WORLD CLASS UNDER THE RADAR

BONUS HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHT

On a recent trip to Bunbury in Western Australia to catch up with my family, I had the luck to be watching my grandson playing a senior men’s club cricket match for Leschenault Cricket Club against Colts.

In that Colts side was a 49 year-old right handed batsman who looked all class making an outstanding half century.

That man was former Zimbabwe test batsman Murray Goodwin and geez what an amazing first-class and test career he had.

I caught up with Murray as he reminisced over a career which ranks him right up with the best in the game.

Murray Goodwin isn’t often mentioned when the world’s finest test cricket players are being discussed but he should be because he was right up there with the best, albeit in a far too brief test career.

Goodwin played for Zimbabwe for just two years, 1998-2000 but during that short spell and the 19 tests he played, averaged a very respectable 42.8 at a time when the world’s two most prolific test wicket-takers ever, Muttiah Muralitharan and the late great Shane Warne were in their prime.

ANOTHER BIG SCORE- Murray Goodwin acknowledging applause for yet another county century

Goodwin showed his class in his test debut against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka up against Muralitharan, failing in the first innings but making a classy 70 runs in the second.

His test career ended on a brilliant note in England against England where he scored an unbeaten 148, not  far shy of his best test score, 166 not out at Bulawayo against a Pakistan attack which included Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar.

All up in test cricket he hit three tons and eight half centuries including a 91 against a Shane Warne led Australian attack.

The classy right-hander, strong on the back foot, a great sweeper and very good square of the wicket both sides, also played 71 one-day internationals and holds the highest fifth wicket partnership for Zimbabwe of 186 with Grant Flower. His top score in ODIs was an unbeaten 112 v the West Indies at Chester-le-Street in England.

A prolific run scorer in whatever competition or country he played in

Born in Zimbabwe, Goodwin moved with his family to Perth when he was 13 years-old and it was on the hard bouncy wickets in Perth he honed his skills.

He was a prolific run scorer in whatever competition or country he played in and as well as playing for Western Australia from 1994-2007, his most prolific first-class scores were in English County cricket for Sussex. 

He moved to Sussex initially on a temporary contract while Australian Michael Bevan was playing ODIs for his country. Goodwin was so successful he very soon gained a full-time contract, twice breaking the Sussex run scoring record with an unbeaten 335 v Leicestershire then 344 not out against Somerset, Sussex going on to win their first County Championship title in their 164 year history. He also played for Glamorgan in 2013-14.

Twice he also scored a double century and century in the same match for Sussex and over-all played a massive 320 first-class matches scoring over 26,000 runs.

Goodwin said he’s disappointed he didn’t play more test cricket and reckons he became an even better player when he’d finished playing tests. He stopped playing for Zimbabwe due to issues regarding player payments.

FATHER AND SON TRIUMPHANT TOGETHER Murray and his son Jayden celebrate their grand final win together for Colts Jayden has since made his debut for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield

At 49 years of age, class is still permanent with this outstanding player, who still enjoys the challenge of playing senior club cricket in Bunbury, often on a slower pitches and outfields which brings out the skills in a batsman.

Goodwin’s son Jayden Goodwin looks like following in his dad’s footsteps and has already played Sheffield Shield cricket for Western Australia.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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