Robin Smith
Personal information
Full name Robin Arnold Smith
Born 13 September 1963 (1963-09-13) (age 57)
Durban, Natal Province, South Africa
Nickname Judge
Height 5 ft 11.75 in (1.82 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Leg break
Relations Chris Smith (brother)
International information
National side England
Test debut (cap 530) 21 July 1988 v West Indies
Last Test 2 January 1996 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 101) 4 September 1988 v Sri Lanka
Last ODI 9 May 1996 v Sri Lanka
Domestic team information
Years Team
1989 Marylebone Cricket Club
1982–2003 Hampshire
1981–1985 Natal
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 62 71 426 443
Runs scored 4,236 2,419 26,155 14,927
Batting average 43.67 39.01 41.51 41.12
100s/50s 9/28 4/15 61/131 27/81
Top score 175 167* 209* 167*
Balls bowled 24 1,099 27
Wickets 14 3
Bowling average 70.92 5.33
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling 2/11 2/13
Catches/stumpings 39/– 26/– 233/– 159/–
Source: Cricinfo, 5 October 2009

Robin Arnold Smith (born 13 September 1963) is a South African-born former Hampshire and England cricketer.

Smith was nicknamed Judge or Judgie for his resemblance to a judge when he grew his hair long. 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 eleven home test series and on six overseas tours from 1988 to 1996. Smith was best known for his abilities against fast bowling, with what was regarded as a trademark square-cut that was hit ferociously.

Life and career

Smith was born in Durban, South Africa. In his first test at Headingley in 1988, he shared a century partnership with fellow South African born batsman Allan Lamb. This was one of very few century partnerships for England during the series against the firepower of the West Indies fast bowlers. The following summer, 1989, Smith was the only successful batsman in the Ashes series making two centuries. In his second hundred at Trent Bridge, he arrived with England already three wickets down chasing 600, and played some powerful shots - particularly off Merv Hughes whose bowling figures were, at one point 4-0-38-0.

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.

Smith was one of England's most courageous players. He was targeted by the West Indies at Antigua in 1989-90 for fast short pitched bowling giving him no room for his favourite shots. During that innings, he was hit on the finger (subsequently diagnosed as broken) and hit flush on the jaw by a bouncer from Courtney Walsh - but neither blow forced him to retire hurt.

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 an ODI, 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 placed Smith as the 77th greatest batsman in history, and 17th greatest Englishman (ahead of others such as Geoff Boycott, Alec Stewart and Mike Atherton).

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.'

In county cricket, Smith played for Hampshire, captaining them from 1998 to 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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