Full name Geoffrey Philip Howarth
Born March 29, 1951, Auckland
Current age 69 years 129 days
Major teams New Zealand, Auckland, Northern Districts, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Relation Brother - HJ Howarth
|Test debut||New Zealand v England at Auckland, Feb 20-25, 1975 scorecard|
|Last Test||West Indies v New Zealand at Kingston, May 4-8, 1985 scorecard|
|ODI debut||New Zealand v England at Dunedin, Mar 8, 1975 scorecard|
|Last ODI||West Indies v New Zealand at Bridgetown, Apr 23, 1985 scorecard|
|First-class span||1971 - 1985/86|
|List A span||1971 - 1985/86|
One of New Zealand's first fully professional cricketers, Geoff Howarth overcame many disappointments to become a successful Test batsman and an outstanding captain. A neat right-hander with some delightful off-side strokes, he was especially severe on the half-volley, which he would drive unerringly. The younger brother of Hedley Howarth, Geoff was also a fine fielder and a useful offspinner. In 1969 he started a long and frustrating apprenticeship at Surrey, and it was not until 1972-73 that he represented a New Zealand provincial side. Useful performances in the Prudential World Cup of 1975 hinted at his quality, but it was not until 1977-78, possibly his last chance, that he revealed his true ability. He scored 122 and 102 against England at Auckland, saving New Zealand on a worsening wicket. Confident, and sure of his place at last, he kept New Zealand afloat in a seething tide of English seamers in 1978, and in 1980 he captained New Zealand to an outstanding series win over West Indies. Further triumphs followed, including the first win on English soil in 52 years, and Howarth's astute captaincy and personable nature had a lot to do with it. His career ended in a sad anticlimax in 1985. By then wearing glasses, he was supposedly Surrey's captain, but was not chosen for any Championship matches. Nor was he reinstated as captain of New Zealand. He was awarded the MBE in 1981, and the OBE in 1984, and for a time in the early 1990s was coach and manager of the national team.
Adapted by Wisden from World Cricketers: A Biographical Dictionary (Oxford, 1996).