Smith wary of following Warner’s retirement planArchive
LONDON: Steve Smith insists he has no plans to follow the lead of Australia team-mate David Warner by announcing an intended date for his retirement from Test cricket.
Warner, with just one century in his past 32 innings, last week announced his intention to retire from Test cricket in front of his hometown fans in the New Year Test against Pakistan in Sydney in January.
Former Australia captain Smith indicated in January he was contemplating retirement before going back on those remarks.
Asked if he had any greater clarity about his future in the light of Warner’s comments ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India, Smith told reporters at the Oval: “No”.
Both Warner and Smith are mainstays of the Test side, however the 34-year-old Smith is two years younger than Warner.
Whether Warner gets the chance to bow out as he would like may depend on his form during the five-Test Ashes series in England that follows hot on the heels of the WTC final.
“It’s nice to have an end date, I suppose, if that’s the way you want to go,” Smith said.
“But ultimately for all of us we’ve going to be doing our job and for batters that is scoring runs.
“In an ideal world, I think Davey said that’s when he’d like to pick it up.
“But we’ve got to score runs, all of us. So we’ll see what happens.”
Smith has been a prolific performer in Test cricket, scoring 8,792 runs at a high average of 59.80, including 30 hundreds in 96 matches.
But the WTC final and Ashes series are taking place amid fears the future of the long-format game could be threatened by the growth of global franchise Twenty20 cricket, with top players set to be offered year-round contracts across multiple leagues.
“I am slightly concerned,” Smith said. “Hopefully Test cricket still stays alive and well.
“I think it’s in a good place at the moment in terms of some of the games we’ve seen recently have been pretty amazing.
“As a traditionalist and someone that loves Test cricket, I hope it still remains at the front of all the boards’ minds and stays alive and well for some time to come.”
Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2023