Former International Cricketer
An outstanding national and international cricketer, Geoff ‘Henry’ Lawson’s career has been described as superb, controversial, brave and colourful.
Coming from the Bush in 1976 to attend University, Geoff Lawson went straight into 1st grade cricket where he won the Richie Benaud Player of the Year Award and the Young Australian Cricketer of the Year Award. Debuting for the NSW Blues in 1977-78, Geoff went on to take a record 395 wickets in 367 Sheffield Shield games and on his retirement was the second highest wicket-taker in Sheffield Shield history.
Making his Test debut in 1980-81, Geoff Lawson completed 46 test matches and 80 one-day internationals. He took 180 wickets (7th on all time Australian list on retirement ) and 893 runs in Test matches. He was named Player of the Series in consecutive years against England (82-83) and Pakistan (83-84) and was Australia’s Best Player of the Pakistan tour of 1982.
Geoff Lawson captained NSW 40 times from 1988-89 until his retirement in 1991-92. His leadership style was widely applauded and brought the crowds back to the SCG and Shield cricket. The style of play the Blues eschewed under Lawson’s leadership is now widely echoed by all teams in Sheffield Shield and the Australian team under Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh’s captaincy. Geoff Lawson is the only captain in the history of Australian 1st class cricket to have declared his team’s first innings closed at 0-0.
In 1990 Geoff Lawson was awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to cricket and in 2002 the Australian Sports Medal. He was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the community through sport. In September 2002, he was made a life member of the New South Wales Cricket Association for his services to the game.
He has a degree in Optometry and is currently studying for an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management. He is chairman of the UNSW Optometry Building Appeal committee and was a director of the NRMA Member Services for 10 years. He was a foundation member of the NSW Sports Federation Board, a former member of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Appeal committee and is on The Advertising Standards Board of Australia and the Sydney Cricket Ground/Sydney Football Stadium Trust.
Since 1998 Geoff Lawson has been on the Australian Universities Sport Alumni Committee and in 2002 was elected as a graduate member of the UNSW Council.
Geoff has commentated for ABC Radio, Channel Nine, Foxsports and C7 commentary teams and is a member of the popular pay TV cricket panel show At The Wicket. He has written weekly columns for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun Herald and feature articles for cricket magazines in Australia, England and India.
Geoff Lawson has the rare mix of success at the top level of international sport, academia and business. His range of speaking extends from cricket and touring anecdotes to the comparisons with elite sport and business, teamwork, leadership and discipline. As a golfer he participates in corporate golf days both on the course and as a speaker in the clubhouse.