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Caribbean hurricane in India: Clive Lloyd's revenge series


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Clive Lloyd with Vivian Richards

Clive Lloyd: The man who transformed Caribbean cricket

Clive Lloyd hated the "calypso cricketers" tag which West Indies cricket was associated with in the old days. He instilled a sense of pride, professionalism, and discipline into a bunch of talented individuals who bowled fast and batted hard on the beaches of the Caribbean, transforming themselves into a world-beating unit.

His formula was to unleash four of the fastest bowlers in the world to demolish batsmen across the cricketing world and was backed up by batsmen who could tackle the best bowling attacks with ridiculous ease.

Whether it was Test cricket or one-day internationals, the West Indies reigned supreme through the late 1970s, reached their absolute peak in the mid-1980s and continued to dominate until the mid 1990s.

Such was their dominance that cricket historians question whether such a team ever strode on a cricket field ever again. At home or abroad, irrespective of the conditions, Clive Lloyd's West Indies always found a way to win.

Establishing superiority in any sport requires statistics and a tournament involving the top teams. If the ICC rankings had come into force in the 1970s and 1980s, the West Indies, in all probability, would have been at the top of the heap. There was no elaborate ranking system back then and Test cricket did not have a world championship.

The one-day format, however, did have a World Cup, the first of which was held in 1975. It was the stage to prove who the best side was in the world of cricket.

West Indies: Champions in 1975 and 1979

In the World Cup finals in 1975, West Indies faced Australia. Batting first, West Indies put on an imposing total of 291 in 60 overs with a masterly 102 from the captain, Clive Lloyd. Ian Chappel top-scored for Australia with 62, but his side could manage only 274. West Indies were crowned champions of the world.

Four years later, in 1979, Vivian Richards showed the world why he was the best with a knock of 138 powering his team to 286/9 in the final against England. Mike Brearley's side could only manage 194 in reply. The message to the cricketing world was clear.

Clive Lloyd's West Indies were not just the best in the world, they were invincible.

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