AUSTRALIA: Former Zimbabwe Test cricketer Murray Goodwin responds to lengthy ban

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By The West Australian

PERTH – Decorated former Zimbabwe and WA cricketer Murray Goodwin has described his huge suspension over an incident in last month’s Bunbury and Districts grand final as “disgraceful” and is planning legal action to fight it.

The 50-year-old copped a three-year ban, having to serve 16 weeks with the remainder a suspended sentence, from the BDCA tribunal after he was found guilty of assaulting opposition wicketkeeper Cam Marra in Colts’ upset loss to Marist in Bunbury.

Goodwin said this was the first blemish on his record in a lifetime of playing cricket.

“I’ve played 40 years and over 1500 games of cricket and have never had any blemish whatsoever,” Goodwin said.

“I’m extremely disappointed with the way they’ve gone about this and come to a conclusion, it’s disgraceful.

“I’m at my wit’s end with the way things have been handled and I haven’t had any opportunity to tell my story apart from at the tribunal.”

Goodwin played 19 Test matches for Zimbabwe and scored nearly 24,000 first-class runs for WA and in English County cricket.

He said his poke of the cricket bat towards Marra’s shoulder wasn’t an act of violence.

It happened after Goodwin was dismissed caught and bowled for two by Marist seamer Tyson Italiano in the 22-run defeat.

“Basically when the incident happened, I got out and I was walking in a direct line towards the pavilion and this guy ran straight up to me. I had my head down looking at the ground and was disappointed and he was screaming, he was literally right near me,” Goodwin said.

“He was running towards me and I looked up and there he was so I poked my bat out at him and touched his shoulder.

“It brushed his shoulder. It wasn’t an act of violence, it was a reaction to a guy who ran up to me. He was yelling in my face and then he does a side-step in front of me and I just poked my bat out because it was a reaction.”

Goodwin said he was initially reported for a level one offence on the opening day of the A-Grade two-day grand final, before it was upgraded to level four the following morning which saw him rubbed out of the match. It comes after the BDCA released a statement with the independent tribunal’s findings on Friday, saying the decision was final.

The WACA life member said the suspension could hurt his chances of playing alongside teenage son Ashton, who is likely to move to Perth after next season, after doing the same with elder son Jayden, now a WA-contracted batsman.

“Colts Cricket Club player Murray Goodwin has been suspended by Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association (BDCA) for three years commencing 18th March 2023 of which 16 matches with immediate suspension will be served and the remaining term served as a suspended sentence, after being found guilty of assaulting another player in the 2022-23 1st Grade Final against Marist Cricket Club,” the BDCA JUsaid confirmed to The West Australian in a statement.

“Mr Goodwin was removed from the match prior to day two after umpires deemed him to have committed a Level 4 offence under MCC Law 42.5 during Day 1.

“The incident was referred to a BDCA independent Tribunal, as stipulated in the BDCA Code of Conduct. The Tribunal unanimously found Mr Goodwin guilty of Offence No.17 under the Code (physical assault of another player, umpire, official or spectator), which carries a mandatory three-year suspension.

“Given the unusual nature of the incident, the Tribunal recommended the BDCA Executive Committee review its Code of Conduct to determine the most appropriate penalty in this instance.

“The Committee subsequently used its Constitutional process to forward this case to the BDCA independent Protest and Dispute Board for consideration.”