Less than three hours before Graeme Smith took the field on Tuesday during his last international cricket match for South Africa, he was at his one-year-old daughter’s bedside as she was being wheeled into theatre for surgery.
It is understood the Proteas skipper’s daughter, Cadence Christine Smith, who was born in July 2012, was burnt in an incident during the second Test match against Australia in Port Elizabeth, two weeks ago.
Proteas team manager, Dr Mohamed Moosajee, confirmed to the Cape Argus this morning that Smith had been with his wife Morgan at his daughter’s bedside at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont shortly before the start of the fourth day’s play on Tuesday.
Cadence went into surgery shortly before 8am and Smith was back at Newlands and took to the field when Australia resumed their second innings at 10am.
Moosajee said the surgery had gone well. “Like any father, it was important for (Graeme) to accompany his daughter to surgery. At the Proteas we have always emphasised that family is as important as our players’ cricketing careers,” Moosajee said.
“As professional cricketers our players are expected to perform in a high-pressure environment, but they are also human beings with family responsibilities,” Moosajee said.
Smith, 33, shocked the cricketing world when he announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket late on Monday evening, effective immediately after the end of the final Test match which ends today.
“I have a young family to consider, and I felt that retiring at Newlands would be the best way to end it because I have called this place home since I was 18 years old,” Smith had said.
The couple also have a young son, Carter, born in July. – Cape Argus