Stroke victim Clay Smith upbeat about making full coaching recovery
Clay Smith says he has no intention of pulling the plug on his cricket coaching career.
The former national coach’s future in the role was thrown in doubt after he suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage — a life-threatening type of stroke caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain — in late September and underwent treatment at Lahey Hospital and Medical Centre in Boston.
But while he emphasised that his health must take top priority under the circumstances, Smith has not ruled out resuming coaching once he recovers from his ordeal.
“I’m not going to rule it out,” he said.
The former St George’s Cup Match and Bermuda captain said he doesn’t anticipate coaching at club level “anytime soon”.
Smith, whose last club stint was with Flatts Victoria in 2019, added: “Not in the next year, definitely.”
However, he is exploring the possibility of taking a group of students from his cricket academy, One Stop Cricket, on a training camp in Canada next summer.
“We have 16 boys that are scheduled to go to Canada next year in the summer and myself, Lorenzo Tucker, Damon Edwards and Kelly Smith are having a meeting to discuss the options of whether or not we are still going to pursue it,” he said.
“A lot of it also revolves around Canada with all this Covid-19, so it’s a lot to be discussed. We will talk about it and make a decision.”
Smith added: “A lot of these kids are probably keen to go and are looking forward to it.
“Some of their parents have already invested money into it, but they do understand the circumstances, so it’s tough decision that has to be made. We’ll make the best decision for myself and everybody else involved.”
Smith, 49, continues to make steady progress in his rehabilitation since returning home last month.
“I have to see the neurologist and then it’s basically four to six weeks of rehab to try and get back some of my muscle,” he said. “Being in bed for a whole month, I’ve lost pretty much all of my muscle, so it’s just about strengthening.
“My legs are really weak right now. Up until [Sunday], I’ve been using a walker to help me to get around.”
Smith is grateful to have survived his ordeal and expressed gratitude for all of the support that he and his family have received.
“I’m just grateful to God because it could’ve been a lot worse,” he said. “I’ve seen some people while I was [at Lahey] worse off than I am, so I’m just very grateful for first of all being alive. I give all the praise to God for that.
“[The Right] Reverend Vernon Lambe actually came down to the hospital. I don’t recall it. But he came down to the hospital, not once but twice.
“He prayed over me and my family, so we are just grateful for everything that everybody has done for us.”