was something that was on my mind. Gary played a role in me keeping the captaincy. He talked me into doing it for longer and he was the reason I decided to carry on.”
South Africa’s loss to New Zealand in the World Cup quarterfinals shocked many across the world, and Smith, who was almost in tears when addressing the media in the post-game conference, said that he would have loved to win the World Cup and then step down as ODI captain.
With South Africa’s early exit, many fans were quick to criticise Smith on the way he captained the team and for his lack of form.
Smith described the period following the early exit from the World Cup as “the most difficult” of his career, and thought that by giving up the ODI captaincy, he would be able to concentrate more on his batting and regaining his form.
However, with no real contenders in the longer format of the game, Smith was asked to remain as captain by Kirsten.