Geoffrey Howard (cricketer)

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Geoffrey Howard

Cecil Geoffrey Howard (14 February 1909 – 8 November 2002) was an English cricketer and cricket administrator.

Geoffrey Howard was born in Hampstead Garden Suburb, a grandson of Sir Ebenezer Howard, a founder of the Garden City Movement, who taught him a respect for people and a love for cricket. He was educated at the University College School.He is also related to the dancer and TV personality Una Stubbs.[1]

As a right-handed batsman and a wicket-keeper, he represented Middlesex in three first-class matches in 1930, whilst on annual leave from the bank for which he worked. He played for the Private Banks XI in 1926-36 and for the RAF during the Second World War, when he once made a century before lunch.[2]

He earned himself a place in cricket history as an enlightened administrator and a popular tour manager. He was Secretary of Lancashire (1949–1965) and Surrey (1965–1975) and managed three MCC touring teams in Australia and the Indian sub-continent. The 1954-55 MCC tour of Australia was the focal point of his rich and varied life, with England winning a series in Australia for the first time since Bodyline in 1932-33. The MCC 'A' tour of Pakistan in 1955-56 was marred by an incident, when several of the England cricketers doused the umpire Idris Baig with a bucket of water and as a result a major controversy broke out.[3] The background included Baig telling the tour manager Howard: “You must understand … that a lot of the crowd come to watch me umpire” and that same day reportedly giving three dubious LBWs against England, and turning down a certain one of their own. It took a sincere apology by MCC president, Field Marshal Alexander of Tunis to his former military colleague and counterpart at the Pakistani board, Iskander Mirza, to prevent the tour being called off.[4][3]

He stayed active in retirement and was President of Surrey in 1989. He collaborated with the author Stephen Chalke on the award winning At the Heart of English Cricket in 2001, which won the Cricket Society Jubilee Prize in 2002. He died in Minchinhampton, aged 93.


  1. ^ "Una Stubbs". Who Do You Think You Are?. Series 10. Episode 1. 2013-07-24. BBC Television. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  2. ^ p25, E.W. Murphy, Official Souvenir Programme, Australian Tour of the M.C.C. Team, 1954-55, New South Wales Cricket Association, 1954
  3. ^ a b Williamson, Martin (November 5, 2005). "The umpire and bucket controversy". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  4. ^ Bull, Andy (July 12, 2016). "From ‘torturing’ an umpire to spot-fixing, England v Pakistan: a difficult rivalry". The Guardian. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 

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