Smith became regular captain of the Melbourne Storm in 2008. Smith captained the Maroons for the entire 2008 State of Origin series due to the absence of regular captain Darren Lockyer. The Maroons won the series with him as the skipper, despite losing the first match 18–10. In August 2008, Smith was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, and in October 2008 he was selected in the final 24-man Australia squad. Cameron was suspended for two weeks in the 2008 finals series after a grapple tackle on Brisbane's Sam Thaiday. The suspension would have only been one week had he not have carried over points from a previous grapple tackle in round 1 of the year's competition. This meant he was suspended for Melbourne's 2008 grand final. Melbourne Storm CEO Brian Waldron and coach Craig Bellamy claimed the judiciary had made their minds up before Cameron's case was heard. The judiciary panel members then threatened to sue the club if the comments were not retracted. Cameron signed a four-year extension to his contract in December 2008, resulting in him being a contracted player through to the end of at least the 2012 season. His contract is rumoured to be partly funded by third party sponsors who do not contribute to the standard salary cap. He became the Melbourne Storm's most experienced playing player due to the retirement of Matt Geyer at the end of 2008. He became the last current Storm player in the squad who played under Mark Murray as well as the only one to have played in a season when the Storm did not make the finals due to their performance (the Storm finished 10th in 2002, the year Smith made his debut).