Clive Hubert Lloyd
August 31, 1944, Queenstown, Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana
Also Known As
Sir Clive Lloyd
Big C, Hubert
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
Chatham High School, Georgetown
6'5" with stooped shoulders, a large moustache and thick glasses (his eyes were damaged when he was 12 as he attempted to break up a fight at school), Clive Lloyd was the crucial ingredient in the rise of West Indian cricket. A cousin of Lance Gibbs, he was a hard-hitting batsmen and one of the most successful captains in history. An almost ponderous, lazy gait belied the speed and power at his command and the astute tactical brain that led the West Indies to the top of world cricket for two decades.
Clive Lloyd made his first-class debut as a left-hand middle-order batsman in the then British Guiana in 1963-64 and played for Haslingden in the Lancashire League in 1967. He was offered terms by Warwickshire before signing for Lancashire, making his debut for them in 1968, and winning his cap the following season.
Lloyd had already made his Test debut, against India at Mumbai (then Bombay) in December 1966, hitting 82 and 78 not out as he put on 102 runs with Sobers to win the match on a pitch helping the spinners. His first home Test also brought his first Test century, 118 against England in Trinidad that helped stave off defeat. Another century followed in the fourth Test of that series to confirm he was at home at the highest level. Touring Australia in 1968-69 he hit another Test century, at Brisbane, in his first Test against them.
Lloyd was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1971 for his performances in the previous 12 months, when he'd scored 1600 runs for Lancashire at 47. Often raising his game for the big occasion, he struck 126 against Warwickshire at Lord's to help Lancashire to the Gillette Cup (1972), and hit a wonderful century in the first ever World Cup Final at Lord's in 1975 to take the West Indies to victory.
At his best Lloyd was a flamboyant destroyer of bowling. His heavy bat, powerful shoulders and full swing of the arms could turn the course of any game, once scoring 201* in just 120 minutes against Glamorgan - equalling the record for the fastest ever first-class double hundred (1976).
Far from inhibiting his batting, Lloyd's first tour as captain (1974-75) marked a dramatic improvement after a run of low scores. 163 in the First Test at Bangalore (his century came in just 85 balls) was followed by a Test-best 242* in the Fifth Test in Mumbai to set up a series-deciding win for the West Indies. Often he was obliged to curb his natural, attacking instincts in order to work his team out of trouble, as on the tour of Australia of 1975-76 where he scored 469 runs at an average of 46.9 as his team were swept aside 5-1 by Thomson and Lillee.
The unsuccessful tour of Australia proved to be a major turning point in West Indian cricket however, as Lloyd decided to adopt the intimidatory tactics of the Australians and stack his team with fast bowlers. Some may say his job as captain was fairly straightforward: with a battery of fast bowlers including Roberts, Marshall, Garner, Holding and Croft at his command, and batsmen of the calibre of Greenidge, Haynes and Richards, he certainly had some handy players to call upon. But he instilled his talented side with the professionalism and determination to win consistently and when the conditions suited the opposition. He united the disparate threads of the separate nations that make up the West Indies, and was the force that gelled them as a team rather than a bunch of talented individuals. There was controversy too, though. Slow over rates and intimidation of batsmen with short-pitched bowling were both characteristics of his reign as captain. His side changed the way Test cricket was played too, as other nations copied the formula of fast bowling and intimidation he had come to admire in Australia.
During the Packer crisis Lloyd resigned as captain after disagreeing with the selectors on the eve of a Test against Australia (1977-78), but he returned to lead his team to the 1979 World Cup. On the subsequent tour of Australia he underwent surgery on his knee that improved his mobility and effectiveness. Centuries at Adelaide and Old Trafford followed, and back in the West Indies he found the most consistent form of his career as in nine successive innings his lowest score was 49 (run out). He averaged 76 in the series against England and a phenomenal 172.50 in domestic cricket.
Although age slightly decreased Lloyd's belligerence at the crease, he remained a key player in the middle order; able to dig the team out of trouble or add impetus when applicable. In Australia in 1981 he played the crucial innings to secure the West Indies a win at Adelaide to draw a series that had seemed destined to be won by Australia, encouraging his fast bowlers to rush on to the pitch and carry him off on their shoulders. Normal service was resumed with home and away victories against India and Australia. On his final tours he averaged 67 in England (1984) as the West Indies completed a famous 5-0 "blackwash", and 50.85 against Australia (1984-85) as he helped secure a 3-1 triumph.
Lloyd's final record as captain was remarkable, including a run of 26 Tests without defeat, and 11 successive wins. He also became the first West Indian to win 100 Test caps. Having been a schoolboy athletics champion, he became a brilliant cover fielder before knee problems forced a move to the slips, where he pouched many of his 90 Test catches.
Lloyd was a useful right-arm medium-pacer too, taking 114 first-class wickets in all (including a best of 4-48, Lancashire v Leicestershire at Old Trafford, 1970) with 10 in Tests. He was awarded a testimonial by Lancashire in 1977 (that raised £27,199) made captain of the club in 1981 and brought his children up in the county.
Although Lloyd has worked as a civil servant for Guyana Ministry of Health, he has remained involved in cricket. He has coached and commentated on the game, as well as managing the Guyana team. A promising career as ICC Match Official (he officiated in both semi-final and final of the 1996 World Cup) was put on hold to take on the management of the West Indies team after their disappointments in the World Cup. It was a frustrating period for Lloyd, whose hands were tied by the decision not to appoint him as a full selector (although he was a selector while on tour), and whose responsibilities became increasingly administrative. He resigned at the end of the 1999 tour of New Zealand after a three-year period that coincided with a decline in the fortunes of West Indies cricket.
With that experience behind him, he resumed his duties as an ICC Match Referee - a position he occupied with great presence and no little humour to earn the respect and confidence of the players. They knew he understands the game as well as anyone and that he holds the good of the game in the highest regard at all times.
In 2008 Lloyd was appointed the chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee after Sunil Gavaskar stepped down to pursue his role as a media columnist and commentator.
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