Full name Geoffrey Merton Griffin
Born June 12, 1939, Greytown, Natal
Died November 16, 2006, Durban, Natal (aged 67 years 157 days)
Major teams Rhodesia, South Africa, Natal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Education Durban High School
|Test debut||England v South Africa at Birmingham, Jun 9-14, 1960 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v South Africa at Lord's, Jun 23-27, 1960 scorecard|
|First-class span||1957/58 - 1962/63|
Geoff Griffin was handicapped by an accident when a schoolboy which left him unable to fully straighten his right arm, and he was further burdened by his emergence at a time when throwing was cricket's major issue. Tall, blond and fast, he headed the national averages in his second season with 35 wickets at 12.23 and was an almost automatic choice for the 1960 tour of England despite murmurings regarding his action. The wheels came off at Lord's when he was no-balled eight times in the match against MCC, and then in the county matches at Nottingham and Southampton. At
Lord's in his second Test he became the first South African to take a hat-trick in Tests and the first man to do so on the ground - but he was no-balled eleven times for throwing. To add insult to injury, he was again no-balled in an exhibition game staged as the Test ended early and had to complete his over underarm. He was finished as a bowler, although he remained with the squad and played as a batsman. He returned home and moved from Natal to Rhodesia, but within two years - and still only 23 years old - his career was over after he was repeatedly no-balled against North-Eastern Transvaal at Salisbury.
A superb allround sportsman, Griffin played hockey for Rhodesia as well as holding Natal titles for high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault. He also played U-19 rugby for Natal. Griffin died of a heart attack in November 2006 aged 67.
Thirty years ago England were battered, bruised, broken and blackwashed in the Caribbean