Passionate paceman Pat Smith has announced his retirement from Premier Cricket after an outstanding career for the Melbourne Cricket Club.
Arriving at the Albert Ground as a raw-boned 22 year-old from Warrnambool, Pat made an immediate impression with his genuine pace and appetite for the contest. His competitive on-field approach was balanced by an easygoing disposition off it, a combination that saw him embraced quickly by his teammates.
Debuting in 2008/09, Pat split his first season between the 3rd and 2nd XIs en route to a 28-wicket haul. His maiden 5-wicket return came against Camberwell Magpies in the Seconds’ semi-final win. Figures of 3/66 (19) on a flat Princes Park track in the following week’s grand final helped secure his first premiership in the red, white and blue and commenced a long journey of team and personal success.
The 2012/13 brought phenomenal accolades, with the 1st XI winning the trifecta of premierships across two day, one day and T20 formats. Pat showed enormous character in the red ball final to post an invaluable 22 to help ease his team passed the Ringwood total.
The following season was a standout for the right-armer. Snaring a career-best total of 42 wickets @18.83, his sizeable haul included a best of 5/15 versus Frankston Peninsula. His efforts were recognised by his winning of the Brian Watson Award for an ‘Outstanding Performance by an MCC Cricketer’.
Premier Cricket Committee Chairman Andrew Kent – who captained-coached Pat throughout much of his career, paid tribute to the 200-game veteran.
“Pat has drawn the curtain on an incredible career; one that has been punctuated by a raft of personal and team achievements,” he said.
“He formed the backbone of our pace attack for a decade and we simply loved having him in the team and at the coalface. As a captain, you had supreme confidence that Paddy would run in hard from his first ball to his last, competing furiously and trying to get batsmen out.
“He was aggressive and fast with ball in hand and a loyal and supportive teammate on the field and off. He was quick to offer a cheeky jibe but equally happy to cop one in return.
“We wish Paddy, Kelly and Daisy all the best for the next chapter in their lives and look forward to Pat wearing Demons colours in MCC touring and XXIXers matches in the years to come. The Albert will always be his home.”
Pat expressed his gratitude to the MCC.
“I can’t thank enough everyone who’s been part of my time here at Melbourne,” he said.
“I’ve loved it so much and the Club has been such a place of happiness, success and support. I’m so thankful to have had such great people help develop my cricket and for the mateship I’ve shared with so many guys. I’ll continue to contact personally those who’ve helped me over the past 13 years but to all the coaches, support staff, players and families – thanks for welcoming me so warmly and giving me the privilege of wearing the ‘hoops’ for so long.
“I’ve prided myself on going as hard as I can for as long as I can, but I reckon I’ve just about emptied the tank. Again, I say “thanks” from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity and honour of being a Demon; it will always mean a lot.”
202 games across all levels and formats, including 114 in the 1st XI
Career Statistics (combined)
202 matches, 334 wickets @ 24.19 (BB 6/20), 9 x 5 wickets in an innings
107 innings, 1169 runs @15.38 (HS 73), 3 x 50s
1st XI: 1 x two day, 2 x one day, 1 x T20
2nd XI: 2 x two day, 2 x one day
1st XI Bowling Average