Former West Indies captain releases biography November 2, 2007

Sportsmen do drink, but you don't want to overdo it - Lloyd

Ezra Stuart

Clive Lloyd: 'Discipline has always been something that I've believed in and the guys in the West Indies team knew that from day one' © The Cricketer International

Past West Indies cricketers drank and were subjected to curfews but they respected their profession and would never go overboard. This admission was made by former captain Clive Lloyd at the launch of his new biography Supercat in England.

Lloyd, who is now a director of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), said he never condoned indiscipline and the players he led to global dominance in the 1970s and 1980s knew where to draw the line.

"If you have rules and people break them, they know they'll get punished. I think you need curfews if you have young people in the squad," Lloyd said. "Discipline has always been something that I've believed in and the guys in the West Indies team knew that from day one. They said that once they saw me annoyed, they knew they'd overstepped the line."

"We always had curfews and we had respect - respect for one another, respect for your profession and respect for the people you represent," he added. However, Lloyd said that curfews weren't imposed for the tour matches as the players had their free time then.

Lloyd, who is also a committee member at Lancashire, Andrew Flintoff's county, explained how drinking was not the only way to build team spirit but it had been a part of professional sport for many years.

"Respect has got to be earned. You have to do the right things and lead by example. If you do things like Andrew has done, then you let yourself down," Lloyd said.

But Lloyd said former England coach Duncan Fletcher was wrong to speak out about Flintoff's behaviour during the Ashes tour and could have handled the situation better.

Fletcher said, in a serialisation of his autobiography, he had to cancel a training session in Australia as Flintoff, who was captain in the absence of Michael Vaughan, was under the influence of alcohol. Although Lloyd admitted drinking had always been a part of professional sport, he accepts Flintoff overstepped the mark.

"Sportsmen have been drinking for years, it is not something new, but you don't want to overdo it. I think there's a limit because you need to be fresh and you've got to be thinking straight. We went out drinking but the point is we never overdid it. We went out as a group and knew it was important to do the right thing."