Dwayne Smith announces retirement from first class cricket
Dwayne Smith is known as a big-hitter, and similarly his retirement from first class cricket has come as a big blow for the Barbados Pride.
Two days after bowling Barbados to victory over the Windward Volcanoes in the WICB’s Professional Cricket League competition, Smith, 31, surprisingly retired from the regional Four-Day format.
Both the Pride’s head coach Henderson Springer and captain Carlos Brathwaite have admitted that losing the swashbuckling batsman has come as a huge blow for the defending champions.
But according to Smith in an interview with Barbados TODAY, his decision to retire was made after some poor performances with the bat.
In his five innings in the tournament, he had scores of 10, 32,10, 0 and 21.
And even though he also played a pivotal role in the Pride’s stunning two-run win over the Guyana Jaguars in the preceding round –– picking up five wickets for 17 runs to help rout them for 66 –– he said he felt the time had come for him to hang up his boots from the longer version of the game.
“I haven’t been performing well with the bat and that is the main reason I was being selected, to score runs,” Smith acknowledged.
“I’m not happy with the scores I have been returning, and I think it is time I step aside and give a youngster a chance to make his mark.
“Dwayne Smith is Dwayne Smith and everyone knows how I like to play. If I don’t think I am performing to my expectations I’m not going to go any further,” he added.
Smith made his debut for Barbados in 2001, and went on to play 88 first-class matches, scoring 3,852 runs at an average of 28.74.
He also took 138 wickets.
He however indicated he would be willing to represent Barbados in the 50-Over and T20 formats.
Smith revealed he would be leading the island on Sunday for Australia to take part in the Big Bash.
Springer, who was also the team’s head coach when Smith made his debut, said the versatile all-rounder would be greatly missed.
“Of course it is a huge blow. Dwayne has been playing from since the early 2000s and his departure will definitely be a loss.
“But his retirement hasn’t come as a complete surprise to me, because in recent times he has been focusing most of his efforts in the 50-Over and T20 formats,” Springer acknowledged.
“I think he just wants to give his body a rest, so that he can play at his best in the shorter formats of the game.”
The head coach insisted, though, that Smith’s retirement would allow a younger player the opportunity to “step up to the plate”.
Newly reinstated captain Brathwaite said Smith’s experience would definitely be missed.
However, while he readily admitted Smith’s skills would be hard to replace, he still felt the Pride had enough talent to defend their title.
“It is a blow to the team obviously as Dwayne is a proven performer with, bat, ball and in the field.
“It will dent the team’s chances no doubt . . . but I think we have enough depth to cover his loss in the Four-Day format and hopefully it wouldn’t impact too much on our chances,” Brathwaite noted.
“It would be great if we can use that as inspiration to win the title for him. That would be the perfect way for him to bow out.”