Lancashire all-rounder Tom Smith has announced his retirement from cricket due to injury.
The 31-year-old from Chorley has been plagued by a serious back problem, which kept him out of the game for 13 months and eventually required surgery.
Announced as Lancashire’s new skipper in 2015, Smith took charge of just one game before having to relinquish the role.
He has been a great servant for the county with 2011 proving to be hishighlight as Lancashire won the County Championship for the first time in 77 years.
He finished the campaign with 459 Championship runs, including four fifties, and took 25 wickets from 12 matches.
Smith also enjoyed personal recognition in 2014, when he achieved England Lions selection and then dominated Lancashire’s end of season awards, after being named both the Championship Player of the Year and the overall Player of the Year.
He took 54 wickets and hit 773 runs in the County Championship matches in 2014 and his quick scoring at the top of the order was an integral part of Lancashire’s success in reaching the NatWest T20 Blast final, earning selection for the Lions’ one-day series against the A sides of New Zealand and Sri Lanka in August.
In total, Smith made 107 First Class appearances for the club hitting 8,790 runs, including three centuries as well as taking 241 wickets. The all-rounder also played in 96 T20 and 73 List A fixtures for Lancashire Lightning in his career.
He began his career in the Northern League with hometown club Chorley CC and was a member of Lancashire’s Academy in 2003 and 2004 and the Scholarship in 2005.
He made his first class debut against Oxford MCCU in May 2005 before making his breakthrough season in 2006 taking 35 Championship wickets, while he also played in the C&G Trophy final against Sussex at Lord’s that summer.
Smith said, “It’s with great sadness that I’ve had to retire from the professional game due to injury. Following medical advice and recently becoming a father my long term health is most important at this time.
“I would like to take this chance to thank the whole of Lancashire County Cricket Club for 10 amazing seasons. To my team mates, coaching staff and especially the medical team you have all had a massive influence on my career and I’d like to thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in over the years. To all the Members and supporters I can’t thank you enough for all the support and encouragement you have given myself and the team. I now look forward to joining you as a fan and watching from the sidelines.
“Over the last 10 years I’ve been lucky enough to take to the field with some great players, childhood idols and at the same time create some fantastic memories. 2011 will always be remembered as a great highlight from my career, but to have the honour of captaining this great county, albeit for a brief period is something that I’m very proud of.
“While it’s disappointing to be leaving the game in this fashion I’m very excited about the journey that lies ahead, and keen to venture into the world outside of cricket to take on a new challenge.”
Smith added, “Lastly, I would like to thank all my family and friends who have been there from the start. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have had the career I did. My wife Holly has been amazing over the last two very up and down years. I now look forward to spending more time with her and my son, Dougie.”
Head coach, Glen Chapple, said: “It’s very sad that Tom has had to retire. He has made an outstanding contribution to Lancashire County Cricket Club.
“He is a product of Lancashire’s local leagues and graduated through our Academy. He is one of the nicest guys I know and it has been a privilege to play alongside him and then coach him. He was always 100% committed to the Club and he will always be welcomed back at Emirates Old Trafford.
“Tom has been a valued and popular member of the playing staff throughout his time with us. On behalf of everyone at the Club I would like to thank him for his efforts and contribution with Lancashire and wish him well in the next chapter of his career.”
In the short term, Smith will be assisting Gary Yates to help bring through the next batch of young Red Rose players in the Lancashire Academy.
Plans are underway for Tom to host a special event at one of Lancashire Lightning’s NatWest T20 Blast fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford this summer. Full details will be confirmed in due course.