Smith announces retirement after 22 years with Hampshire

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The Independent Online

Robin Smith, the former England batsman, has announced his retirement after 22 years with Hampshire.

The 40-year-old, born in South Africa, made 62 Test appearances for England. He has called it a day because of injury problems which have restricted his appearances this season.

Qualifying through British parentage, Smith followed his elder brother Chris to Hampshire in 1982 as a teenager and scored 18,984 runs in 307 Championship matches. Smith also made 71 appearances for England in limited-overs internationals, but his international career ended in 1996 after the tour to South Africa.

Smith said: "I feel now is the right time to go, but I know I shall miss cricket badly. I find it difficult to get over injuries as quickly as I did and, at my age, I am not going to get any better."

Hampshire's chairman, Rod Bransgrove, said: "Robin came to us a raw teenager and leaves as one of the best players ever to play for the club."

England will host three Tests against New Zealand and four against West Indies next season in a hectic 2004 schedule which kicks off against New Zealand in May and June.

The three matches will take place in three-and-a-half weeks with only two days between the end of the second Test and the start of the third. Sandwiched between the two Test series will be a triangular one-day series involving all three teams, one of two such series for England.

The opponents for the second one-day series will be confirmed next month, but the tournament has been moved back to late August/early September to allow England to use it as preparation for the Champions Trophy, which they will host for the first time from 8 to 25 September next year.

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