The No. 1 test team i.e. Proteas will be led by the birthday boy and skipper for the 100th time in test cricket Graeme Smith as the South Africans take on Pakistan for the 1st of the 3 test series that starts at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
The South African Board (CSA) has officially tagged the 1st day of the 1st test as “Biff Day”, named after Smith’s nick name. CSA had also displayed a giant shirt in a mall in Jo’berg which was signed by cricket fans and would be gifted to Graeme. On the Biff day, people in attendance at the ground will sing Happy Birthday to the left hander and the board also plans to bring in a cake on the ground with candles for him to blow out. Its raining good wishes from all ends as Smith announced on Monday, his wife is expecting the couple’s second child later in the year.
Though Smith lives and plays in Cape Town but the opener batsmen originally hails from Jo’berg. Into his job since 10th year the Cape Cobras player was appointed as the national team skipper at the age of 22. Smith has 8624 runs from 107 tests at an average of 49.28 with 26 centuries in the bag. A leader all through, Smith holds this unique record, on the occasions that he has scored a hundred (26 times) South Africa have either drawn or won the game. It’s celebration all around for Smith as guests apart from fans would be pouring in to greet the boy of Island’s cricket. Infact, in attendance among the guests will be the Sports Minister,Fikile Mbalula.
Smith for some players has been the only captain, such as Vernon Philander, who says,” Biff has been an outstanding leader. He deserves all the credit that comes his way,”. Adding to the same, opener mate Hashim Amla quotes,’It would be fantastic if he gets a 100 in his 100th skipper’s appearance and helps us win the game’. South Africa take field under coach Kirsten and would be up against a formidable pace attack headed by Umar Gul as Pakistan challenge South Africa.
Author’s Pick Flick: Jacques Kallis is the only member of the current squad to have played under different leaders, apart from him all players have always had just one skipper, Graeme Smith…#Salute#.