Widely renowned for being one of the finest batsmen to have ever played cricket, Sir Clive Lloyd was born on August 31, 1944.
Standing at a whopping six feet five inch, Lloyd played a big role in restoring West Indies’ status of being the most dominating unit in world cricket after he led his team to two back-to-back World Cup triumphs. And having captained 74 of his 110 Tests, the mighty hitter guided his team to a 27-game unbeaten streak, which also includes the infamous “Blackwash” of England in 1984.
Here we take a look at some of the most interesting facts about the mighty hitter.
1. You might be wondering about his ever-glaring thick glasses. Well, for your information, he damaged his eyes at the tender age of 12 while attempting to break up a fight at school. He has been wearing such thick glasses since then.
2. Lloyd’s early cricket connection is as vague as it can get. While his father wasn’t really a sports enthusiast, having worked as a chauffeur to the local doctor, his mother was the sister of Lance Gibbs, who is regarded as one of the most successful spin bowlers in Test cricket history.
3. Growing up, Lloyd didn’t really have the facilities he would have hoped for. He, however, made sure he gets the best out of everything that has been made available for him. Legends have it that he trained with the basic weight training equipment collected by a local tyre repair shop.
4. Lloyd dismissed the likes of Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry in only his first Test against Australia. The mastermind behind this artistry, however, was his then captain Garry Sobers, who told him to bowl the off-breaks. The next thing they know, the Aussies were caught at cover and mid-wicket.
5. Up against India in 1976, Lloyd decided to declare the innings at 271/6, leaving India a target of 403 runs to chase. And while he would have thought this is a job well done, India went on to defy the odds. Riding on the back an unbeaten ton by Gundappa Viswanath, India won the game by six wickets.
An exasperated Lloyd was left livid with the performance of his bowlers and gave them one strong team talk. “Gentlemen, I gave you 400 runs to bowl at and you failed to bowl out the opposition. How many runs must I give you in future to make sure that you get the wickets?”
6. By far the wittiest fact; once an old lady in Haslingden, Lancashire contacted local police after finding the windows broken and smashed. And while she predicted the cause as the missiles, it was discovered that Lloyd was playing in a nearby cricket ground and the destruction was caused by his rampage.
Quite a Legend! Quite a life!
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP / Ben Stansall