Biff is as merry as a cricket

CityPress - - Sport - MA­RIZANNE KOK sports@city­press.co.za

He had thought he would miss cricket more than he does, says Graeme Smith. But af­ter al­most 12 years in the pres­sure cooker that was the Protea cap­taincy, it now feels as if he is on hol­i­day.

“Be­cause I’m still rel­a­tively young [34] and I keep fit, it feels as though I could still be com­pet­i­tive and play at the high­est level. But I hon­estly don’t miss cricket as much as I ex­pected. I love be­ing in this stress­less space. I can now breathe, recharge and re­flect upon life more. I’m en­joy­ing it,” he said last week at the Gary Player In­vi­ta­tional in which he was tak­ing part.

Smith is still on our TV screens, but only oc­ca­sion­ally when the cam­eras turn to the com­men­ta­tors’ booth. It’s a new role for him and one he en­joys.

“You’re sit­ting up there and see what is hap­pen­ing on the field and form opin­ions about what should hap­pen next or what a player is do­ing wrong.

“It’s nice to have a plat­form to tell oth­ers what you’re see­ing – es­pe­cially for me, since I played for a long time and have knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence of con­di­tions around the world.

“There are also still many guys in the team who I played with and I have an in­sight on what’s go­ing on in their heads, which al­ways helps. It’s im­por­tant that I keep my com­men­tary fair and bal­anced. It’s a nice new chal­lenge,” said Smith, who is nick­named Biff.

Although he doesn’t re­gret his de­ci­sion to re­tire, he’s ex­cited about play­ing T20 cricket in the new Masters Cham­pi­ons League in Dubai next year.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

HAPPY Graeme Smith is en­joy­ing a re­laxed life away from the pres­sures of

cricket

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