West Indies, fresh from their onslaught on England, reached Pakistan on November 4 for a nine-week tour. The team consisted of five fast bowlers - Holding, Croft, Garner, Clarke and Marshall; two off-spinners - Parry and Nanan; two wicket-keepers - David Murray and Pydanna; and seven batsmen - Lloyd, Richards, Greenidge, Haynes, Bacchus, Kallicharran and Gomes.
Those who thought that the slow, grassless pitches of Pakistan would blunt the West Indian pace attack were mistaken. Where the Pakistani paceman were able to get little out of the pitches, the West Indians extracted unexpected life. Clarke, Croft, Marshall and Garner between them claimed 99 out of the total of 146 wickets which fell in first-class matches, and 54 out of 66 in the Test matches. In contrast, Pakistan's leading seamer, Imran Khan, took ten wickets, while orthodox left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim took seventeen and off-spinner Nazir Junior took sixteen. The latter, formerly known as Mohammad Nazir, was recalled to Test cricket after a lapse of nearly eight years.
Two of West Indies' leading players, Holding and Greenidge, were injured during the early part of the tour and took no part in the Test matches. Nevertheless, Clive Lloyd's side lost only the opening match of the tour. They won the four-match Test series one-nil, for the first time in Pakistan, and made a clean sweep of the three one-day internationals as well as winning two of their other five matches -at Peshawar and Sukkur.
Rain marred three of the four Tests. In Lahore, the third day's play was washed out, the third Test in Karachi started a day and a half late, and the last two days of the inaugural Test in Multan were washed out.
On the second day of the fourth Test occurred a shameful incident. Clarke, fielding on the boundary, reacted to a barrage of oranges being thrown at him by hurling a brick into the crowd and knocking out a spectator - the president of one of the students' unions - who was carried off the field, his head bleeding profusely. Mr Jack Bailey, the neutral observer for the match and Secretary of the International Cricket Conference, submitted a report of the incident to that body. Jackie Hendriks, the West Indian team manager, expressed his regret, Clarke apologised, and both men later visited the injured student in hospital.
That the tour was dominated by the bowlers is emphasised by the fact that, in all twelve matches played, only three centuries were scored - one for West Indies, one for Pakistan and one for the Board President's XI. However, Nanan was the only bowler to take six wickets in an innings. Vivian Richards, with 364 runs, and Wasim Raja, with 246, were the leading batsmen of the series, while Croft and Iqbal Qasim, each with seventeen wickets, were the most successful bowlers. Richards was named Man of the Series for West Indies and Imran Khan was Man of the Series for Pakistan.
Six wins, five draws and only one loss represent a fine achievement by the West Indians. Yet Pakistan, although they lost the rubber, were not humiliated. Their biggest problem was finding a reliable opening pair, consistent middle-order batting and a good enough second seamer to assist Imran Khan. The fielding, too, was more erratic than it should have been.
Test matches - Played 4: Won 1, Drawn 3.
First-class matches - Played 9: Won 3, Lost 1, Drawn 5.
Wins - NWFP Governor's XI, Sind Governor's XI, Pakistan.
Loss - Cricket Board President's XI.
Draws - Punjab Governor's XI, Pakistan (3), Pakistan Combined XI.
Non first-class matches - Played 3: Won 3. Wins - Pakistan (3).
Match reports for