Smith enjoying life after cricket

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - Former Trinidad and Tobago cricket team captain Richard Smith is enjoying life after cricket, but is pleased to see the success of the national squad, albeit in the T20 format.

In a recent interview, the 41-year-old Smith, who retired from First-Class cricket in 2002, admitted that his time away from the game has been “very good”.

He continued, “I’m a businessman now, I have a number of businesses. My father is a businessman and I grew up in that environment.” 

The articulate Smith continued, “I’ve transitioned well. I’ve stopped playing cricket like ten years now. Yes, I miss it sometimes but I don’t really miss it (that much). 

“Golf has filled that void, it takes up a lot of (my) time, mentally getting in tune with what is necessary. Since I’ve stopped playing cricket, I’ve been involved heavily in business.” 

Smith made his First Class debut for the twin-island republic in 1991 and, altogether, the right-handed middle-order batsman played 70 matches and scored 3,058 runs, at an average of 28.31, with two centuries and 18 half-centuries.

And, in 46 one-day matches for TT, he tallied 935 runs at 26.71 with one century and three fifties. Looking at his career, he noted, “winning is always good. A number of times we won what was then the 50-over trophy. I remember that fondly, how you celebrate with your teammates. 

“When you play a team sport, that bond that you develop with guys who are out there, giving their all, is always a cherished memory.” 

Smith continued, “I also have fond memories of my tour with the West Indies ‘A’ team, when we went to India and we defeated India ‘A’ (in 1998). Ian Bishop was the captain of that team and a number of guys who are presently playing, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, they were youngsters on that side.” 

Other notable players on the team, which was coached by Roger Harper and managed by Joel Garner, were vice-captain Sherwin Campbell, Courtney Browne, Adrian Griffith, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Keith Semple, Carl Tuckett, Neil McGarrell, Wavell Hinds, Pedro Collins and Reon King (all with international experience). 

“And that was a great experience, an experience with different cultures in India,” Smith added. “So I look back on that with fondest memories. 

“Also, just generally, captaining Trinidad and Tobago, I enjoyed the challenge of captaincy, putting my wits against the other teams, trying to work out different batsmen. Those were the highlights.” 

Smith retired before the advent of T20 cricket but he pointed out, “when you start playing cricket at a young age, T20 is part and parcel of your psyche. You learn to play it a certain way.”

He was quick to state, “it’s good to see the success of Trinidad and Tobago cricket. Obviously, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board is doing something right.

“A lot of those guys were successful with the West Indies Under-15 team — (Denesh) Ramdin, (Dwayne and Darren) Bravo, (Lendl) Simmons. So it’s good to see (that) since (Daren) Ganga has left, that they’ve continued winning. I think Ramdin has a very good rapport with the team.”

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Wed, 03/20/2013 - 03:37