Fred Goodall, umpire in stormy WIndies series, dead at 83

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand cricket umpire Fred Goodall, who was at the center of a famously ill-tempered test series between New Zealand and the West Indies in 1980, has died. He was 83.

His death was announced Tuesday by New Zealand Cricket, which did not specify a cause.

Goodall stood in 24 test matches and 15 one-day internationals from 1965 to 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.

Decades later, Goodall admitted in the book “Fire in Babylon” about the West Indies' great era that he and the other New Zealand umpires were out of their depth.

“We weren't used to the quartet of fast bowlers,” Goodall was quoted as saying. "By the time you watched the front foot land on the popping crease, the ball was in the wicketkeeper's gloves.”

During the second innings of the first test, West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding kicked down the stumps after his appeal for New Zealand batsman 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 do so only if Goodall was replaced.

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

On the fourth day, Goodall rejected Croft's appeal for a caught behind against New Zealand allrounder Richard Hadlee. Goodall called Croft's next delivery a no ball, the bowler's 11th of the innings, and Croft deliberately flicked off the bails. Then during the run-up for his next delivery, Croft ran into Goodall before releasing the ball.

Goodall said in a 2006 interview the impact was painful.

“I was shocked,” he said, adding that he “felt totally let down” when the West Indies captain didn't intervene.

Goodall said Croft told him to stick to teaching school “because you don’t know anything about cricket.”

“I said to (Clive Lloyd) I had already taken verbal rubbish and for the first time had been physically struck so do something about it," Goodall said. "Lloyd did not even talk to Croft at the time.

“It was one of the lowest points of my umpiring career and my credibility was exposed to the whole world watching on television.”

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