Cricket news 2022: Steve Smith opens up on future in the sport, retirement plans

It’s difficult to imagine an Australian Test team without Steve Smith, but it’s something cricket fans will soon need to grow accustomed to.

The 33-year-old made his international debut in 2010 and has since represented his country in 87 Tests, 136 ODIs and 63 T20Is.

Currently averaging 60,00 in Australian whites, he is regarded as one of the best cricketers since Sir Donald Bradman. No batter in history has scored more Tests runs with a higher batting average than Smith.

Watch Australia v England. Every ODI live and ad-free in play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

But although it may be difficult to accept, Smith is entering the twilight of his career.

“No, I don’t have a plan, but I’m 33 now,” he told The Daily Telegraph this week.

“I’ve been playing international cricket for 13 years. It’s a long time. I’m still enjoying it, but I’m certainly closer to the end than the start, that’s for sure.”

Following his breakthrough Test century at The Oval in 2013, Smith enjoyed a purple patch most cricketers could only dream of.

Between November 2013 and January 2018, the right-hander scored 22 centuries and 18 fifties in 49 Test matches, averaging 72.49 in the game’s longest format.

During that time, he clinched a World Cup title on home soil in 2015, won ICC Test Player of the Year twice and received the coveted Allan Border Medal on two occasions.

But the infamous ball-tampering saga and the Covid-19 pandemic halted Smith’s career, sidelining the batter for countless Tests during his prime.

Smith’s form has been undeniably dipped since the start of the pandemic, but his recent numbers are nothing to sneeze at — 934 runs at 44.47 in 14 Tests since December 2020.

Despite this minor slump, he’s still on track to end his career among the all-time greats of Australian cricket.

Smith is four Test centuries away from equalling former Australian captain Steve Waugh on the all-time list with 32. The only player ahead of him would then be Ricky Ponting, who has 41.

He is 483 runs away from slotting into fourth on the list of Australia’s top run-scorers in Test history.

Most Test centuries for Australia

41 – Ricky Ponting

32 – Steve Waugh

30 – Matthew Hayden

29 – Sir Donald Bradman

28 – Steve Smith, Michael Clarke

Smith’s next challenge is a home summer against the West Indies and South Africa, who both boast fierce pace attacks that will flourish on Australia’s bouncy decks.

The New South Welshmen will then travel in February to India, where he almost single-handedly steered Australia to an unlikely series victory in 2017, scoring 499 runs in four Tests.

Then, the Ashes in England.

Smith was the undisputed player of the 2019 series, amassing 774 runs in four Tests to help Australia retain the urn on foreign soil for the first time in 18 years.

It was a career-defining performance, cementing his name in Ashes folklore.

In October next year, the Australian white-ball team will return to India for the 2023 World Cup, which will almost certainly be Smith’s last.

After that, another packed home summer of cricket.

“I’d like to play for as long as I can while I’m still enjoying it and while I like working hard to get better,” Smith told News Corp.

“When that stops, you know it’s the right time to finish up. We’ll see what the future holds. The major tournaments and series are the ones you want to be involved in and have an impact in as well, so there’s a few ones coming up over the next 12 to 18 months.

“We’ll see how we go.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *