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Smith set to set captaincy landmark

January 28, 2013 13:42:10 UK

South Africa stalwart Graeme Smith will make history on Friday when he becomes the first man to reach the 100-mark as a Test captain.

The opening day of the first Test between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers in Johannesburg also coincides with Smith's 32nd birthday.

His leadership has been unwavering and inspirational.

Graeme Smith

Smith's outstanding record will include 99 matches in charge of the Proteas, as well as the honour of leading the ICC World XI in the one-off Super Series contest back in 2005.

"Graeme is a true South Africa hero and we must celebrate this achievement in style," said acting Cricket South Africa chief executive Jacques Faul.

"He took over as captain at a difficult time just after the 2003 World Cup and has been in this most demanding of jobs for almost a decade now.

"His leadership has been unwavering and inspirational, not just to his players, but to the nation and he has been one of the few captains whose career statistics in the demanding job of opening batsman have been unaffected by his leadership responsibilities."

Smith - who led his team to victory over England last summer to secure the number one ranking in Test cricket and then oversaw subsequent wins over Australia and New Zealand - averages 49.28 from his 107 Test appearances to date.

South Africa need to avoid defeat to the Pakistanis to secure the Test mace which is handed to the team top of the Test rankings annually on 1st April.

The Proteas are 1.12 to win the Test series against Pakistan, with the tourists 15.00, while Smith is 6.50 to be the leading South Africa batsman in the series.

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