Murray in 1967
|Full name||Bruce Alexander Grenfell Murray|
|Born||18 September 1940|
Johnsonville, New Zealand
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Test debut (cap 114)||15 February 1968 v India|
|Last Test||25 February 1971 v England|
|Domestic team information|
Bruce Alexander Grenfell Murray (born 18 September 1940) is a former Test cricketer for New Zealand who played 13 Tests as a right-handed opening batsman between 1968 and 1971. He was a school principal in the Wellington area from 1981 to 2002, and the author of several geography textbooks. Since his retirement from teaching he has been a cricket administrator in Wellington and a historian.
Born in Johnsonville, a northern suburb of Wellington, Bruce Murray attended Hutt Valley High School, then went to Victoria University studying Geography. He completed an MA in Geography at Canterbury University. His masters thesis was on the geography of Tawa.
Murray played his first first-class match at the age of 18 for Wellington against Central Districts at Wellington in 1958-59, scoring 49 in the first innings. After several seasons in the Plunket Shield, he was selected for New Zealand's non-Test tour of Australia in 1967-68, where he scored 351 runs at an average of 43.87.
His highest first-class innings came in 1968-69 when he scored 213 out of a total of 392 for 5 declared for Wellington against Otago in Dunedin. He was the leading scorer in the Plunket Shield in 1969-70, and had the highest average: in four matches he made 430 runs at an average of 61.42, with five fifties.
Murray made his Test debut in early 1968 against India in Dunedin, scoring 17 and 54. In the first innings of the Second Test in Christchurch he scored 74, putting on 126 for the first wicket with Graham Dowling to set New Zealand on the path to its first Test victory over India; he also took four catches in the match.
He toured England in 1969 and India and Pakistan in 1969-70. His highest Test score, 90, and another four catches, helped New Zealand to its first Test victory over Pakistan in a low-scoring match in Lahore in 1969-70; the day after the Test he scored 157 in three and a half hours for the New Zealanders against the BCCP President's XI in Rawalpindi.
Against the Australians in 1969-70, on a difficult pitch in the second unofficial Test at Lancaster Park, he scored a century, taking only 37 minutes over his second fifty. He so dominated the batting that, when he was dismissed for 110, New Zealand's score was only 144 for four.
He is one of just three players to have taken a Test wicket without conceding a run, giving him a career bowling average of 0.00. In the Third Test in Wellington in 1968 he bowled 6 balls and dismissed the Indian opener Syed Abid Ali.
Along with his contemporaries in the New Zealand team Bryan Yuile and Vic Pollard he would not play cricket on Sundays for religious reasons. The later careers of the three were therefore curtailed by the widespread introduction of Sunday play in the early 1970s. In 1967 he wrote a pamphlet, The Christian and Sport.
After the tour of England, India and Pakistan, which took five months from June to November 1969, Murray was glad to get back to his teaching job. He later reflected:
I saw what professional cricket could do to you as a person. You became much more self-centred, much more inward-looking, much too concerned about the wrong parts of the game, watching the averages. Not so team-oriented. I found the notion of professional sport to be a contradiction in terms. It isn't sport. It hardens people, makes them selfish and narrows their view of the world.
After his retirement from cricket, Murray continued his teaching career, teaching at Tawa College near Wellington, then at Naenae College in Lower Hutt, where he became principal in 1981, before becoming principal at Tawa College from 1989 to 2002. In June 2002 he was awarded the Queen's Service Order for public service.
He is also a writer. In the 1970s and 1980s he wrote or co-wrote a number of geography textbooks. Since his retirement he has written several books about the Tawa district.
He has lived in Tawa since 1964. He and his wife Shona have three daughters and a son. His granddaughter Amelia Kerr has played international cricket for New Zealand, and appeared at the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup.
He served as President of Cricket Wellington from 2004 to 2008. Beginning with the 2008-09 season, the Bruce Murray Medal has been awarded annually for sportsmanship in Wellington club cricket.