Clive Hubert Lloyd is now Sir Clive, an honor that should have been bestowed upon him by English royalty many years ago.
Lloyd is a Lancashire legend during his county stints from 1968 to 1986 and made no small contribution to popularizing cricket in the 1970s and 1980s.
If Red Rose County and Guyana (his place of birth) are dear to him, so is the city of Mumbai. It was here that he made his encouraging Test debut in 1966; He scored an unbeaten 82 and 78 in the first Test of the three-match series.
He was prepared to be confined to the reserve bench for that Test, but Seymour Nurse failed a fitness test for his injured finger and Lloyd was told he would play half an hour before the start of the Test.
He went to bat with a scoreboard of 82-3 and struggled a bit against BS Chandrasekhar, who came in the first change after ML Jayasimha and Ajit Wadekar opened the bowling for India. Once he caught his eye, he swayed and relaxed, with Conrad Hunt putting on 110.
In the second innings, on December 18, 1966, he was asked by his captain to make a move on his way to a winning target of 192, as Sobers wanted to reach Mahalaxmi Race Course by 3 pm. Both the captain and the rookie remained unbeaten to see the visiting team with six wickets to spare.
In Living for Cricket, Lloyd apologized to readers of his book for being unable to tell whether Sobers, tipped off by his English jockey friend Josh Gifford, won anything at the race course that afternoon. But this newspaper’s horse racing correspondent Prakash Gosavi told me that a three-year-old filly named River Heaven (E Aldin Astride) won the Indian 1000 Guineas Grade I race.
West Indies won the series 2–0 and Lloyd next arrived on Mumbai soil for the 1974–75 series. By then, the Wankhede Stadium was ready to host its first Test and Lloyd made it a memorable one with an unbeaten 242 in the first innings. A young man jumped over a fence to congratulate Lloyd as he reached his double century and was followed by a riot as a policeman beat up the intruder. “in front of everyone” [police] Lloyd, with vengeance on the poor boy, used his long bamboo sticks, sticks and incited the crowd to such an extent that the tea led to a full-scale riot, which looked like a battlefield, ”Lloyd wrote.
According to reports, the Indians could have dismissed him four times, and former captain Ajit Wadekar, who made his Test debut with Lloyd in 1966, described the fielding as “ragged” in Sportsweek.
Interestingly, while Wadekar praised Lloyd for being “mature and professional”, he felt that the innings of the match was played by Sunil Gavaskar, who scored 86 in India’s first innings.
As in 1966, West Indies won the Test and Lloyd had the satisfaction of winning his first series as captain.
He was still the captain of the West Indies when he played the fourth Test of the 1983–84 series in Mumbai. The draw test meant that the Caribbean team could not lose the series with two Tests. In the words of Sportsweek expert Dilip Sardesai, Lloyd was run out for 67 in the first innings, while the magazine’s associate editor Sharad Kotnis called it a “safe and sure” attempt in a failed attempt to surpass India’s total. of 463.
Lloyd visited Mumbai several times in the days following his game. On one of his visits – in June 1995 – to promote the World Masters Series, he agreed to talk to me about his teenage son Jason’s miraculous recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome last year. “This is a huge relief for all of us. Jason’s recovery has given us a new purpose in life and I want to thank all the wonderful people who prayed for his recovery. It shows that you pray Can’t beat the power of it,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd’s knighthood comes after seeing the ups and downs of West Indies cricket. He was all set to leave the West Indies and was happy to become a county professional in Lancashire when he was dropped for the Barbados Test against Australia in 1972–73, but was given proper advice by his mentor Wes Hall. They faced enormous pressure after a 1–5 loss on the 1975–76 tour of Australia, but regrouped themselves and their team to build one of the best sides in history. The West Indies did not lose a Test series from February 1980 until a 0–1 loss to New Zealand in February 1995, and Lloyd played a big part in that serious world dominance.
Yes, he did not attract universal acceptance for having an all-round fast bowling attack. Indeed, many pundits felt that West Indies used intimidating tactics to defeat the opposition. But Lloyd was a good leader. If it weren’t for him, who asked Malcolm Marshall if he could bowl with his left hand in plaster at Leeds in 1984, we would not have seen one of the most daring acts in the history of the sport. He was also successful in getting a group of cricketers from different countries to play as a unit for the West Indies.
He never let the captaincy affect his batting. In 110 Tests, he scored 7,515 runs at an average of 44.67 and scored 19 centuries. He scored more Test runs (2,344) and centuries (7) against India than any other country. Nevertheless, he is one of the most loved opposition cricketers on these shores.
Arise, Sir Clive!
Mid-Day’s Group Sports Editor Clayton Merzello is a purist with an open stance.
He tweeted @ClaytonMurzello. Send your feedback to email@example.com
The views expressed in this column are those of the individual and do not represent the views of the paper.