Goodwin keen to play for Zimbabwe again in World Cup

Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2002, 1:07 [IST]
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Perth: Western Australia will not stand in the way of star batsman Murray Goodwin if he seeks a release from his contract with the state so he can play with Zimbabwe in next year's World Cup, a senior state official said here Tuesday.Goodwin, 29, has reportedly approached the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) about a return to international cricket with the country of his birth two years after he left that country to return to Perth, where he settled with his family when he was a child.

One year remains of his contract with Western Australia to play in the inter-state Sheffield Shield competition - considered the most demanding domestic competition in the world. "Any employee can retire from a contract, and if Murray decides to retire from Western Australia, there is little we can do to stop it happening," Western Australian cricket manager Rob Langer said on Tuesday.

"I don't think anyone will stand in his way if he decides to leave." Goodwin has reportedly been told he would have to play in Zimbabwe's domestic competition this summer if he wants to be considered for the World Cup squad for the One-day shootout starting early next year in Zimbabwe and South Africa. ZCU managing director Vince Hogg has been quoted as saying Goodwin had approached the Union with a view to playing again, but that there were many issues to be clarified before that could happen. "Murray would not be considered for selection unless he came home and played in our domestic competition," he said.

Goodwin had an outstanding international record in his time with Zimbabwe, scoring three centuries while compiling 1,414 runs in his 19 Tests at an average of 42.85 and making two centuries in 1,818 runs at an average of 27.13 in 71 One-day Internationals. But the right-hander has found the going tougher in his two past seasons with Western Australia, hitting 619 first-class runs at an average of 23.80.

His Limited Overs form with the State has been better, especially in the 2000-01 season when he hammered 534 runs at an average of 76.28, with a competition-high best of 167. Goodwin has recently extended his contract with Sussex, with whom he plays in the England county season.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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