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EngWIndian
May 22, 2004, 03:37 AM
Dwayne up close
Dwayne Romel Smith is a man who rekindles the joy of calypso philosophy in a modern day West Indies squad. Whatever he does on the field has a touch of fun and adventure. The naturally gifted 21-year-old right-hander bats like a wind and you notice shades of his idol Viv Richards and Carl Hooper in the way he times the ball. Smith shot to fame when he joined the elite list of batsmen to score a Test hundred on debut -- a cracking unbeaten 105 in the second innings of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in 2003. But he lost his Test place during the England series apparently for being far too attacking. The Barbadian however, has since emerged as an important member of the youthful West Indies one-day squad and by his own admission, working extra hard to return to the Test fold. He showed a new-found all-round maturity with two match-winning performances against Bangladesh in the second and third ODIs -- a run-a-ball 62 in a cliff-hanger in St Vincent where the Windies scraped through by one wicket, and a three-wicket burst in four overs with his more-than-useful medium pacers that derailed the Tigers as they tried to set the home team a challenging total in Grenada. And don't forget his breathtaking fielding. Smith covers more ground than any other player in the side and arguably, has the safest hands in the team. The Daily Star Sport's Rabeed Imam caught up with this exciting prospect after the final ODI at the Queen's Park Stadium on Wednesday.
Daily Star Sport (DSS): How did you become a cricketer? Has cricket been your first choice in sports?


Dwayne Smith (DS): I first came into cricket when my uncle taught me in my backyard how to play some shots. I just took it from there. I used to play a bit of football but wasn't too successful. I kept on playing cricket and was successful in it.


DSS: Are you a naturally aggressive cricketer?


DS: I have to say it is natural. Even when I was small, I always used to play aggressive shots. Now I'm working on my defensive technique to get back in the longer-version. I want to have a successful Test career as well as in the one-dayers. I go into games with a never-say-die attitude believing that there's no one who can come and beat me.

DSS: How do you feel when people brand you as a one-day specialist?


DS: I don't want to be remembered as a one-day player only. That's why I'm working so hard in the nets for the longer-version. I want to be known as a West Indies cricketer, not a one-day cricketer.

DSS: Do you see yourself as a batsman who can bowl a bit?


DS: I consider myself as an all-rounder. Given the chance I'll prove it.


DSS: How is it like to be a part of this West Indies ODI squad with so many new players coming together and starting off their careers at the same time?


DS: I'm very proud. This is something I always wanted to play for the West Indies. Hopefully I can go on to become one of the better cricketers.


DSS: Who were your idols when you were growing up?


DS: My idol then and still is Vivian Richards. Then there is Brian Lara of course, Sachin Tendulkar and in bowling Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath. In fielding it's Jonty Rhodes.

DSS: What is it like having Viv Richards, the chairman of selectors, close by? Do you talk to him often?


DS: He motivates me. Sometimes he would come down and have a chat and tell me what I'm doing wrong and what I'm doing right. He'll say you've got to work on this and that. I'm listening to him and using his tips in the nets and I put it out in the second game. It's working for me.

He told me that as long as I spend time at the crease, there's nothing that is going to stop me. The longer I stay in the middle, the more pressure it is going to put on the fielding side. That's something I'll always keep on the back of my mind.


DSS: People have often criticised you for playing one too many shots. What is your answer to that?


DS: You've got to listen to it carefully and take the positives out of the criticism and work on it.

DSS: You give the impression on the field that you are enjoying whatever you are doing whether it's batting, bowling or fielding. What is your life like when you are not playing cricket?


DS: I'm the same person off the field as I am on it. I love to have fun. You've got to enjoy life. When I have my off time, I'll probably go to a party or something like that or go out with a few friends.

I like action movies and my favourite music is reggae and calypso.

DSS: Do you read a lot?


DS: Not really. But I've got to start doing it now because that will help me in my concentration for the longer version of the game.

DSS: What are your immediate goals?


DS: My immediate aspiration is to grow in every game at a time, do better than what I did in the previous match and move from strength to strength.


DSS: From what you have seen of the Bangladesh team, how do you rate them?


DS: Well, they are not as strong a side as we are. But you could see that they are working hard at their game. That showed in the last three games. They didn't give up. They gave us a good fight.


DSS: You have been dropped twice by the same Bangladeshi player Manjarul Islam, in two consecutive matches. What do you say to him now that the series is over?


DS: I'll just say thanks for dropping me (laughs). He has really given me a chance to get some runs.

EngWIndian
May 22, 2004, 03:38 AM
http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/05/22/d40522040331.htm

BangladeshFan
May 25, 2004, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by EngWIndian
http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/05/22/d40522040331.htm

I still remember richards. What a batsman! effortless sixes over midwicket....:clap:

Havent seen this smith yet, but if he could become even close to richards, it would be great!

sage
May 25, 2004, 01:40 PM
DS sounds very confident. He is a good player. He will bring good news for WI fans, no doubt.