Graeme Smith's first-class career effectively over

Captain Graeme Smith will not be returning to Surrey next season, the club have announced.

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith's first-class career has effectively come to an end.

Smith, who retired from international cricket earlier this year on the back of a series defeat at the hands of the Australians, later signed a three-year contract to play county cricket for Surrey.

He played just five matches, though, before a knee injury required surgery. Doctors have since advised Smith will not be able to "fulfill the day-to-day duties of a full county season."

The left-handed Smith boasted a particularly promising start to the season, striking a patient half-ton in a key draw against Essex at The Oval in London before orchestrating a telling century in a big win over Gloucestershire at the same venue.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of captaining Surrey but due to my injuries in 2013 and 2014 I have been unable to fulfill my role in achieving the goals that both Surrey and I set out to accomplish when I first arrived," Smith told the county's official website.

"I would like to thank Surrey for the way they have looked after me. They have made me feel very welcome and it is very apparent that the current cricket management and personnel in the dressing room are already well on their way to achieving these goals."

The 33-year-old Smith will likely feature in the limited-overs teams of the Cape Town-based Cobras franchise later this year, but probably won't be selected for the four-day competition.