Who is Steve Smith?
Steve Smith is an Australian international cricketer and a former captain of the Australian national cricket team. He became the second international player to achieve a Test batting rating of 947, only behind Don Bradman’s 961. Due to his countless remarkable performances over the years, Steve is known as one of the best batsmen in the world. Born and raised in Sydney, Steve moved to England at the age of 17 and played club cricket there. He moved back to Australia and became a member of the Australian cricket team to play in the ‘Under-19 Cricket World Cup.’ He then joined the ‘Big Bash League’ and Australian first-class cricket, following which he made his international debut in a Twenty20 (T20) match against Pakistan in February 2010. He also made his one-day international (ODI) debut in the same month against the West Indies in Melbourne. He had initially joined the Australian team as a leg spinner and batted at lower positions in the batting line-up. However, since his Test debut in July 2010 against Pakistan, he gradually moved up the batting order. He has consistently performed well in all the formats, especially in Test cricket, and has been ranked as the top Test batsman in the world in 2015, 2016, and 2017. He has an amazing Test batting average of 61.37.
Childhood & Early Life
Steve Smith was born Steven Peter Devereux Smith, on June 2, 1989, in Kogarah, Sydney, New South Wales. His father, Peter Smith, worked as a chemist. His mother, Gillian, was a homemaker. Since his birth, Steve holds both Australian and English citizenships, as his father is Australian and his mother is English.
Since childhood, Steve was heavily invested in playing cricket. He graduated from the ‘Menai High School’ in Illawong, Sydney. He played cricket extensively throughout his school years. As a result, his academics suffered. However, he had been bringing significant glory to his high school by leading his school team to many wins in various inter-school tournaments. Eventually, he dropped out of high school.
He had dual citizenship and thus had to decide whether to play for England or for Australia. He moved to England at the age of 17 and joined a local club called ‘Sevenoaks Vine’ in the ‘Kent Cricket League.’ His consistent good performances led him to be considered for the county team of Surrey.
He also had an option to play for New South Wales. Although Surrey paid him much higher, Steve later chose to play in Australia.
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Steve Smith played as a member of the ‘Australian Under-19’ team at the 2008 ‘Under-19 World Cup,’ which took place in Malaysia. He played primarily as a leg spinner and a lower-order batsman. In the four matches that he played in the tournament, he scored 114 runs and took 7 wickets.
The same year, he made his Australian first-class debut at the ‘Sydney Cricket Ground,’ playing for New South Wales against Western Australia. He was also a member of the victorious New South Wales team that played in the 2009 ‘T20 Champions League.’
While his performances remained strictly above average, he drew praises from legendary cricketers such as Shane Warne. His performances improved toward the end of the 2009–2010 domestic season.
In February 2010, Steve made his international debut in a T20 match against Pakistan.
The same month, Steve made his ODI debut against the West Indies at the ‘Melbourne Cricket Ground.’
Steve was also selected as one of the members of the Australian T20 team that played in the 2010 ‘ICC World T20’ tournament. With 11 wickets in 7 matches, Steve emerged as the second-equal-highest wicket-taker by the end of the tournament. Australia was the first runners-up in the tournament.
In mid-2010, he was selected for the Australian Test squad to play against Pakistan in the Test series that took place in England. He thus made his test debut in July 2010 at the ‘Lords Cricket Ground.’ He consistently performed well as an all-rounder. He also played in the ‘Ashes’ series in 2010–2011.
After a brief hiatus from Test cricket, following the ‘Ashes,’ Steve made a comeback in 2013 and regained his position as a key member of the Australian squad.
He is currently known as one of the best Test batsmen in the world, having scored 6,199 runs, with a batting average of 61.37 in the 64 matches that he has played. He also scored 23 centuries and 24 half-centuries in Test matches. While he began as a bowler, his bowling performance took a backseat later and he managed to take only 17 wickets, with an abysmal average of 54.88 in Test matches.
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In the 108 ODI matches that he has played, Steve has scored a total of 3,431 runs. He has an impressive average of 41.84. Additionally, he has scored 8 centuries and 19 half-centuries. He has taken 27 wickets in ODIs, with an average of 34.48.
He has also played in the ‘Indian Premier League’ (IPL) for teams such as the ‘Pune Warriors,’ the ‘Rajasthan Royals,’ and the ‘Rising Pune Supergiants.’
Records & Achievements
Known as one of the best international players in the world, Steve Smith has been ranked as the top Test batsman in the ‘ICC Players Rankings’ in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
In 2015, he won the ‘Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy’ (‘ICC Cricketer of the Year’). He thus became the youngest cricketer to win the honor. In the years 2015 and 2017, he was named the ‘ICC Test Player of the Year.’ He thus became the only player to win the ‘ICC Test Player of the Year’ honor more than once. Additionally, he was bestowed with the ‘Allan Border Medal’ for the best player in Australian cricket in 2015 and 2018.
He is known as the only ODI player to have scored five consecutive 50s in the history of ‘World Cup,’ a feat he achieved during the 2015 ‘Cricket World Cup.’
He is also the fastest Australian cricketer to reach the 10,000-run mark in international cricket.
On March 24, 2018, in a Test match against South Africa, Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera while tampering with the ball. He later accepted in a press conference that the leadership of the team, including Captain Steve Smith, was aware of what he had done.
Following an uproar, Steve was removed from captaincy and was replaced by Tim Paine. Steve was banned from international and domestic cricket for a year after an investigation by ‘Cricket Australia’ confirmed the charges.
Steve Smith started dating Dani Willis in 2011. After a long-term relationship, the couple announced their engagement in 2017 and got married on September 15, 2018.
Steve Smith considers former Australian captain Ricky Ponting his batting idol, while former leg spinner Shane Warne is his favorite bowler. Shane Warne has also acted as Steve’s mentor.
Steve is a huge fan of horse racing and owns shares in four racehorses.