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The Tale Of Burnham, Lloyd, And WI Cricket Captaincy

The Internet is certainly today’s express information superhighway as well as the epicenter of communication and social interaction.

Consequently, browsing the web one can easily discover information and find discussions that are not only thought provoking, entertaining, and interesting but also enlightening.

The Tale Of Burnham, Lloyd, And WI Cricket CaptaincyA click on the website of Caribbeancricket.com proves the point recently. Here, there was an ongoing heated debate on the topic of the selection of one of West Indies cricket most celebrated captains in the 1970s – Clive Lloyd.

The lead poster posited the view that for some time now he had noticed a large number of people making the assertion that Clive Lloyd was installed as the captain of the West Indies team at the behest of the late Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, former Prime Minister and President of Guyana.

He argued that such claims were not only unfounded and uninformed but simply boulderdash. The poster lamented the fact that this gross inaccuracy continued to dominate discussions and charged that it was the neophytes among netizens who seek to perpetuate and spread such misguided information.

In an attempt to correct the record, the lead poster declared that in November 1972 the West Cricket Board invited several players for an upcoming home series against Australia in early 1973. However, Clive Lloyd was not among the invitees even though he was playing very well for the Lancashire cricket team in England, having won the Man of the Match (MOM) award in the Final of the Gillette Cup Competition.

The poster further explained that Lloyd by then had decided to go to Australia to play grade cricket and promptly signed a contract to do so in December 1972 and January 1973.

He noted that, “When Forbes Burnham heard this, he contacted the Guyanese Charge D’Affairs in OZ (Australia) and told him to contact Lloyd and get him out of the contract and ensure he is back in Guyana to at least represent Guyana in the Shell Shield. At the time Sobers had significant fitness issues and was clearly struggling with a bothersome knee injury and the WI captaincy was up for grabs.”

Moreover, the poster argued, if Lloyd had gone to Australia he would not have been in the pecking order as a player, yet alone up for captaincy consideration, as other candidates for the position were already at home, in the Caribbean.

He further noted that it was not sweet homecoming for Lloyd as he was overlooked and ignored for selection on several occasions for a number of matches. According to the poster, Lloyd was extremely displeased with his non-selection and playing status. He threatened to return to England and made this known to the late Clyde Walcott, manager of the team, at the time.

“It is testament to the superb diplomatic skills of the late great Sir Clyde Walcott who was able to talk an almost hysterical Clive Lloyd into staying around as 12th man for that second test or else Clive Lloyd might have been lost to WI cricket. Clive subsequently played in the 3rd test in Trinidad and for the 4th test in Guyana made a fantastic back to the wall century and then went to England and had a fantastic test series against England scoring well in all 3 test matches,” opined the poster.

He continued, “It was not until August 1974 that Clive Lloyd while playing for Lancashire was called by the selectors and told he was the new WI captain. I know, because less than 2 hours after he got that call, he called the house I was staying at in London to break the news to us.”

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow