SA’s Graeme Smith on verge of 100th test as skipper
South Africa's Graeme Smith (Reuters file)
South Africa's Graeme Smith is on course for a cricket landmark in the first test against Pakistan next week when he'll become the first player to captain in 100 tests.
Smith is set to lead the Proteas in a test for the 99th time in the series-opener at the Wanderers starting Friday. Having also led the World XI once against Australia, he will become the first skipper to reach the 100 mark.
Cricket South Africa chief executive Jacques Faul said, "this is a truly remarkable achievement."
"His leadership has been unwavering and inspirational," Faul said.
Smith has captained in all but eight of his 107 test appearances and took over a decade ago when South African cricket had slumped to one of its lowest points after the Proteas were eliminated early at their home World Cup in 2003.
South Africa is now the top-ranked team in tests and Smith will likely reach 100 matches in charge of his country in the second test in Cape Town and at his home ground, Newlands.
Allan Border is second on the list of captains having led Australia in 93 tests. Stephen Fleming captained New Zealand in 80 matches.
After 10 years in charge of South Africa, Smith has a 47 percent win rate. Steve Waugh was the most successful among the long serving captains having led Australia to a 71 percent win rate in his 57 tests as captain between 1999 and 2004.