Return ruled out as Lloyd assumes new station (26 March 1999)

26 March 1999

Return ruled out as Lloyd assumes new station

By Martin Searby

DAVID LLOYD will not return as England coach even if the host nation are triumphant in the World Cup final at Lord's in June and he will now concentrate his boundless energy on a career in broadcasting.

Within hours of the announcement that the England and Wales Cricket Board would not be renewing his contract he was signed up to join satellite television and he told a packed press conference at Old Trafford yesterday: "That chapter will end whatever happens. I've had three cracking years and I think we have a decent base for the international team to move forward. The World Cup is a massive competition which will have a massive bearing on the future of cricket and I think it is better that the matter of the coach is sorted out now so that it doesn't have any impact on the team."

Lloyd, 52, said that his desire for job security had sparked off the discussions over his future and that everything was sweetness and light between himself and the board, although the former Lancashire and England opener cannot be too pleased that the ECB were unable to give him the vote of confidence he required.

The Accrington-born Lloyd has never been slow to speak his mind, often to his cost, and there was the promise of rich things in store when he said: "Where I come from if a bloke kicks you once, you kick him twice. I've always believed in being honest and saying what I think and I'm looking forward to my new career."

He has enough material gathered over his years inside the England dressing room for a book and tentative approaches have already been made, but Lloyd's revelations are unlikely to be in the Glenn Hoddle mould.

"I didn't pick the team for a start, although most people seem to think I did," he said. "I got accosted at one in the morning at a petrol station by one bloke who accused me of picking the wrong players. I would like to have my own team on the field and I dare say that Ray Illingworth, Keith Fletcher and Micky Stewart before me would have liked to do that too.

"But at the moment the coach's job is to direct preparation, encourage, point out the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and provide support. Whoever takes over will start with a strong base."

The low point in his tenure, during which England played 34 Tests, winning nine and losing 13, and 45 limited-overs internationals in which they were successful 21 times, came when the West Indies went 3-1 up in the Caribbean and not, as many might have supposed, on the ill-starred tour of Zimbabwe.

"I know I got it in the neck for saying 'we murdered them' but nobody remembers it was in reply to being asked if I thought we were lucky to get a draw," Lloyd said.

The high spot came last summer in the first five-match series win for 12 years. "We stared them in the eye, never took a pace back and came out on top," he said. "That's the sort of steel we have to show all the time."

Ever the optimist, Lloyd predicts a solid future for an England team who will start under a new coach during this summer's series against New Zealand while Lloyd passes judgment in the commentary box. "Darren Gough will get better and better, Dean Headley is emerging as a genuine bowler now that he knows he must get the ball into the right areas and Alex Tudor has frightening pace and will develop.

"Nasser Hussain has cemented his place in the side and Mark Ramprakash has been made a part of the team and I like to think I've had a part in all that. The players know they have got to perform or someone else will be knocking on the door and that's got to be good for everyone."

England are likely to face competition from Warwickshire if they want Bob Woolmer to replace Lloyd as coach. The club yesterday confirmed their interest in reappointing Woolmer, who became South Africa's coach after guiding the county to an historic treble in 1994.

Andrew Caddick, the fast bowler overlooked for the Ashes tour after taking more than 100 wickets last season, has agreed a two-year extension of his contract that ties him to Somerset until 2003.

Glamorgan made a profit of £111,921 during the financial year ending Nov 30, 1998. It is the second-highest profit in the county's history and follows the previous year's figure of £154,715.

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (