Gregory Matthews, also known as Greg Matthews, was a former Australian cricket all-rounder who played for New South Wales and the Australian cricket team in the 1980s and 1990s. He was known for his dashing batsmanship and his growing ability as a spin bowler. He made centuries in critical matches against New Zealand and India also took ten wickets in the Tied Test at Madras and batted well against England in 1986–87.
It was Matthews’ highest Test score of 130 when he came in at 166/4 and both he and Greg Ritchie (202) added 213 for the fifth wicket, a record for Australia vs New Zealand and Matthews’ highest Test score to date. In the course of Matthew’s innings, he had eggs thrown at him. Moreover, Greg Matthews took the opportunity to play in Zimbabwe with New South Wales instead of playing in the 1987 World Cup. In his capacity as an Australian representative at the World All-Rounders Cricket Championship, he picked up a medal.
The Australian Test selectors kept him out of favor for a period of four years, during which he became unpopular. When David Boon, Allan Border, Dean Jones, and Steve Waugh occupied the middle order, his batting average of 36.82 was not enough to keep him in the team alone when he had a 10-wicket haul in the Tied Test.
Despite the fact that he showed a great deal of promise for New South Wales during the 1987–88 season, including a career-high 6–97 with the ball against Victoria. Despite this, when it comes to choosing spin options, the Australian selectors prefer Peter Taylor, Tim May, and Peter Sleep over him.
Therefore, Tim May and Trevor Hohns were picked ahead of him for the 1989 Ashes series in favor of Tim May. Matthews, however, was drafted into the Australian squad for the tour of India due to the injury to Tim May. When Australia won the 1990-91 Ashes series 3–0, Matthews managed to make 353 runs (70.60), his best series with a bat, although he only took 7 wickets (60.28), but he still achieved his best score with the bat. The effort that Matthews put forth on this tour of the West Indies in 1991 was the reason for his selection.
According to Greg Matthews, at the beginning of the 1991–92 series, he considered himself to be one of the best spinners in Australia, with Peter Taylor as the other. This was the first time in the history of the Sheffield Shield that an Australian player scored over 500 runs for the season and took over 50 wickets for the season. As a result of these efforts, he was named the NSW Cricketer of the Year in 1992 and selected for the 13-member Australian squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in 1993.
There was another opportunity for Greg Matthews to prove himself in Sri Lanka and he did an even better job this time. His performance in the First Test at Colombo led to him being named man of the match, he made 6 and 64 runs, took 3/93 and 4/76, and he caught Ranjith Madurasinghe off Shane Warne for a 16 run win for the Australians.
The following Tests were drawn and Australia won the series as he followed this up with 55, 51, 57 and 96 in the two following Tests to draw the series. A total of 329 runs were scored by Matthews in the series, which was the highest in the series. It has been noted that Alan Border stated: “Greg’s role is to bowl and take wickets. He’ll come under the hammer if he doesn’t bowl in Australia and doesn’t get wickets there.
These performances helped to establish Matthews as a talented and valuable player for the Australian cricket team during a time when the team was struggling to find success. However, his career declined in the 1990s as he did not fit in with the rest of the Australian Test team and was eventually dropped in 1993. Since Shane Warne had joined the Australian side, Matthews was no longer needed as a spinner, he would never be able to gain a place in the Australian test team based solely on his batting alone, and he never played a test match again.
The 1993 Ashes tour was a successful tour for Shane Warne and Tim May and made it very difficult for Matthews to regain his place in the Australian team. It was the first time he had been dropped from the NSW one-day team for a decade when he pulled out of the one-day team at the beginning of the 1993-94 season for personal reasons, and he was sacked from the Sheffield Shield team as well. After coming back from injury, he took 4–82 and 7–99 against Tasmania in his first appearance back into the side
Despite this, he continued to play successfully for New South Wales until his retirement in 1997. He played his last summer of first-class cricket in 1997–98. Against New Zealand, Matthews scored 71 runs in his last game for Australia in first-class cricket. After his playing career, Matthews became a television cricket commentator.