Smith, suspended by the ICC for the final Test of the series starting in Johannesburg on Friday, won’t be seen in a Test for Australia until October at the earliest – and it is unclear in what capacity. He did not exactly get a friendly send-off.
Smith has received many a standing ovation in his spectacular ascendance to the summit of the Test arena. At Newlands on Sunday, the reception was of a very different kind.
Deposed as Australian captain less than six hours before, the 28-year-old walked to the middle of the ground at 4.12pm local time. He was booed from the moment he emerged at the top of the stairs beneath the players’ balcony until he arrived to take strike.
When, a mere 29 minutes and seven runs later, he made the same journey back, there was more of the same.