Time for Windies to reclaim World Cup - Lloyd
… former Windies captain slams tour selectors for dropping Sarwan By Isaiah Chappelle
Guyana Chronicle
December 14, 2006

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CRICKET’S greatest captain Clive Lloyd recalled he was dropped from the West Indies team despite having a good record and hinted that dropped vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan should lead the regional side in the next World Cup.

Delivering the feature address at the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) annual awards ceremony at Umana Yana, Tuesday night, Lloyd told the West Indies vice-captain that he was in “good company”.

“I had seven Test centuries with an average of 40. So you’re in good company. It just shows how stupid they were and in your case, that lot that decided to have you dropped.”

In spite of that, Lloyd said he knew and people here knew, how good Sarwan was, and it would be only a matter of time before he would be back there.

Lloyd recalled that Sarwan had just about five minutes notice to lead the West Indies against Australia in the Champions Trophy, when captain Brian Lara could not take the field.

“What a great job you did. Those are things that you remember. You couldn’t get a better person working there as your vice-captain. You’re only told five minutes before a very important game and got the players behind him and won a very exciting game. That game was the impetus to do well in the competition.”

Lloyd said it was time that the West Indies reclaimed the World Cup because of the advantage of playing in the region and the team should be in the final.

“If I had anything to do with that World Cup, I would like to see somebody holding it up – I hope it’s our vice-captain (Sarwan), I don’t know; it could be anyone, but whoever holds it up - I think it’s time we reclaim the trophy.”

The West Indies won the inaugural and second World Cup under the captaincy of Lloyd.

But were it not for the personal intervention of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, who had tremendous influence in the region, Lloyd might not have become the world’s most successful captain.

Introducing the former captain, GCB secretary Bishwa Panday related how he arrived in Guyana after the game against Trinidad and Tobago had started.

“He was brought to the ground by helicopter, arrived in time to put on the pads to go to the crease and scored a hundred. A story book tale!

“Some remember, too, how he returned to Guyana, having been left out by the West Indies selectors, regained his place after representing Guyana against the touring Australians and smashed a Test century, 178, at Bourda. They called that Burnham magic.”

Lloyd went on to become widely acknowledged as the most successful captain in the history of cricket.

“Anyone who knows anything about this beautiful game would know how he presided over the dominance of world cricket in the seventies and the eighties.

“Series after series, at home and abroad, he gave dynamic leadership to a team of exceptionally talented players, moulding their skills into what proved to be an unbeatable combination.”

Lloyd led the West Indies to the first two World Cup titles. In 1975, he hit a century for eventual victory over Australia in the final at Lord’s, and in 1979, the West Indies beat England at the same venue for the second title.

“Clive Lloyd would be, I believe, the only cricketer to raise that World Cup, the symbol of international cricketing supremacy, above his head twice.”