CLIVE HUBERT LLOYD: He was His Majesty on the cricket field | Daily News

CLIVE HUBERT LLOYD: He was His Majesty on the cricket field

 LLOYD’S most treasured and glorious moments in the game came when he led the mighty Windies to win the inaugural World Cup in England in 1975 and then again in 1979. He would have made it three in three in 1983, had not injury struck and restricted his natural movements and made batting a nightmare for him.
LLOYD’S most treasured and glorious moments in the game came when he led the mighty Windies to win the inaugural World Cup in England in 1975 and then again in 1979. He would have made it three in three in 1983, had not injury struck and restricted his n

LLOYD from the time he held a bat in the then British Guyana, showed great promise as a middle order mauler of bowlers. The gangling batsman carried muscle as all West Indians do and carried the power in his frame to send the ball screeching to the boundary or over it at will.

Sri Lankan cricket fans had the good fortune to watch LLOYD’S magic with the bat when he toured here with Sir Garfield Sobers’ team and belted a big hundred, hitting the ball to the Oval roof a couple times.

Damaging his eyes

It is said that as a youngster of 12 years in school he had attempted to break up a fight with two of his mates and had the misfortune of damaging his eyes which necessitated him wearing specs.

LLOYD made his debut against India in Bombay and it was ‘Bombay meri hi’ as he stamped his class by making twin half centuries hitting 82 and an unbeaten 78 being involved in a stand of 102 with Sobers which stand contributed in a victory for the Windies.

He added to his growing stature when playing his first home Test he opened his wide shoulders to smack the England bowlers all over the Trinidad Oval in making 118 and helping his side play out a draw.

Another hundred

LLOYD plundered another hundred in the Fourth Test. After these two hundreds on his maiden tour of Australia in 1968/69 and in the First Test hit another ton in Brisbane.

After his consistent scores and with his place cemented in the side, it was not long when the country’s captaincy was thrust on him in 1974/’75 when the great Sobers quit the job. He realized the responsibility that was thrust on him and it did not go to drop his run scoring spree.

LLOYD’S most treasured and glorious moments in the game came when he led the mighty Windies to win the inaugural World Cup in England in 1975 and then again in 1979. He would have made it three in three in 1983, had not injury struck and restricted his natural movements and made batting a nightmare for him.

Majestic century

He is best remembered for the majestic 102 in the inaugural Prudential World Cup in England against Australia. Walking in when is side was not in safe position he let his bat maul the Aussie attack that that the feared Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Gary Gilmour. His dominance was such that he hit 12 fours and 2 sixes in just 95 balls. It greatly contributed to his side winning the Cup. WEST INDIES 291 FOR 8 – AUSTRALIA 274.

I was at the holy land of cricket Lord’s Cricket Ground on that beautiful summer’s day covering the World Cup 1983 for the then ‘DAILY MIRROR’ and ‘TIMES’ and it was memorable soaking in the action and describing the action unwinding out in the middle.

To recap West Indies and India entered the final not many wagered on India other than their rabid supporters. But that the Indians skillfully led by that dynamic all rounder Kapil Dev turned the form book upside down was unbelievable.

Strong batting line up

India striking first made 183 which did not seem a formidable score considering that the Windies packed a strong batting line up with the daring Vivian Richards in blazing form. Richards was going like a bomb making 24 with five fours when tragedy struck and with it the mighty batting line up crumbled like a pack of cards.

Richards seemed to be toying with the Indian bowling and motoring like on the M9. He mistimed a pull and the ball lobbed high and Dev fielding at mid on covered a good distance to gobble a great catch and what happened is history now. With that defeat went LLOYD’S dream of carrying away the World Cup outright. The poignant scenes that followed India’s epic victory is still vivid in my memory.

The tour of Australia in 1975/76 toughened up his approach and determination as captain after his team took a mauling from the Aussie speed guns Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson who tormented the Windies batsmen who succumbed to a five-one defeat.

Speed demons

It was this tour that prompted him to let loose his speed demons – Andy Roberst, Malcom Marshall, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Colin Croft to breathe fire and intimidate opposing batsmen with short pitched bowling. To support these tear away pacemen he had batsmen in Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Viv Richards who could wade into any attack and pile up the runs.

As captain and with a dream team he steam rolled all other teams and the Windies reigned as kings of the willow for a long time. LLOYD’S record as captain speaks for itself. He had a run of 26 Test without defeat and 11 successive victories. He was also capped 100 times for the Windies.

It must be recalled that LLOYD was a promising champion athlete in school and had he continued could dominated the athletic world before his one and only countryman Usain Bolt did.

Glittering career

After a glittering career as a Captain Marvel, destructive batsman and a magnificent fielder, he quit the game in a blaze of glory and his services were not lot to the game as the ICC needed his expertise as a Match Referee which post he adorned to the best of of his ability and satisfaction to all teams till he said enough is enough.

Incidentally it must be recalled that Clive Lloyd was the Match Referee in the World Cup semi-final between India and Sri Lanka with Sri Lanka in a winning position when the Indian supporters disgusted and unable to watch their batting crumbling got restive and flung objects on the field.

With the controlling of the boisterous Indian spectators unable to be disciplined and quelled into allowing play to proceed had no other alternative but to award the game to Sri Lanka which put them into the final having to face Australia and win the title for the first time.

Born on August 31

CLIVE HUBERT LLOYD was born on August 31,1944 in Georgetown, British Guyana. He had nicknames such as – 'Big C, and 'Super Cat'. He made his Test debut on vs Indian in India and played his last Test in December, 1984 vs Australia. He made his ODI debut on Sept 5, 1973 vs England and played his last ODI in March 6,1985 against Pakistan.

CAREER STATISTICS – TESTS -110 – RUNS – 7,515 – HUNDREDS 19 – FIFTIES – 39 –TOP SCORE 242 NOT OUT. ODIS – 87 – RUNS 1,977 – HUNDREDS 1 – FIFTIES – 11 – TOP SCORE 102. FIRST CLASS – MATCHES 490 – RUNS 31,232 – HUNDREDS 79 – FIFTIES 172 – TOP SCORE 242 NOT OUT.

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