Graeme Smith is the most successful captain in South African cricket history. He made his debut in 2002 and was appointed captain a year later at 22 years and 82 days, succeeding Shaun Pollock after the 2003 World Cup, making him the youngest ever.
He appeared in his 100th Test match, against England, in July 2012 and captained the side for the 100th time in the Test match in February 2013, against Pakistan. A tall, left-handed opening batsman, on the 2003 South African tour of England he made double centuries in consecutive Test matches: 277 at Edgbaston, and 259 at Lord’s. The 259 is still the highest score made at Lord’s by a foreign player. On October 24, 2013, Graeme became the second South African and 12th overall to complete 9,000 runs in test cricket in his 112th Test match. Known for the success of his opening partnership with Herschelle Gibbs, South Africa’s most prolific ever opening partnership, Graeme has the distinction of having been part of all four of South Africa’s opening partnerships of over 300 runs: in three of them he was partnered by Gibbs, and in 2008 he added 415 for the first wicket with Neil McKenzie against Bangladesh, a world record opening partnership. On March 3, 2014, during the Third Test against Australia, he announced his retirement from international cricket. He is currently the most successful Test captain, having overtaken Ricky Ponting’s 48 Test victories.