Former captain scripts open letter to the team in Bangladesh, urging the inexperienced players to consider in themselves
In 1966, 22-year-old Guyanese youngster Clive Lloyd made his international debut in the first Test of the India tour, played in what was once then Bombay. Lloyd, the tall and bespectacled left-hander, was once told he was once playing the match less than an hour before the start because of the finger injury to Seymour Nurse.
Lloyd scored 82 and an unbeaten 78 to help the visitors take the series lead. West Indies won the three-match Test series 2-0 with Lloyd finishing some of the top five run-makers. Lloyd utilised that fortuitous break to grow into a solid batsman and one of the vital successful and dominant captains in cricket.
Now, at 76, Lloyd wants to use the story of his debut to motivate the inexperienced West Indies squads in Bangladesh. Several of West Indies’ first-team players in both the Test and white-ball teams opted out of the Bangladesh tour which comprises three ODIs followed by two Tests.
In a heartfelt letter addressed to the contingent, Lloyd told the players that despite the fact that they might feel they have got “thrown in the deep” in what’s going to be a “daunting” assignment, it isn’t “insurmountable.” The letter was once distributed to the West Indies players at the behest of Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt.
Following is Lloyd’s letter in full.
I thought that I would send you this message as I’m aware that you are embarking on a Tour which you almost certainly weren’t prepared for and possibly you’re feeling like you’ve been thrown in the deep end and that people expect you to stand and deliver. What you must understand is that you’ve a chance of cementing a permanent place in the West Indies Team and not merely filling a hole. You have been chosen on merit. This is your fate. It’s your possibility to fulfill it. It is a perfect possibility to illustrate your talents and skills to the world and prove to all and sundry that you are not second-class cricketers. You’ll be able to step up to the plate.
In 1966 I used to be not selected in the original Test Team. Fortuitously, Seymour Nurse got injured and 45 minutes before the 1st Test I used to be informed that I used to be playing and I played 35 straight Test Matches because I performed mannered. We won the series. You see I recognized there was once an possibility to illustrate my talent and capabilities and I seized it with both hands. In addition, playing for the West Indies is likely one of the highest honors a citizen of the region can achieve. I believed it then and I consider it now.
You have found yourselves in precisely the same position; subsequently, the world is your oyster. This is your possibility to prove yourself worthy of your selection and you must be proud to wear that West Indies blazer and cap. You are representing one of the vital best cricketing nations which possesses an enviable record of which we are very proud. Consider, we’re a nation of just over five million people.
Clive Lloyd’s letter was once distributed to the West Indies players in Bangladesh Associated Press
Our records include: 29 Test matches without losing. 11 straight wins. For 17 years straight we never missing a test match.
This is just a snapshot of our exploits and achievements previously. It took tough work, commitment and a sense of purpose to realise them. Above all I would advise that you pay near attention to your levels of fitness and seek always if as a batsman or a bowler to refine your techniques and skills. My team did it and I am self-assured you’ll too.
You now have the possibility to beef up our Test match rating and instill some pride again in the usual of our Cricket. This isn’t just my expectation but that also of all of the Caribbean region. Your victory would be theirs also.
Your shuttle to Bangladesh might look daunting but this task isn’t insurmountable. It’s the ideal possibility. With your determination, professionalism, youth and tenacity you’ll begin the daybreak of a new era under the (Test) captaincy of the very astute Kraigg Brathwaite. Again, what I am saying to you isn’t idle hypothesis. It is based on my own experience. When I took over the West Indies cricket team we had missing more than twenty Test matches on a trot and there was once a lucid need for rebuilding and a re-purposing of the team. I also had quite a few untried players, as many of you might be. But my team did not flinch from the challenge and we eventually emerged on top. I am self-assured you’ll begin the essential rebuilding of the West Indies team. We did it because we believed in ourselves. You’ll be able to too. Self belief is step one to success.
I would really like you to bear in mind this adage: ‘as a way to gain altitude, you should have the correct attitude’. A positive mental attitude will see you through many tight situations which I’m certain you’ll encounter all the way through this Tour.
Lastly, success comes before work only in the dictionary. I wish you the most productive of luck. Please bear in mind the general public are judged by the obstacles they overcome.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo