He was among the best and indeed a brilliant cover fielder.
Clive Lloyd scored 7,515 test runs. His highest test score was 242 not out against India in the fifth test match in Mumbai to set up the series, deciding win for the West Indies. Lloyd’s test average was 46.67.
He was described as the main ingredient in the rise of West Indies cricket, making his first class debut as a left hand middle order batsman in the then British Guiana in 1963-1964. He went on to play county cricket for Lancashire, pitting his skills against the best cricketers in the world. As a batsman, he was highly respected for his ability to destroy any bowling.
Lloyd was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1971. During that time, he scored 1,600 runs for Lancashire. He also scored a magnificent 126 against Warwickshire at Lords to enable Lancashire to win the prestigious Gillette Cup in 1972. His rise to greatness came in the first ever World Cup finals in 1975, when he scored a magnificent century, enabling West Indies to win their first World Cup.
Winning the inaugural World Cup was not enough for Lloyd. Four years later he was at the helm of the all powerful West Indies, which won the second World Cup in 1979.The successful captain was also at the helm of the team when they reached the final in the third World Cup. However, they lost to the strong India team in that final. One Day cricket was dominated by the West Indies, with Lloyd going on to also dominate test cricket.
Lloyd was a flamboyant destroyer of some of the best bowling attacks. His very heavy bat, powerful shoulders more than 6 ft. reach along with the full swing of his arms enabled his team to win many matches. Playing in county cricket, Lloyd’s magnificent 201 not out against Glamorganin in 1976 was the fastest ever first class double century that was scored in just 120 minutes. He had at his disposal the strongest ever fast bowling attack, namely Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Collin Croft. With the two most prolific opening batsmen at that time, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, and number three Vivian Richards, the bowling and batting was world class. Lloyd’s middle order and lower order batting was also very strong.
Clive Lloyd was able to cajole, nurture and instill his talented side with the professionalism and determination to win consistently. He developed a powerful team that was determined to win. “Clive” united the several threads of the separate nations in the Caribbean that make up the West Indian cricket team. The West Indian batsmen were able to make the runs they had to make, while their bowlers bowled teams under the runs that were on the score board.
The successful Lloyd was at the helm of West Indies cricket during the time when they played 26 test matches without defeat and he also recorded 11 successive wins. Lloyd relinquished the captaincy to Vivian Richards, where the West Indies continued to dominate the world scene. After playing for Guyana, Lancashire and West Indies, Lloyd became a successful coach and manager. He was an outstanding ICC match referee and an excellent ICC committee chairman. Guyana is indeed proud of their contributions to the development of West Indies cricket.
The West Indies won their first test match under the captaincy of Guyanese MP Fernandes. Rohan Kanhai took a rebuilding team from Gary Sobers and defeated England in England. Clive Lloyd took over the captaincy from Kanhai and he was indeed the most successful. During the Kerry Packer turmoil, Guyanese Alvin Kallicharran was the Captain of the West Indies. Carl Hooper was another outstanding captain, followed by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Clive Lloyd is indeed our cricket hero. His name will never be removed from the annals of world cricket. His achievements will continue to be an inspiration to all cricketers. His magnificent fielding, superb batting and astute leadership is a source of pride for us. The guyanaese nation is indeed proud of this great legend of their soil. He is an inspiration to our sport population and the cricket fraternity in particular.
Today, it is imperative that this cherished and proud cricketer move around in the villages of our country and give that much needed inspiration to our young and very young. Play on, Live on Big Clive! All Guyana and the Caribbean love you! Your simplicity, patriotism and loyalty to your motherland are highly respected and we all appreciate you. Guyana and the Caribbean need you to continueto give your invaluable service to the further development of sport and cricket in particular.