Ian Smith - 50 years of keeping score

New Zealand Cricket congratulates Wellington’s Ian Smith for 50 seasons as a cricket scorer and will celebrate the milestone during the ANZ Test match in Wellington beginning Thursday March 14.

The 2012-13 season brings up a half-century for the scorer, statistician, and club cricket administrator, who began his scoring career in 1962-63 for the Kilbirnie Cricket Club’s senior men’s team. The team featured a number of New Zealand and Wellington representatives, but Smith’s meticulous scoring, neatness and understanding of the game was of just as high a quality as that of the cricket being played.

The following season he debuted in keeping the books for a First-Class match at the Basin Reserve – a venue which would become his working home for decades to come. His first taste of international cricket came in 1968 with his first Test as Official Scorer, when New Zealand hosted India in Wellington.

In 2010 Smith penned his 200th First-Class game at the Basin, while the upcoming ANZ Test will be his 45th Test match and 212th First-Class match. He has only missed one Test at the Basin Reserve since he started, missing the 1990 match against Australia, when he was looking after his ill wife Elizabeth.

He has also scored 202 List-A matches, including 44 One Day Internationals. The BLACKCAPS ANZ Twenty20 against England last month at Westpac Stadium was the seventh T20I he’d covered.

Smith has also been co-editor, with Francis Payne, of the New Zealand Cricket Almanack since 1983, and currently serves as Cricket Wellington’s club cricket administrator.

New Zealand Cricket’s Cricket Technology Manager and head of scoring Pete Mayell said Smith’s contribution over the years had been invaluable.

“On behalf of New Zealand Cricket I would like to congratulate Ian for his extraordinary service to cricket scoring, and the game of cricket in general, at club, domestic, and international level – a service which he has delivered with great passion and expertise,” said Mayell.

“To have reached 50 years in his role is one of the biggest achievements this game has seen on or off the field and the fantastic job he has done deserves recognition.

“His incredible knowledge of cricket scoring is an absolute asset, and I would also like to recognise Ian’s willingness to pass that knowledge on to upcoming scorers in the Wellington region, through his role as an NZC Regional Scoring Manager since 2005.”

“NZC thanks Ian for his tremendous contribution over half-a-century, and looks forward to his on-going involvement in the game.”

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