John Douglas Claude Goddard
April 21, 1919, Fontabelle, St Michael, Barbados
August 26, 1987, Paddington, London, England, (aged 68y 127d)
Left hand Bat
Right arm Medium, Right arm Offbreak
GODDARD, JOHN DOUGLAS CLAUDE, OBE, died in hospital in London on August 26, 1987, aged 68. He had collapsed in his hotel while a guest of MCC at the Bicentenary match at Lord's. Goddard captained West Indies in 22 of his Tests, most notably in England in 1950 when, after losing the first Test, struck back to win the next three and their first series in England. In 1948-49, had led West Indies to a 1-0 victory in India, where he won the toss in all five Tests, only the fourth captain so blessed by fortune. These two tours saw him popular with his players and in charge of happy sides, but this unhappily was not so in Australia in 1951-52. Riven by inter-island rivalries, a disillusioned team was conclusively beaten 4-1. Always a man who put the interests of his team ahead of his own, he stood down for the final Test, feeling that his form was a handicap; West Indies lost again and he returned to lead the side against New Zealand. Although when he went back to New Zealand in 1955-56, it was as player-manager with Atkinson as captain, Goddard was preferred as captain to take the West Indians to England in 1957. This time they lost the series 3-0; had it not been for his 40-minute 0 not out at Edgbaston and his 61 in 3 hours 40 minutes at Trent Bridge, this would surely have been 5-0.
Goddard was a fine allround cricketer: left-hand bat, right-arm medium in-swing bowler or offspinner, and an excellent fielder, especially close to the bat. He first played for Barbados in 1936-37 when he was seventeen, and in 1943-44 he scored a career-best 218 not out when he and Worrell shared an unbroken stand of 502 for the fourth wicket against Trinidad at Bridgetown. He played in all four Tests against England in 1947-48 and as captain at Georgetown and Kingston led West Indies to their two victories in the series. At Georgetown, where England in the first innings were dismissed for 111 on a drying pitch, he took 5 for 31 -his best Test figures - bowling medium-pace off-breaks to a leg-trap. Its both these Tests he opened the batting, but really his place was further down the order.
His highest score in Tests was 83 not out against New Zealand at Christchurch 1955-56, and in all Tests he scored 859 runs with an average of 30.67; his wickets cost 31.81 runs. He played his last first-class game in 1957-58, having scored 3,769 runs, average 33.35, hit five hundreds, and taken 146 wickets at 26.33.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding