London: Robin Smith, one of Englandís most successful batsmen over the last two decades, announced his first-class retirement on Friday on the eve of his 40th birthday.
The South Africa-born right-hander played 62 Tests for England between 1988 and 1996, scoring 4,236 runs at 43.67. He also played 71 ODIs with an average of 39.01.
Smith, one of Wisdenís five players of the year in 1990, was ruled out of county cricket for three weeks earlier this month with a hamstring tear.
His retirement, at the end of the 2003 season, was announced at a news conference by Hampshire Cricket Club, for whom he played 307 matches in a first-class career that began 22 years ago. He scored 18,984 runs for the county with 49 centuries.
Smith, a powerful cutter of the ball, was a particularly good player of fast bowling and almost single-handedly stood up to the all-conquering Australian touring attack of 1989, which regained the Ashes.
Smith headed Englandís batting averages in that series with 61.44. However, he was not so effective against spin bowling and struggled badly against Shane Warne ó as most of his teammates did from the early 1990s.
Smith was dropped after the 1995-96 series in South Africa, but there were widespread calls for his recall as his adopted country struggled to find a suitable replacement in the middle-order going into the new millennium.