Monday, 12 November 2012

More signings of Graeme Smiths quality could reinvigorate County Cricket

Graeme Smith becoming captain for Surrey is the biggest signing for County cricket since Shane Warne. It is true that bigger names have graced county cricket’s twenty format since Warne’s stint for Hampshire, but with Smith signing for the majority of the season for Surrey, it means fans will get to see one of the best batsman in the world for most of the season.

 This will be no quick T20 bash. No Smith will be leading Surrey in all three forms of the game. It is hard to see a downside really.

Smith is probably the best international captain around at the moment. During the summer Test series against England he broke Steve Waugh’s record for most Test matches as captain, while during the same series his South Africa side regained their status as the best Test side in the world, something which South Africa briefly achieved in 2008.
 Smith too seems like he’s looking forward to the challenge. On being unveiled as Surrey’s new skipper, Smith said ‘I am excited to be joining such a professional and talented team, during what will hopefully prove to be a rewarding and successful period’.

 So with the prospect of Smith captaining Surrey next year already whetting the appetites of county cricket fans, could more signing’s of Smith’s calibre bring in more fans. I’m not just talking about players signing up for the T20 tournament, but also the First Class matches as well. It would be fantastic to see Graeme Smith battle it out against a bowler of the quality of Sajeed Ajmal in the 4-day arena. And young English cricketers could also benefit from learning alongside the likes of Smith.

 County cricket is fantastic to watch and it is always very enjoyable spending a summer’s day at the Oval watching a First Class match. But County Cricket does have trouble encouraging others to come and watch. More signings of Smiths quality could bring a big boost to attendances at First Class games.

Watch Graeme Smiths 25th Test Hundred in the 1st Test against England at The Oval.