Batsman Greg Smith was signed from Leicestershire ahead of the 2015 season. He joined on a two-year deal, with Notts’ Director of Cricket Mick Newell highlighting him as a player of ‘significant potential’ who could strengthen a squad which had already lost Phil Jaques to retirement and was likely to see others on International duties.
Gregory Phillip Smith was born in Leicester on 16 November 1988. He attended Oundle School and first appeared for Leicestershire Second Eleven in 2007, making his full senior debut for the County in the following year. He also appeared that summer for England Under-19s in a home Test and One-Day International series against New Zealand Under-19s, alongside future team-mates Alex Hales, James Taylor and Luke Fletcher. Smith made a big impact in the series with scores of 157 and 150 not out in the two Tests.
In addition to playing for Leicestershire, Smith played First-Class cricket whilst studying at Durham University and his future employers witnessed his potential at first-hand when he made a century for Durham MCCU against Nottinghamshire in April 2010. Notts were also on the receiving end of a powerful innings from Smith in 2014, his last year at Grace Road, when he hit 102 off 54 balls in a T20 Blast fixture. He scored more than 4,000 runs for Leicestershire and there was every indication that he would prosper in Division 1 cricket and also help in Notts’ quest for One-Day honours.
Smith made his Nottinghamshire First-Class debut against Somerset at Trent Bridge in May 2015. He played in five Championship matches that season, contributing just 84 runs, with a further 60 runs in six T20 starts and at one point was briefly loaned back to his former county. In contrast, in his only List-A start, in the Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final against Surrey in September, he top scored with an innings of 124, although he could not prevent the Outlaws falling to a four-run defeat.
In 2016, Smith started more frequently, particularly in white ball cricket. He scored four fifties across the three formats, with a best of 73 against Warwickshire in the One-Day Cup. He played in seven Championship matches, all eight One-Day Cup fixtures and 12 matches in the T20 Blast. He scored a crucial 50 in the home T20 quarter-final against Essex but, with Hales and Broad returning from England duty and Russell jetting in from the Caribbean for finals day, he did not feature in the side which fell at the semi-final stage.
With a new two-year contract signed at the end of 2016, Smith began the season with appearances in the pre-season University match and the first three Championship fixtures. He hit his highest First-Class score in a Notts shirt with 73 against Cambridge MCCU at Fenner’s and recorded 60no at Durham. He was not included in any of the One-Day Cup matches when they started in late April and, with Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara joining as overseas player, also found himself on the sidelines in Championship cricket. He did not appear again for Nottinghamshire and in July announced his retirement from professional cricket to pursue a career outside the game.
Greg Smith’s career with Nottinghamshire saw him score 1,100 runs, with one hundred and six fifties, in 41 starts across all forms of the game The highlight of his time at Trent Bridge was his century in the One-Day Cup at The Oval but ultimately Smith was unable to establish himself in the Notts eleven on a regular basis.
Since leaving Trent Bridge he has dabbled in the world of corporate finance but quickly switched to teaching. He told the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association): "...the first job I took was in corporate broking, which I did for seven or eight months before deciding it wasn’t for me. After that, I took a coaching job at Dulwich College and decided I wanted to be more involved with schools. So I then got trained as a classroom teacher, taking a government bursary in September last year to help cover my training, which has involved me working at two local schools in Islington. I’m now a qualified teacher and have got a job at Kelmscott School in Walthamstow, where I’ll be a full-time teacher."
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 634