Geoff Griffin: The Man Who Recorded the first-ever hat-trick in a Test at Lords and for South Africa in 1960
After more no-balls decisions, there was a sensation in the closing overs when Geoff Griffin performed his first-ever hat trick at the home of the cricket Lords. It was South Africa’s first hat-trick and the first at Lord’s in a Test. And it came after young Geoff Griffin had been no-balled six more times for throwing, making 11 times in the match. First, he got Mike Smith caught behind the wicket at 99 with the last ball of his 28th over.
One, two With the first ball of his next over (after Peter Walker had twice hit Goddard for six), he knocked back Walker’s off stump. With the second ball, he bowled Trueman‘s middle stump. Geoff Griffin did more; he may have precipitated the biggest cricket crisis since Harold Larwood and Douglas Jardine after the bodyline series. I learned yesterday that Griffin was to have been sent home after this match. That is the primary reason. why he was given preference over Neil Adcock with the second new ball yesterday.
This move was designed to blast wide open the controversial Chuck War. I have maintained throughout the tour that Griffin’s permanently bent arm has not infringed on the newly defined throwing law. The law states that to be a throw, the arm must be straightened immediately before delivery. But I maintain that the slight kink in Geoff Griffin’s arm due to a riding accident as a boy gives a false impression. Within the law, certainly, there is a kink in his action, but I maintain this is within the present law.
Griffin has done the hat-trick at Lord’s, and not one delivery was called. The “summit” conference centering on throwing takes place on July 14. I maintain that the Griffin controversy has been magnified out of all proportion to pave the way for the Imperial Cricket Conference, which will attempt to bar Australian match-winning demon bowlers Ian Meckiff and Gordon Rorke from coming next season.
Gentlemen of the M.C.C. and South Africa, let us make a quick decision on Griffin and get on with the game. The last South African hat-trick in England was against Sussex. at Hove in 1951. The bowler was Cuan McCarthy, a quick man with suspect action. There have been only 15 hat-tricks in Test cricket. Hat trick Griffin was to be sent home, whose passage was to be booked back home to South Africa, did a hat trick at Lords in three balls and earned a reprieve. `