Smith has surgery to be ready for England


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The Independent Online

Graeme Smith, the South Africa Test captain, will undergo ankle surgery tomorrow which will rule him out of this year's Indian Premier League, but he should be fit for the summer tour of England.

The 31-year-old opening batsman has been troubled by chronic pain in his left ankle over the past two months, leading to Cricket South Africa's ankle specialist to recommend surgery. The Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosjee, said: "Graeme went to see CSA's ankle specialist in Cape Town on Friday and he confirmed that the best management of the chronic pain in his ankle is surgery.

"The recovery period after such a surgery usually takes eight to 10 weeks, and he will subsequently not be able to represent Pune Warriors at the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League."

"I'm very disappointed to be missing out on the IPL this year," Smith said. "I was looking forward to my second season with Pune Warriors, especially after my knee set me back last season. I would like to wish them all of the best this year.

"My ankle has been troubling me for some time so it will be a relief to have it repaired, especially looking ahead to the crucial year of cricket ahead."

Meanwhile, Sam Robson, Middlesex's Australian-born batsman, has made the earliest first-class hundred ever witnessed in the United Kingdom.

Robson struck a century on the opening day of the match between Middlesex and Durham MCCU in Northwood on Saturday as the counties revelled in balmy early-spring weather.

It was all but certain that a record would be set as five first-class matches began on the last day of March. There were seven hundreds in all as the counties warmed up against University opposition, but Robson's, shortly after 3pm, was the first. A 22-year-old batsman from Sydney, he made 117 in 190 balls before he was run out. Middlesex declared, amid the realisation that history had been made, at 368 for 9.