Interview with Ian Smith

Ian Smith was New Zealand's wicket-keeper in 63 Tests from 1980 to 1992. Now retired from the game, he is a television commentator much in demand on the international circuit. On 27 April 1997 he was at Queens Park Oval, Port-of-Spain calling the second One-Day International between the West Indies and India. We had a brief chat with him on the IRC channel #cricket during a break in play.

wz-: Mr Ian Smith is with TV commentary for TVNZ, TWI, Worldtel. Retired from international cricket, played for NZ, and Auckland.

Question: What do you think of the current Indian team?

Smith: Sidhu is delivering all the time. Azhar is going through a bad patch, but he still looks good, no worries. Batting is well under control.. without Srinath, little bit exposed with the new ball.

Taps: Does the recent win of Nz over SL indicate good times to come for Nz cricket?

Smith: Yes it does. They played very well, and SL played very poorly, but NZ played very convincingly New captain is a very handy player, Brian young has established himself, two wicket taking bowlers, Heath Davis and Vettori. If they keep continuity of side selection, they can give anyone a run for their money. The Aus series [next season] will be a big test.

ashishg: Mr Smith, how do you favour NZ chances in the Independence cup in India?

Smith: Of the 4 teams, they rank 4th going in. They have a break now because it is winter in NZ. They might struggle a little bit early. Some very good sides in the conditions will be their opposition, but they played well enough in India in 1995 and in the World Cup and vs. Aus in the WC semi finals. They probably won't win it, but they'll compete.

Taps: How good is Vettori? right up there with Saqlain/Murli?

Smith: Not at this stage.. but hard to compare him to anyone because it is way too early. Good relaxed action, so he can bowl for long spells. Very sensible head on his shoulders, never nervous, and doesn't have a problem bowling to Desilva and his likes. Very good sign, great bowling to Stewart and Atherton, not yet "world class" but may make it there soon.

wz-: is fleming mature enough to be captain?

Smith: He is quite mature and level headed, no panic, very composed as a batsman. He has captained in 3 tests and won two, not a bad record at all. Good public relations with the media as well

channa: [about Vettori] What about the his ODI debut ..going for 21 runs in his 2 it a big setback for him?

Smith: channa: That was unfortunate, but he was bowling to Jayasuriya! It doesn't matter who the bowler is when he gets going. Vettori has got great control, and he'll be a good ODI bowler in time.

nuke-em: What future do you see of double wicket competitions like the one held in Lahore?

Smith: There is always room for variations. People can get bored of traditioal cricket from time to time, so the Sixes and Super 8 are good changes. They are played in good spirit and players become more accessible when there isn't that much pressure on.

wz-: re: sledging

Smith: Seems to be the same people time and time again, some people just can't stop themselves. TV seems to highlight it even more, so it is a real issue. Healy has been punished severely, and they need to do this more regularly. Most people will get the message eventually.

GBPackers: Mr. Smith how do u like your career as a commentator? Do you enjoy it ?

Smith: I like it because I still have a real desire for the game. The desire to play has long gone, but it is a lot of fun to stay in touch with the people. The atmosphere is there, but you don't have to wake up with a nervous stomach!

wz-: Is the West Indies on a irreversible downslide? Is the cricket in Carribean losing out to big money games like basketball?

Smith: No doubt that cricket here is in trouble. Some dip in the bowling.. Biggest thing used to be was to play cricket for WI, but other things are coming up.. like bball, and other sides have caught up with the WI, Not the same side they used to be, BUT they are getting better.

wz-: That is it, Mr Smith has left. Thanks for the questions.

letters to the editor: email

About CI Interactive | Dream League | | StampIt Footer -->
Date-stamped : 28 Feb1999 - 11:26