Former West Indian great speaks out July 1, 2004

'Tackle chucking at grass-roots level,' says Clive Lloyd

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Clive Lloyd: 'No bowler with a suspect action should play Test cricket' © Getty Images

Clive Lloyd, the former West Indian captain, has asked the ICC to simplify the laws of cricket so that bowlers with dubious actions can be exposed early in their careers. Lloyd, who was in Delhi, was speaking to reporters after the launch of the inaugural ICC awards.

According to Lloyd, the whole issue should be tackled at grass-roots level. "The coaches and bowlers should know what an illegal ball is," he said. "So that we don't have guys coming up in Test matches and then we have to embarrass them, and their country, by calling them for throwing. So it's something that must be eradicated quite early."

Lloyd felt that all countries should send the tapes of their aspiring bowlers to the ICC. Also, he was quick to add that if a player's action was modified, he still had to be constantly monitored. "If a player has modified his action, it does not mean he is exonerated."

He added that the whole controversy surrounding Muttiah Muralitharan had taken comical twists. "We now have a laughable situation where a player who has been around the international scene for over a decade and has been allowed to become the leading Test wicket-taker of all time, has to continuously answer questions on his bowling action.

"If it was that serious, why was he allowed to keep bowling? And if it's not that serious, then why all the hullabaloo? I think the ICC should take steps to ensure that no bowler with a suspect action is allowed to play at Test level."

Moving on to the Indian team, Lloyd hailed them as the "world champions of the near future". He termed the batting talent as "mind-boggling", and also compared the excitement generated by the Indians to the West Indian teams of the past. Lloyd led one of the most successful, and exhilarating, teams of all time, so is in an ideal position to judge.

As for the current West Indian team, Lloyd spoke about the lack of inspired leadership. "Lara, in spite of his batting genius, is not a very inspiring captain. But the problem with West Indies is that they need to galvanise themselves into a winning combination. Winning is contagious just like losing, and they have to get into the habit of winning once again."