Fred Goodall, umpire in stormy West Indies series, dies

Published October 21, 2021
New Zealand umpire Fred Goodall. — Photo courtesy: Twitter/@BLACKCAPS
New Zealand umpire Fred Goodall. — Photo courtesy: Twitter/@BLACKCAPS

WELLINGTON: New Zealand cricket umpire Fred Goodall, who was at the centre of a famously ill-tempered Test series between New Zealand and the West Indies in 1980, has died at the age of 83.

Goodall’s death was announced on Tuesday by New Zealand Cricket, which did not specify a cause. He stood in 24 Tests and 15 One-day Internationals between 1965 and 1988.

He is best remembered in cricket for his part in the contentious second Test at Lancaster Park, Christchurch in February 1980, when he was barged by West Indies fast bowler Colin Croft. While the incident appeared deliberate, Croft has always maintained it was accidental.

The West Indies, under captain Clive Lloyd, were superstars of world cricket and arrived in New Zealand for Three tests and a One-day International after achieving their first-ever Test series win in Australia.

New Zealand won the ODI and the first Test, both by one wicket. Goodall stood in both matches and the West Indies players believed they received a number of unfair decisions.

During the second innings of the first Test, West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding kicked down the stumps after his appeal for New Zealand batter John Parker’s dismissal was refused.

The West Indies anger grew during the second Test when they felt more strongly that too many umpiring decisions had gone against them. After tea on the third day, the touring team refused to leave its dressing room, saying it would only do so if Goodall was replaced.

New Zealand captain Geoff Howarth eventually convinced the tourists to return. But at the end of the day’s play, the West Indies players began packing their bags, apparently intending to return home. Only the intervention of the West Indies Cricket Board prevented them from doing so.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2021

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