Former West Indian Test wicket keeper David Murray was appointed Malahide CC coach for the 1986 season. He began his duties in early June having arrived from Denmark where he was also coaching.
Unfortunately he was not eligible to play for the Village in local competitions as the Leinster Cricket Union had imposed a ban on overseas professionals. He could have turned out for Malahide in the All Ireland Schweppes Cup where there was no such ban. However, Malahide were knocked out of the All Ireland by Sion Mills in the second round having been beaten 4-3 in a bowl out and so Murray never got the chance to play competitively during his time in Ireland. He was selected to play for the Leprechauns CC against the Leinster Schools in a Leps team that included Paul Farrell, captain, John Hoey, Peter O’Reilly and David Streek.
His stay in Malahide was short lived. His situation was not helped by the fact that the rules prevented him from playing. He was 36 years of age and still close to his prime. However, his behaviour had become erratic and his contract was terminated by mutual consent after less than two months.
Murray played 19 Tests and 10 One Day Internationals for the West Indies between 1973-1982 as the W Indies began their world domination of cricket. Murray was understudy keeper to Deryck Murray (no relation) for much of the time.
David Murray made his Test Debut in 1978 at the MCG, Australia. He broke the record for most catches in a Test when taking nine in the first Test during the 1981/82 tour of Australia. He scored three half centuries with a top score of 84 v India in Bombay during his Test career.
Two of the greatest bowlers of all time Michael Holding and Malcom Marshall both said that David Murray was the best wicket keeper that they had ever played with.
However, his career and life spiralled downwards following his decision to take part in the rebel tour of Apartheid South Africa in 1983 with a West Indies team that included Lawrence Rowe, Alvin Kallicharan, Sylvester Clarke, Collis King and Ezra Moseley.
On his return to his native Barbados he was ostracised. Matters were complicated by his ongoing substance abuse. According to the Tribute on the cricinfo website Murray remained “a self-imposed outcast to the end”.
David Murray was the son of West Indies batting great Sir Everton Weekes. Murray’s son Ricky Hoyte was also a fine wicket keeper who starred for Barbados in the 1990’s and was close to a West Indian call up.
David Murray passed away in Barbados age 72.
May he rest in peace.