Tom Smith: Lancashire all-rounder and former captain forced to retire at 31

Tom Smith
Tom Smith scored almost 4,000 first-class runs for Lancashire, including three centuries, and took 241 wickets

Lancashire all-rounder Tom Smith has announced his retirement at the age of 31 after a series of injury problems.

Smith was named captain of the Red Rose for the 2015 season, but only skippered the team in one game after being told he needed back surgery.

The injury kept him out for 13 months but he came back to feature in the final months of last season, only for back problems to return.

"It's very sad and a tough decision to come to," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"Following some medical advice from the specialist and thinking about the long term future it has come because of injury.

"The highs of lows of the past two years from captain to not playing, to surgery, to back playing, to retiring but ultimately it has taken its toll. My long-term health has taken priority."

The club have announced that Smith will stay at Old Trafford to assist academy director Gary Yates in helping bring young players through their system.

James Anderson on Twitter
England's James Anderson posted one of several tribute tweets from Smith's Lancashire team-mates

Analysis

BBC Radio Lancashire cricket reporter Scott Read:

"Tom Smith can look back on his career with a great deal of pride for both his performances on the field Lancashire and for the courage he showed off it.

"He fought hard to return from injury last season, an injury which robbed him of the captaincy in 2015.

"A genuine all-rounder, who consistency with the bowl and skill with the bat saw him named the club's player of the year after a stellar 2014.

"He'll be admired and respected at Old Trafford in equal measure both as a player and a person."

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