Ten years at Sussex as a wicketkeeper
Ian Gould, known as ‘Gunner’, was born in Slough on 19 August 1957. He played little cricket at school but was lucky enough to qualify for coaching at Lord’s through the Wrigley Foundation where he was spotted by Middlesex whom he joined in 1972, at the age of 15 and played for the Lord’s team as a wicketkeeper and left-handed batsman between 1975 and 1980. He toured with England Young Cricketers in 1976 and was awarded his county cap in 1978. A poor season and the signing of Paul Downton meant that he needed to look for another county. When Arnold Long retired at the end of the 1980 season, there was a vacancy for a wicketkeeper at Sussex and Gould joined the seaside club for the 1981 season.
Gould played a significant part in the fine Championship year of 1981, winning his county cap, and the winning of the John Player League in 1982. Gould’s first five seasons were sound and consistent both with the bat and behind the stumps, with Gould scoring a century in 1985 against Leicestershire, his first for the club, in a thrilling win by just two wickets at the end of the season. In 1986 the Sussex captain was plagued by injury, and Ian, who had been appointed vice-captain in 1985, stepped in as captain. The season culminated in the winning of the Nat West Trophy against Lancashire in September. At the end of the game, Gould told his audience `Watch out, Soho.’
His international career
The following season saw Gould promoted to county captain, although the role did not seem to suit him as Sussex finished last in the Championship and lost in the 2nd round of the Nat West Trophy. Although he hit a marvellous 111, including five sixes and ten fours, at Hove in September, he resigned at the end of the season as captain. Gould continued to play for Sussex for another three years before he returned to Middlesex as Second XI captain for the 1991 season before taking up a coaching role.
When Gould left Sussex for Middlesex in 1990, he had scored 6,266 runs and dismissed 380 batsmen behind the stumps. He played particularly well in limited overs cricket, opening the batting and scoring quickly. He just failed to make an international impact. He toured with England in Australia in 1982/83, but was unable to edge Bob Taylor from the team. He did though do well in the 1982/83 World Series matches in Australasia and in the 1983 World Cup in England, making 18 appearances for his country. In Melbourne during the 1982/83 series he had his moment of glory when he came on as substitute and took the catch that sent Greg Chappell back to the pavilion for just two runs. England won that match by just three runs.
In 2002 Gould joined the first-class umpires’ panel and was promoted to the international panel in 2006. He stood in three matches of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and stood in his first Test match ( South Africa v Bangladesh) in November 2008. The following year he was promoted to the ICC Elite Panel Umpires and umpired in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups as well as 74 Test matches. His 100th ODI was during the 2015 World Cup and his 50th Test (West Indies v India ) was in Antigua in 2016. He retired from umpiring following the World Cup of 2019 although he continues to stand in U19 tournaments.
Of Gould, John Woodcock once observed “Gould was all gloves, pads, hair, and sunhat, he was a cricketer who had been turned into a wicketkeeper.”