Johannesburg, Feb 1: It will be a special Friday not only for Graeme Smith but also for the cricket world. Smith will become the first player in history to captain in 100 Tests. He will achieve the feat when he leads South Africa against Pakistan. An outstanding and historic century for the man who will also celebrate his 32nd birthday today.
Smith's captaincy journey that began 10 years ago in 2003, will reach a milestone at Wanderers Stadium that no other player managed to do in over 2,000 Tests.
The left-handed opening batsman first captained South Africa in April, 2003 against Bangladesh and it will be his 99th Test as Proteas leader. He had also been at the helm of ICC World XI against Australia in the Super Test in 2005.
On the eve of the big match, Smith was quoted as saying: "It has been emotional and humbling. When I wake up tomorrow, turning 32 and leading South Africa out is going to be one of the proudest moments in my career and my life."
Tributes have been pouring in for Smith since yesterday and all his team-mates are urging South African fans to come and salute the man at the ground.
So far in his 99 Tests as captain, Smith has won 47 and lost 26. Drawn games were 26. His winning percentage is 47.47.
The second on the list with most matches as captain is Australia's Allan Border, who led in 93 Tests.
Top five - Most matches as Test captain
Graeme Smith (South Africa) 99 (Won 47, Lost 26, Drawn 26)
Allan Border (Australia) 93 (Won 32, Lost 22, Drawn 38, Tied 1)
Stephen Fleming (New Zealand) 80 (Won 28, Lost 27, Drawn 25)
Ricky Ponting (Australia) 77 (Won 48, Lost 16, Drawn 13)
Clive Lloyd (West Indies) 74 (Won 36, Lost 12, Drawn 26)