Bunbury’s Jayden Goodwin returns to WACA ranks after COVID cruels mission

Headshot of Jackson Barrett
Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Jayden Goodwin will return to the WACA ranks this season.
Camera IconJayden Goodwin will return to the WACA ranks this season. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Bunbury’s Jayden Goodwin has opened up for the first time on his decision to return to cricket this season, leaving behind the second year of his Mormon mission.

Goodwin put his WACA rookie contract on hold 12 months ago for what was meant to be a two-year hiatus, but has returned to the State program prematurely, after the COVID-19 crisis meant he was not able to serve his mission in Zimbabwe, his father’s home country.

In an interview with cricket.com.au, Goodwin said being grounded in Perth meant the experience was not quite what he hoped it would be.

“COVID was stuffing it up, it wasn’t really fulfilling all the things I wanted it to,” he said.

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“I knew I’d come back to cricket, and it wasn’t working out the way I’d wanted it to.

“I had uncles that did the mission, they go away and serve God and help others, and just give to the community.

“I just really wanted to do that, I saw it as a great blessing.”

Jayden and Murray Goodwin at Colts Cricket Club in Bunbury
Camera IconJayden and Murray Goodwin at Colts Cricket Club in Bunbury Credit: Teneille Watson

The 19-year-old said giving up his WACA contract, having held it for just one season, was no easy call.

“When I got the contract, because it was my dream job, it was the hardest decision I ever had to make,” Goodwin said. “It’s a weird thing to think about, to give up everything — and having a contract was everything to me — to go and do something to show your love for God and teach others about Christ.

“It’s not flash, living on the bare minimum.

“You don’t have TV, no technology, no social media, all the usual things you could do on your phone you couldn’t because they give you a phone that’s restricted so you don’t get distracted.”

Goodwin’s father Murray, who played 90 internationals for Zimbabwe and first-class cricket for Western Australia, Sussex and Glamorgan, said he was supportive of his son’s decision initially and was confident he would find his way back into the squad.

“I started playing professionally at 21, and after his two years he’d still be 20,” he said.

“I thought if he did well enough in grade cricket, he could still make the WA side at 21.”

The stylish left-handed opening batsman will continue to follow in Murray’s footsteps when he returns to Premier Cricket for Subiaco-Floreat this season.

He will also join existing rookie Sam Fanning, Scarborough sensation Cooper Connolly and Bryce Jackson as the association’s rookies.

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