SOUTH African captain Graeme Smith has announced he will be retiring after the series-deciding Test against Australia in Cape Town.
The 33 year-old told teammates of his decision after play on the third day of the match at the Newlands ground.
The announcement comes on top of recent run of outs for the skipper who's failed to reach 50 in his last eight innings.
In the current series against Australia the left-handed opener is averaging only 8.40 with the bat and has unusually dropped chances he would normally snap up at 1st slip.
"This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life," Smith said.
"It's a decision that I have been considering since my ankle surgery in April last year."
The decision could be the catalyst for generational change within the Proteas squad after all-rounder Jacques Kallis also retired only two months ago.
Smith has scored 9262 runs at an average of 48.49 during his 12-year Test career.
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