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Saturday, 6 July, 2002, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Murray Goodwin Q&A
Thrasy Petropoulos

After playing 19 Tests for Zimbabwe Murray Goodwin retired from international cricket in 2000 and now plays domestically for Western Australia and Sussex, where he is in his second season.

Q. You have been playing in Australia as an Australian for the last couple of years, and yet you played Test cricket for Zimbabwe. What nationality do you consider yourself?

Murray Goodwin
Goodwin is in his second year at Hove
A. That's an interesting one. At the moment I suppose I am an Australian. I've got Australian citizenship and I no longer have a Zimbabwean passport.

But I still consider myself to be Zimbabwean. I have a lot of close friends in that side. You always want your mates to do well, especially when they are a minority.

Q. In 19 Tests you scored 1,414 runs at 42, including three centuries. Do you ever regret retiring from international cricket?

A. I definitely would have liked to be tested more. It's nice to know that you have done well against good bowlers and good teams but the true test is always over a longer period.

Then again, before joining Zimbabwe I was playing first-class cricket for Western Australia, not really getting a chance up the order.

To try and get into the Australia side from there would have been a hell of an ask.

When I heard that Dave Houghton wanted to retire and coach and was approached by Zimbabwe it was not a difficult decision to make.

I had gone to school with a lot of these guys, having only left Zimbabwe at 13. Travelling the world with some of your closest friends is not a bad way to make a living.

Q. Even though Zimbabwe made the Super Six for the 2000 World Cup, they came across as an unhappy team, with you and Neil Johnson retiring soon after. Is that a fair interpretation?

A. Even before the World Cup there wasn't a good feeling between the administrators and the team. It's better now but still they are still having a lot of trouble.

It was sad that it took a couple of guys to retire before they took note
Goodwin on Zimbabwe
The political side of things isn't great so the players have a lot to deal with, not only with the country but with the administrators in that regard too.

Things are improving but it was sad that it took a couple of guys to leave or retire before they took note.

They now have a different guy at the helm in Vince Hogg, who is closer to the players than his predecessor, David Ellman-Brown.

David was very good in his job in handling the money side of things but his people management skills were very ordinary which is what turned guys against the administrators.

Q. And yet things haven't been easy for you since returning to Western Australia. You were dropped over the winter, were you not?

A. I started off all right but was dropped averaging 40 which was a bit harsh.

The selectors reckoned that I was not scoring enough runs in club cricket so I was a bit down to say the least.

Goodwin and Australia's Ricky Ponting
Goodwin retired early from international cricket
I didn't agree with it because I thought I was doing a job out in the middle and none of the players could believe it but it was the selectors' call.

I went back to club cricket, made a couple of hundreds and they put me back in for the last game. But I did not think that it was justified.

The cricket is harder over there but I would like to think that if someone was performing, averaging 40, they wouldn't be dropped anywhere in the world.

I suppose it was a case of wrong place, wrong time.

Q. And how have you found playing for Sussex in the first division, having been promoted last year?

A. There is a difference. In the first division you have to be switched on for longer periods.

There is a bit more depth in the teams. They can get away from you in the space of 30 minutes whereas in the second division they don't really nail you if you are off the boil for an hour or so.

See also:

25 Jun 02 | Northamptonshire
07 Jul 02 | Cricket
17 Jun 02 | Worcestershire
10 Jun 02 | Warwickshire
31 May 02 | Counties
27 May 02 | Counties
20 May 02 | Cricket
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