The West Indian captain Clive Lloyd, who did not play in the match against South Zone in Hyderabad and was busy giving tips to his team-mates, managed to spend some time talking to Sportstar.
He wears contact lens now-a-days, has added considerably to his waist-line since his last visit to India nearly a decade ago.
Excerpts from the interview:
Team selection: I know the threat of rain will always be there at least during the first part of the current tour. Personally I would have liked to begin the tour by November. But this party (team) was picked with particular reference to several one-day internationals as we would be going direct to Australia from here for the Benson and Hedges matches. We have only one genuine off-spinner and at present he is certainly not on par with Lance Gibbs. But Harper, a finger spinner, has the ability to work over long spells. I am sure he could be moulded into top material during the tour. Besides, Harper is a good bat.
Composition of the team for Tests: It could be like, say, three pacemen, an all-rounder, a spinner, a wicketkeeper and a specialist batsmen. However, it depends on the current form and conditions of the pitches. In this regard the value of all-rounders (Marshall and Baptiste) cannot be overemphasised. Nowadays the workload of players has increased because too many one-day internationals are thrust in between. In Australia, the one-day matches are held separately, that is, after the five-day Tests are completed. It would be a fine idea if the Australian example is followed.
Relinquishing captaincy: It was true I wanted to give up the captaincy soon after the third Prudential Cup in June. But the Board members insisted that I should continue so that my experience will be useful for a tough assignment such as the one I have on hand at present. After taking my own time to decide, I finally agreed to lead. I took this decision because by the time I over charge I would have had the satisfaction of discharging my duty in a more responsible manner. Also my successor would have things relatively easier.
Clive Lloyd in action during the Ahmedabad Test. – THE HINDU ARCHIVES
Youngsters in the team: Almost all the youngsters picked for this tour are talented and destined to go places. Gus Logie is a batsman to watch, full of strokes and raring to go. If the ball comes onto the bat and if he is in good nick, then the Indian spectators are in for a fine feast. Harper, as I have mentioned earlier has in him the
material to go far. Baptiste, whose bowling speed and the flourish with the bat, as seen in the English summer last season, is another exciting prospect.
Wes Hall was the find in the 1958-59 series and in 1974-75 it was Andy Roberts who stole the limelight. And this tour could well find Baptiste making leaping strides. Don’t underestimate Winston Davis and Richard Richardson either.
The terrific trio: I have healthy respect for Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath and Kapil Dev. Any batsman who can pile up 28 Test hundreds has to be respected. And particularly Sunny who always seems to have a preference to our bowling. Needless to mention his wicket will be eagerly sought after by us. Mohinder, fine strokes aided by strong temperament, took a lot of runs against us earlier this year. Kapil, I consider, as one of the best all-
rounders in the world now and that tells his credentials.
Clive Lloyd on the cover of Sportstar for the World Cup special issue. – THE HINDU ARCHIVES
World Cup debacle: Admittedly June 25, 1983 (the day we lost to India in the Prudential Cup final) was one of my disappointing days in cricketing career. But full marks to India. Any side that can win by a comfortable margin after being bowled out for 183 deserves a high amount of praise. India fielded superbly that day while Roger Binny and Mohinder did the run-denying acts in an excellent manner.
Flood-lit cricket: Now that the night cricket has come to stay, a start should be made somewhere for having venues for such type of games the world over. I am glad Delhi staged the first flood-lit match in India. We too had a night game in Barbados recently and that went off very well too.
Most respected player: A tough question to answer. But to me, lan Chappell remains a model. lan led the side from the front. A great attacking batsman and a courageous captain. The Packer series brought us closer and I drew a lot of inspiration from him. And talking about Packer, I should mention the role he played in our monetary benefits arising out of cricket. Now we are much better off with our board paying us in direct proportion to the Tests we have played.
Sportstar had published this interview on 22.10.1983 during West Indies’ tour of India. Due to no sporting action for the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to rerun one cricket interview everyday from our treasure trove.
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