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Thread: The Clive Lloyd legacy - champs or chumps?

  1. #16
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Imagine the scene from Indiana Jones where the guy in the market place does all the fancy stuff with the sword and Indiana pulls out a pistol and shoots him dead.

    The West Indies were the Indiana Jones of the period in question. They were ruthlessly efficient with the ball and lost a great deal of style and flair points with the monotony of the bowling lineup.

    It is true batsmen only got 1 or 2 balls an over they could hit, It is true they bowled at a terrible over rate and it is also true they bowled an extreme number of bouncers.

    It is also true a level of romanticism left the game, It is also true that a hardness appeared that was not common before.

    But most importantly IMO It is also true that they won games and has successful careers.

    I understand that certain people who admire the artistry and style of cricket did/do not like the bowling attack due to its monotony, aggression and the fact that it could be ugly and boring to watch at times but to me it was part of the evolution of the game.

    In conclusion, like Indy's pistol, the West Indian bowling attack, proved more effective than the old way of doing things. Once the genie is out of the bottle it cannot be put back in and, whilst understanding why some did not like it, I find it necessary to admire it.
    Last edited by Goughy; 16-04-2006 at 06:49 PM.
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  2. #17
    International Coach Anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson
    I've just been reading a book written in 2002 by David Frith entitled Bodyline Autopsy - great book if you get a chance to read it about the England 1932-33 tour of Australia. But I was slightly taken aback by the scathing criticism of the great West Indian sides from 1976-91. Some of the passages accuse the West Indies of almost killing the game. The first quote(no copyright infringement intended).
    "West Indies dominated Test Cricket for many years, the splendour of their batting overshadowed by the brutality on show while they were in the field.." It goes on to describe the leg side field and relentless day long barrage of short balls. "It was a lamentable fact that throughout an entire innings front-foot batsmanship was all but impossible against West Indian sides captained by Clive Lloyd and then Viv Richards. Scarcely a ball was pitched further than three-fifths of the way down the track."
    It then later continues " With such fast-bowling riches at their disposal from 1976 to 1991, West Indies, by their peculiar obcession with the short pitcher squandered a golden chance of becoming not only the premier cricket team in the world but one to be universally admired and feted by prosperity."
    It goes on to describe how they would only bowl 70 overs a day and at least 4 balls an over were unplayable - I think you get the picture.

    This period was before satellite TV was commonplace in the Uk so we never saw much overseas cricket, but apart from the infamous assault on Close and Edrich at Old Trafford in 1976 I don't recall these "bumber barrages". Yes they bowled bouncers, but not four balls an over and rules were in place to rule against intimadatory bowling, so what were the umpires doing? Maybe on the harder pitches in Australia or the uneven bounce in the West Indies was more condusive to the short pitched bowling. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the West Indies in action in those years and find the attack in this book distasteful and disrespectful.
    the west indians from the late 70s to the early 90s were wonderful champs and we were witness to some of the greatest teams in cricketing history.....this david frith fella seems to be spouting absolute bullcrap.....

  3. #18
    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    I find these "killed spin-bowling" remarks ridiculous.
    So there were more good seamers than spinners - they deserve to be shot for not picking a spinner just because "you've got to have variation".
    It's ridiculous.
    If there aren't enough good spinners you don't pick them. If there are, you do.
    What supposedly almost killed spin-bowling was the lack of good spinners.
    Then came Abdul Qadir.
    I felt the Windies refused to pick spin bowlers, no matter what there merits, during this period and as a result a lot of countries tried to fight fire with fire. Now some are trying to copy the use of an AR like Flintoff.

    I remember one Test in Sydney the ball was turning square and still Lloyd would not bowl Harper. Who I always had the impression was there for his fielding and to speed up the over rates once those rules were introduced.

    Once it was discovered that the Windies were not so good against leg spin the hunt was on for a quality young leg spin bowler and Mr Warne was fast tracked into Test cricket. Before he was ready it must be said.
    You know it makes sense.

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    State 12th Man Autobahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac
    I felt the Windies refused to pick spin bowlers, no matter what there merits, during this period and as a result a lot of countries tried to fight fire with fire. Now some are trying to copy the use of an AR like Flintoff.

    I remember one Test in Sydney the ball was turning square and still Lloyd would not bowl Harper. Who I always had the impression was there for his fielding and to speed up the over rates once those rules were introduced.

    Once it was discovered that the Windies were not so good against leg spin the hunt was on for a quality young leg spin bowler and Mr Warne was fast tracked into Test cricket. Before he was ready it must be said.
    The tour of Australia in 1975-76 where Lillee and Thomson blew the west indies 5-1 away demonstrated to Lloyd how much damage pace could do if it was good enough, then he had the embarrassment of letting India chase 403 with 3 specialist spinners on a 5th day turning pitch which hardened his suspicions of spinners being useless and plus the fact that with the retirements of Lance Gibbs and Sobers he didn't have any test-standard spinners to hand.

    All of that adds up to someone who didn't trust spinners at all.


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    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autobahn
    The tour of Australia in 1975-76 where Lillee and Thomson blew the west indies 5-1 away demonstrated to Lloyd how much damage pace could do if it was good enough, then he had the embarrassment of letting India chase 403 with 3 specialist spinners on a 5th day turning pitch which hardened his suspicions of spinners being useless and plus the fact that with the retirements of Lance Gibbs and Sobers he didn't have any test-standard spinners to hand.

    All of that adds up to someone who didn't trust spinners at all.
    True, he was also a quite a good player of spin, I remember him smashing Bob Holland out of the ground/attack in a Test at Brisbane (I think) would have loved to see him up against Warney

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    The day cricket ceases to be a gentleman's sport is the day I cease to watch it.
    The real difference is that in the 1980s pitches like Adelaide 1932\33 were a thing of the past.
    Let me assure you - if pitches like that had been played on with most West Indies Tests in the 1970s and 1980s, the match would be abandoned due to a dangerous pitch in an instant.

    Bouncers weren't even their main weapon - all were good swing and seam bowlers who also happened to bowl a lot of Bouncers.
    That's a good point - imagine what they would have been like on uncovered pitches. Its probably that, plus the improvements in protection (esp. helmets) that stopped people (Frith excepted perhaps) from being quite so incensed. I do think that the ideals of behaviour most people expected cricketeers to adhere to during play had slid somewhat from the 1930s to the 1970-80s and onwards. Unfortunate, and it doesn't detract from the inherent beauty of the game, but i think its true that by then society expected less, in terms of sportsmanship of their sporting heroes.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson
    I've just been reading a book written in 2002 by David Frith entitled Bodyline Autopsy - great book if you get a chance to read it about the England 1932-33 tour of Australia. But I was slightly taken aback by the scathing criticism of the great West Indian sides from 1976-91. Some of the passages accuse the West Indies of almost killing the game. The first quote(no copyright infringement intended).
    "West Indies dominated Test Cricket for many years, the splendour of their batting overshadowed by the brutality on show while they were in the field.." It goes on to describe the leg side field and relentless day long barrage of short balls. "It was a lamentable fact that throughout an entire innings front-foot batsmanship was all but impossible against West Indian sides captained by Clive Lloyd and then Viv Richards. Scarcely a ball was pitched further than three-fifths of the way down the track."
    It then later continues " With such fast-bowling riches at their disposal from 1976 to 1991, West Indies, by their peculiar obcession with the short pitcher squandered a golden chance of becoming not only the premier cricket team in the world but one to be universally admired and feted by prosperity."
    It goes on to describe how they would only bowl 70 overs a day and at least 4 balls an over were unplayable - I think you get the picture.

    This period was before satellite TV was commonplace in the Uk so we never saw much overseas cricket, but apart from the infamous assault on Close and Edrich at Old Trafford in 1976 I don't recall these "bumber barrages". Yes they bowled bouncers, but not four balls an over and rules were in place to rule against intimadatory bowling, so what were the umpires doing? Maybe on the harder pitches in Australia or the uneven bounce in the West Indies was more condusive to the short pitched bowling. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the West Indies in action in those years and find the attack in this book distasteful and disrespectful.
    I think the author is not only off the mark, he is being utterly ridiculous.
    For starters, Lloyd didnt come up with the bumper-barrage idea all on his own. He got that from Lillee-Thommo barrages in OZ, in the series they lost 5-1. Its funny how no one has ever written derogatively about Lillee or Thommo going around bouncing batsmen but when WI does it, its time to call a foul.
    As for overrates- thats just a ridiculous line of reasoning and grasping at straws. The WI, despite their slow overrates, wrapped up most of their matches by the 4th day. In the famous blackwash series, they crushed England 5-0 inside of 4 days in 4 tests and the English comms still whined about slow overrates. I suppose the English commentators preferred a defeat inside of 3 days than in 4.

    As per popularity- the WI were the most popular team of their times and no team has come close to their popularity in non-partisan crowds.
    Several in England were fans of the West Indies and in the subcontinent, they were the team of choice after their national teams- most indians , pakistanis and sri lankans backed the WI against everybody but their own team.
    The author is totally off the mark.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    I think the author is not only off the mark, he is being utterly ridiculous.
    For starters, Lloyd didnt come up with the bumper-barrage idea all on his own. He got that from Lillee-Thommo barrages in OZ, in the series they lost 5-1. Its funny how no one has ever written derogatively about Lillee or Thommo going around bouncing batsmen but when WI does it, its time to call a foul.
    As for overrates- thats just a ridiculous line of reasoning and grasping at straws. The WI, despite their slow overrates, wrapped up most of their matches by the 4th day. In the famous blackwash series, they crushed England 5-0 inside of 4 days in 4 tests and the English comms still whined about slow overrates. I suppose the English commentators preferred a defeat inside of 3 days than in 4.

    As per popularity- the WI were the most popular team of their times and no team has come close to their popularity in non-partisan crowds.
    Several in England were fans of the West Indies and in the subcontinent, they were the team of choice after their national teams- most indians , pakistanis and sri lankans backed the WI against everybody but their own team.
    The author is totally off the mark.
    Frith has regularly shown an ungracious attitude towards the WI bowlers from the mid70's to mid 90's. There was a famous piece where he opined that although Holding was usually magnificent, Garner & Ambrose were just lucky to be born with long limbs and the others didn't even rate a mention. Having read that a few years ago, I nowadays find it hard to take him seriously.

  9. #24
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    I think the author is not only off the mark, he is being utterly ridiculous.
    For starters, Lloyd didnt come up with the bumper-barrage idea all on his own. He got that from Lillee-Thommo barrages in OZ, in the series they lost 5-1. Its funny how no one has ever written derogatively about Lillee or Thommo going around bouncing batsmen but when WI does it, its time to call a foul.
    As for overrates- thats just a ridiculous line of reasoning and grasping at straws. The WI, despite their slow overrates, wrapped up most of their matches by the 4th day. In the famous blackwash series, they crushed England 5-0 inside of 4 days in 4 tests and the English comms still whined about slow overrates. I suppose the English commentators preferred a defeat inside of 3 days than in 4.

    As per popularity- the WI were the most popular team of their times and no team has come close to their popularity in non-partisan crowds.
    Several in England were fans of the West Indies and in the subcontinent, they were the team of choice after their national teams- most indians , pakistanis and sri lankans backed the WI against everybody but their own team.
    The author is totally off the mark.
    Yep right on everything there from the West Indies being massively influenced by the 75/76 series, to their popularity and sucess etc. Everything. It goes back to Ian Chappell's ruthless theroy that a weakness in character is no different to a weakness in technique. The West Indies asked questions of batsmen and more incredibly (and this was something Marshall did perfectly) they could read their fear and turn it into a mistake. As far as I'm concerned, intimidating bowling is fine if it asks questions of the batsmans ability in a sportsman-like manner.

    I completely refute that article.

  10. #25
    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy
    Imagine the scene from Indiana Jones where the guy in the market place does all the fancy stuff with the sword and Indiana pulls out a pistol and shoots him dead.

    The West Indies were the Indiana Jones of the period in question. They were ruthlessly efficient with the ball and lost a great deal of style and flair points with the monotony of the bowling lineup.

    It is true batsmen only got 1 or 2 balls an over they could hit, It is true they bowled at a terrible over rate and it is also true they bowled an extreme number of bouncers.

    It is also true a level of romanticism left the game, It is also true that a hardness appeared that was not common before.

    But most importantly IMO It is also true that they won games and has successful careers.

    I understand that certain people who admire the artistry and style of cricket did/do not like the bowling attack due to its monotony, aggression and the fact that it could be ugly and boring to watch at times but to me it was part of the evolution of the game.

    In conclusion, like Indy's pistol, the West Indian bowling attack, proved more effective than the old way of doing things. Once the genie is out of the bottle it cannot be put back in and, whilst understanding why some did not like it, I find it necessary to admire it.
    Very very good analogy.

    I think the bottom line of the situation is- Their jobs were to win cirkcet matches, there were allowed to play as they did so it is unfair to blame them, however slow the over rates were or however boring it looked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    As for overrates- thats just a ridiculous line of reasoning and grasping at straws. The WI, despite their slow overrates, wrapped up most of their matches by the 4th day. In the famous blackwash series, they crushed England 5-0 inside of 4 days in 4 tests and the English comms still whined about slow overrates. I suppose the English commentators preferred a defeat inside of 3 days than in 4.
    I remember an argument about that on air between Tony Cozier and Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Tony Cozier said that if the West Indies were forced to bowl 96 overs in a day the matches would be over in two and half days, that was based purely on the number of overs that the matches lasted. Martin-Jenkins used the argument that was first put forward by that bastion of sportsmanship Ian Chappell who argued that because they were only bowling around 18 overs a day each they were always fresh and if they were forced to bowl around 24 overs a day they would be tired and cheaper runs would be available to the batsman towards the end of the day. There is no definitive answer, but my personal opinion is that they could have been made to bowl 96 overs a day and banned from bowling bouncers entirely and it would have made very little difference to the results in that period.

  12. #27
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    Martin-Jenkins used the argument that was first put forward by that bastion of sportsmanship Ian Chappell who argued that because they were only bowling around 18 overs a day each they were always fresh and if they were forced to bowl around 24 overs a day they would be tired and cheaper runs would be available to the batsman towards the end of the day.
    I dont buy this argument, simply because unless you argue 'one overrate for the windies, another for the rest' ideology, any increase in overrates and the resulting strain on the bowlers would be shared equally by all teams.
    As such, a more tired Marshall-Garner-Holding-Roberts-Croft are significantly better than a more tired Lillee-Thommo-whatzizname-whatzizname.
    It would just make the game a bit more pro-batsmen ( unless you are a spin-oriented team like India were in the 70s) but it doesnt impact the balance of power in the bottomline-sense.

  13. #28
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by open365
    Very very good analogy.

    I think the bottom line of the situation is- Their jobs were to win cirkcet matches, there were allowed to play as they did so it is unfair to blame them, however slow the over rates were or however boring it looked.
    Thank You.

    Cricket is not a sport, like, ski jumping, where style points are important. The WI were successful despite playing ugly cricket.

  14. #29
    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    I dont buy this argument, simply because unless you argue 'one overrate for the windies, another for the rest' ideology, any increase in overrates and the resulting strain on the bowlers would be shared equally by all teams.
    As such, a more tired Marshall-Garner-Holding-Roberts-Croft are significantly better than a more tired Lillee-Thommo-whatzizname-whatzizname.
    It would just make the game a bit more pro-batsmen ( unless you are a spin-oriented team like India were in the 70s) but it doesnt impact the balance of power in the bottomline-sense.
    I think the idea was that the Windies would have to bowl spin to get their overs in, (which started to happen with the need to play Harper) which would bring back strokes such as the cover and straight drive.

    Now I grew up with the Windies at their peak, they had the best batsman, best bowlers, and easily the best fieldsman, and I use to love watch them play, but even then I could understand the need for something a little different from, Bouncer batsman ducks, bowler trudges back to his mark, runs in short ball into the ribs, bowler trudges back to his mark etc etc etc

  15. #30
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac
    I felt the Windies refused to pick spin bowlers, no matter what there merits, during this period and as a result a lot of countries tried to fight fire with fire. Now some are trying to copy the use of an AR like Flintoff.

    I remember one Test in Sydney the ball was turning square and still Lloyd would not bowl Harper. Who I always had the impression was there for his fielding and to speed up the over rates once those rules were introduced.

    Once it was discovered that the Windies were not so good against leg spin the hunt was on for a quality young leg spin bowler and Mr Warne was fast tracked into Test cricket. Before he was ready it must be said.
    Really, where is this evidence that WI were not so good against legspin?
    I'm sure they faced Abdul Qadir plenty (yes, I am aware he demolished them, and started the long slide, in 1986\87).
    Many commented on how good a players of spin they were.
    Could it be that the reasons for not picking and\or bowling spinners were that there were better options in order to win matches?
    If other teams did try to fight fire with fire that's their problem - and if there were good spinners around they committed folly.
    But the simple fact is what killed spin wasn't Greg Chappell 1975\76 or Clive Lloyd 1976 - it was the covering of wickets.
    We can just thank our lucky stars we've had Warne and Murali these last 13 years or so. Most non-subcontinental spinners are simply nowhere near good enough any more. Just imagine what the situation would be like but for Warne and Murali - indeed, imagine what it'll be like in 5 years' time when both are no more.
    Imagine a World where Danish Kaneria is the premier spinner.
    Simple fact is, seam and swing are the way to go now anywhere other than the subcontinent. Some are still stuck in the past (1969) and insist "you must have variation". But by and large, spin no longer has a part to play in Test cricket. The only exceptions are exceptional bowlers like Warne, Murali and, briefly, Mushtaq Ahmed.
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