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Thread: The Clive Lloyd legacy - champs or chumps?

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    The Clive Lloyd legacy - champs or chumps?

    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.

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker'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.
    It's always unfair when its the other side doing it. No one complains when their own side consists of a pace attack that tries to intimidate the same way the WI did. Just a bunch of sour grapes, it sounds like to me.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac'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.
    This is not the only book where he castigates the bowling tactics of the Windies. I think it heart felt, Frith was accused of being a racist from other writers such as Rob Steen (see his Bio of Desi Haynes).

    In Aust. they were bouncer happy, their over rates were a joke and they all but killed spin bowling. So I tend to agree with Frith.

    Still they were one of the greatest teams in the history of cricket, and played under the laws of the time, so I thought it fair enough
    You know it makes sense.

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    State Vice-Captain Armadillo's Avatar
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    How could Windies have become such a prolific fast bowling country if this were true?
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    State 12th Man Autobahn's Avatar
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    Most often it was fair game really, if top-order batsmen can't cope with the short stuff then it's gonna be no susprise if bowlers keep bowling it.

    On the other hand smacking a no.11 rabbit with short balls is just vindictive.

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    Credit where it's due. The West Indies wouldn't have complained if the same was done to them.
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    They were champs.
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    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker
    It's always unfair when its the other side doing it. No one complains when their own side consists of a pace attack that tries to intimidate the same way the WI did. Just a bunch of sour grapes, it sounds like to me.
    It was always the people writing about the game who complained.

    I listened to an interview Boyks did on Radio 5 Live a few years ago, and he said that he looked upon playing against the West Indians as the biggest challenge of his life, and relished every minute of it - even the ones that hurt.

    Mind you, that bloke could play a bit.
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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    It's interesting isn't it that players like Lloyd, Richards, and Garner, Marshall and Ambrose don't have the stigma attached to them that Jardine and Larwood did.

    Perhaps because, particularly by the 80s onwards, the standards of batsmens' protection had improved to the point where it was unlikely, albeit still possible, anyone would be permanently maimed...

    Also I guess cricket was a much more professional pursuit by the 80s compared to the 1930s when it was still regarded as a gentleman's sport.

    From my general impressions, as opposed to any in depth research, it seems, in the few times they were defeated during that period of dominance, their inability to come up with a plan B when bouncers didn't work hampered them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyeddie
    It was always the people writing about the game who complained.

    I listened to an interview Boyks did on Radio 5 Live a few years ago, and he said that he looked upon playing against the West Indians as the biggest challenge of his life, and relished every minute of it - even the ones that hurt.

    Mind you, that bloke could play a bit.
    Some silly people still believe that Geoff Boycott was frightened of fast bowling because the three years he spent out of Test Cricket coincided with the emergence of great fast bowlers. The truth is he pulled out after a poor first Test against India when there were a bucket of runs to be made that summer (as proved by the less than legendary David Lloyd) against not only India in the following two Tests but also Pakistan who's fast attack that summer was hardly fearsome with Safraz Nawaz - great bowler but not genuinely fast - and a teenage Imran Khan who was still a Varsity player. When he pulled out of the tour to Australia there was still doubt about the fitness of Dennis Lillee, and who in England had even heard of Jeff Thomson? As for the West Indies, Andy Roberts was already established but his partners in the form of Vanburn Holder and Bernard Julien were hardly fearsome. Boycott's withdrawal from Test Cricket was 18 months to two years before Michael Holding emerged. At the age of 40 Geoff Boycott did as well as anyone against the West Indies in 1980/81 both at home and abroad and certainly showed no fear despite that famous duck after the most vicious working over from Michael Holding.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson
    Some silly people still believe that Geoff Boycott was frightened of fast bowling because the three years he spent out of Test Cricket coincided with the emergence of great fast bowlers. The truth is he pulled out after a poor first Test against India when there were a bucket of runs to be made that summer (as proved by the less than legendary David Lloyd) against not only India in the following two Tests but also Pakistan who's fast attack that summer was hardly fearsome with Safraz Nawaz - great bowler but not genuinely fast - and a teenage Imran Khan who was still a Varsity player. When he pulled out of the tour to Australia there was still doubt about the fitness of Dennis Lillee, and who in England had even heard of Jeff Thomson? As for the West Indies, Andy Roberts was already established but his partners in the form of Vanburn Holder and Bernard Julien were hardly fearsome. Boycott's withdrawal from Test Cricket was 18 months to two years before Michael Holding emerged. At the age of 40 Geoff Boycott did as well as anyone against the West Indies in 1980/81 both at home and abroad and certainly showed no fear despite that famous duck after the most vicious working over from Michael Holding.
    Yes, Leo Mckinstry poors cold water on that theory in his excellent book 'Boycs'

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard'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.
    There isn't much doubt in my mind that most Umpires were pretty poor at enforcing the anti-intimadatory-bowling rules - that's pretty obvious from reading Harold Bird's autobiographies.
    Certainly, though, I often find people willing to exaggerate the West Indian bowling excesses. David Frith is regularly among these.
    That, too, is obvious from Harold Bird's books. He rarely criticises them.
    Yes, their behaviour with regards over-rates was poor, but there were no rules about them in those days, so they can hardly be accused of breaking them.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac
    In Aust. they were bouncer happy, their over rates were a joke and they all but killed spin bowling. So I tend to agree with Frith.
    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.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autobahn
    On the other hand smacking a no.11 rabbit with short balls is just vindictive.
    And some would have us believe it's "good, aggressive cricket".

  15. #15
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79
    It's interesting isn't it that players like Lloyd, Richards, and Garner, Marshall and Ambrose don't have the stigma attached to them that Jardine and Larwood did.

    Perhaps because, particularly by the 80s onwards, the standards of batsmens' protection had improved to the point where it was unlikely, albeit still possible, anyone would be permanently maimed...

    Also I guess cricket was a much more professional pursuit by the 80s compared to the 1930s when it was still regarded as a gentleman's sport.
    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.
    From my general impressions, as opposed to any in depth research, it seems, in the few times they were defeated during that period of dominance, their inability to come up with a plan B when bouncers didn't work hampered them...
    Bouncers weren't even their main weapon - all were good swing and seam bowlers who also happened to bowl a lot of Bouncers.

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