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Clive Lloyd

by Saurabh Sharma May 28, 2020 • 23:15 PM

Perhaps the most famous spectacle-wearer ever to have stalked the covers, Clive Lloyd was one of the great captains of all time. With his hulking six-foot frame Lloyd captained the West Indies between 1974 and 1985 and oversaw their rise to become the dominant Test-playing nation, a position that was only relinquished in the later half of the 1990s. He is one of the most successful Test captains of all time and during his captaincy the side had a run of 27 matches without defeat, which included 11 wins in succession.

Lloyd was a tall, powerful middle-order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler. In his youth he was also a strong cover point fielder. He wore his famous glasses as a result of being poked in the eye with a ruler when he was 12 years old. Since retiring as a player, Lloyd has remained heavily involved in cricket, managing the West Indies in the late 1990s, and coaching and commentating. He was an ICC match referee from 2001–2006.

Clive Lloyd was born on 31st August 1944 in Guyana. Clive Lloyd made his first-class debut as a left-hand middle-order batsman in the then British Guiana in 1963-64 and played for Haslingden in the Lancashire League in 1967. He was offered terms by Warwickshire before signing for Lancashire, making his debut for them in 1968, and winning his cap the following season.

Lloyd made his Test debut, against India at Mumbai (then Bombay) in December 1966, hitting 82 and 78 not out as he put on 102 runs with Sobers to win the match on a pitch helping the spinners. His first home Test also brought his first Test century, 118 against England in Trinidad that helped stave off defeat. Another century followed in the fourth Test of that series to confirm he was at home at the highest level. Touring Australia in 1968-69 he hit another Test century, at Brisbane, in his first Test against them.

 

Lloyd was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1971 for his performances in the previous 12 months, when he'd scored 1600 runs for Lancashire at 47. Often raising his game for the big occasion, he struck 126 against Warwickshire at Lord's to help Lancashire to the Gillette Cup (1972), and hit a wonderful century in the first ever World Cup Final at Lord's in 1975 to take the West Indies to victory.

At his best Lloyd was a flamboyant destroyer of bowling. His heavy bat, powerful shoulders and full swing of the arms could turn the course of any game, once scoring 201 not out in just 120 minutes against Glamorgan - equalling the record for the fastest ever first-class double hundred (1976).

Far from inhibiting his batting, Lloyd's first tour as captain (1974-75) marked a dramatic improvement after a run of low scores. 163 in the First Test at Bangalore (his century came in just 85 balls) was followed by a Test-best 242 not out in the Fifth Test in Mumbai to set up a series-deciding win for the West Indies. Often he was obliged to curb his natural, attacking instincts in order to work his team out of trouble, as on the tour of Australia of 1975-76 where he scored 469 runs at an average of 46.9 as his team were swept aside 5-1 by Thomson and Lillee.

Lloyd’s astute captaincy instilled in his talented side with the professionalism and determination to win consistently and when the conditions suited the opposition. He united the disparate threads of the separate nations that made up the West Indies, and was the force that gelled them as a team rather than a bunch of talented individuals. There was controversy too, though. Slow over rates and intimidation of batsmen with short-pitched bowling were both characteristics of his reign as captain. His side changed the way Test cricket was played too, as other nations copied the formula of fast bowling and intimidation he had come to admire in Australia.

In the 1975 Cricket World Cup Final against Australia, the West Indies were deep in trouble at 50 for 3 when Lloyd strode to the crease. He duly made 102 from 88 balls, the only limited overs international century of his career. With Rohan Kanhai he added 149 for the West Indies to win by 17 runs.

During the Packer crisis Lloyd resigned as captain after disagreeing with the selectors on the eve of a Test against Australia (1977-78), but he returned to lead his team to the 1979 World Cup. On the subsequent tour of Australia he underwent surgery on his knee that improved his mobility and effectiveness. Centuries at Adelaide and Old Trafford followed, and back in the West Indies he found the most consistent form of his career as in nine successive innings his lowest score was 49 (run out). He averaged 76 in the series against England and a phenomenal 172.50 in domestic cricket.

Lloyd was a useful right-arm medium-pacer too, taking 114 first-class wickets in all (including a best of 4-48, Lancashire v Leicestershire at Old Trafford, 1970) with 10 in Tests. He was awarded a testimonial by Lancashire in 1977 (that raised £27,199) made captain of the club in 1981 and brought his children up in the county.

On 22 January 1985, Lloyd was made an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the sport of cricket, particularly in relation to his outstanding and positive influence on the game in Australia.

In 2005, Lloyd offered his patronage to Major League Cricket for their inaugural Interstate Cricket Cup in the United States, to be named the Sir Clive Lloyd Cup. His son, Jason Clive Lloyd, is a goalkeeper for the Guyana national football team. In 2007, Lloyd's authorized biography, Supercat, was published. It was written by the cricket journalist, Simon Lister.

Abhishek De

Lloyd was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1971 for his performances in the previous 12 months, when he'd scored 1600 runs for Lancashire at 47. Often raising his game for the big occasion, he struck 126 against Warwickshire at Lord's to help Lancashire to the Gillette Cup (1972), and hit a wonderful century in the first ever World Cup Final at Lord's in 1975 to take the West Indies to victory.

At his best Lloyd was a flamboyant destroyer of bowling. His heavy bat, powerful shoulders and full swing of the arms could turn the course of any game, once scoring 201 not out in just 120 minutes against Glamorgan - equalling the record for the fastest ever first-class double hundred (1976).

Far from inhibiting his batting, Lloyd's first tour as captain (1974-75) marked a dramatic improvement after a run of low scores. 163 in the First Test at Bangalore (his century came in just 85 balls) was followed by a Test-best 242 not out in the Fifth Test in Mumbai to set up a series-deciding win for the West Indies. Often he was obliged to curb his natural, attacking instincts in order to work his team out of trouble, as on the tour of Australia of 1975-76 where he scored 469 runs at an average of 46.9 as his team were swept aside 5-1 by Thomson and Lillee.

Lloyd’s astute captaincy instilled in his talented side with the professionalism and determination to win consistently and when the conditions suited the opposition. He united the disparate threads of the separate nations that made up the West Indies, and was the force that gelled them as a team rather than a bunch of talented individuals. There was controversy too, though. Slow over rates and intimidation of batsmen with short-pitched bowling were both characteristics of his reign as captain. His side changed the way Test cricket was played too, as other nations copied the formula of fast bowling and intimidation he had come to admire in Australia.

In the 1975 Cricket World Cup Final against Australia, the West Indies were deep in trouble at 50 for 3 when Lloyd strode to the crease. He duly made 102 from 88 balls, the only limited overs international century of his career. With Rohan Kanhai he added 149 for the West Indies to win by 17 runs.

During the Packer crisis Lloyd resigned as captain after disagreeing with the selectors on the eve of a Test against Australia (1977-78), but he returned to lead his team to the 1979 World Cup. On the subsequent tour of Australia he underwent surgery on his knee that improved his mobility and effectiveness. Centuries at Adelaide and Old Trafford followed, and back in the West Indies he found the most consistent form of his career as in nine successive innings his lowest score was 49 (run out). He averaged 76 in the series against England and a phenomenal 172.50 in domestic cricket.

Lloyd was a useful right-arm medium-pacer too, taking 114 first-class wickets in all (including a best of 4-48, Lancashire v Leicestershire at Old Trafford, 1970) with 10 in Tests. He was awarded a testimonial by Lancashire in 1977 (that raised £27,199) made captain of the club in 1981 and brought his children up in the county.

On 22 January 1985, Lloyd was made an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the sport of cricket, particularly in relation to his outstanding and positive influence on the game in Australia.

In 2005, Lloyd offered his patronage to Major League Cricket for their inaugural Interstate Cricket Cup in the United States, to be named the Sir Clive Lloyd Cup. His son, Jason Clive Lloyd, is a goalkeeper for the Guyana national football team. In 2007, Lloyd's authorized biography, Supercat, was published. It was written by the cricket journalist, Simon Lister.

Abhishek De

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