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Robin Smith (cricketer) Bio


Robin Arnold Smith (born 13 September 1963, Durban, South Africa) is a former cricketer for Hampshire and England. Smith was nicknamed Judge or Judgie for his resemblance to a judge when he grew his hair long.[1] Like his older brother Chris, he was unable to play for the country of his birth because of the exclusion of the apartheid regime from international cricket, but because he had English parents he qualified to play for England. He played for England in 11 home Test series and on six overseas tours from 1988-1996. Smith was best known for his abilities against fast bowling, with what was regarded as a trademark square-cut that was hit ferociously. His highest Test score, 175 against the West Indies in Antigua, was made as England replied to Brian Lara's record-breaking innings of 375. Despite his domination of fast, aggressive bowling, Smith suffered from a well-publicised vulnerability to slower bowlers - particularly the leg-spin of Shane Warne. He scored 167 not out for England against Australia in the 1993 Texaco Trophy at Edgbaston when Australia won by six wickets. This is the highest score made by an England batsman in a one-day international and was the highest score made by any batsman who finished on the losing side in such a game. Despite this, when Smith was dropped from the England team it was popularly perceived as premature, particularly given his test batting average of over 43. Backing this up is the ICC's historical rankings of Test batsmen, which places Smith as the 77th greatest batsman in history, and 17th greatest Englishman (ahead of others such as Geoff Boycott, Alec Stewart and Michael Atherton)[2]. The early end to Smith's England career may have been a result of managerial suspicion that Smith's growing business interests were distracting from his batting. In 1994, before Smith scored 175 in the fifth and final test against the West Indies, he was accused by the then England coach Keith Fletcher of 'having too many fingers in too many pies.' [3][4] In County Cricket, Smith played for Hampshire, captaining them from 1998-2002, before retiring from first-class cricket in 2003. Until Kevin Pietersen (another English cricketer born in South Africa) was signed by Hampshire from Nottinghamshire in 2005, Smith was Hampshire's most successful England batsman since C. B. Fry.

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