CAB felicitates West Indian great Clive Lloyd

Kolkata, Jan 13 (UNI) In the last 24 hours, the temperature had plummeted in Kolkata. There was a chill in the air. But the mercury had gone up a few notches at the Eden Gardens on Saturday as the towering personality of Clive Hubert Lloyd walked down the lawns with his leisured ease on to the stage.

Cricket Association of Bengal was felicitating the living legend from the Caribbeans and the two-time Cricket World Cup winning captain Sir Clive Lloyd.

After a 10 minute audio-visual of the man himself, he was felicitated with a gold wristlet with his name engraved on it and the customary blazer.

“It is special to return here at Eden Gardens. I made my first match here as Captain. I have so many good memories of this ground.

The West Indians love to come to Kolkata for the love that is showered on them. I have felt the same love this time also, and I am overwhelmed. I would like to thank the association for their warmth and love,” Lloyd said.

The West Indian was here to grace the platinum jubilee of Satgachia High School in rural Bengal of Bardhaman district.

Like the tough captain he was, he did some straight talking, “I have no qualms with T20. I would love to see the players earning their money. But I would love to see either three or five Test matches in any bilateral series. I would call a T20 an exhibition and a Test match an examination.”

He also talked about the distribution of money from ICC so that cricket can flourish and thrive in the Caribbeans, which is a conglomerate of 14 islands. “This is a plea from me, and let’s see what happens,” he said.

Lloyd invited the crowd at Eden Gardens to come to the West Indies for the forthcoming T20 World Cup. “I welcome all of you to my country. It. is a great atmosphere there. You will be taken care of, and you will enjoy the games there.”

Asked what brand of cricket he would like to play if he had his team come here today, he said: “Any brand. I would love to play it all. The crowd loves their cricket here. But I am a Test match guy.” He also wanted to see Chandrasekhar play T20 cricket today.

Speaking on the occasion, the CAB President said, “I thank Sir Clive Lloyd for taking out his valuable time to be present at the Eden Gardens. CAB and the Eden Gardens have got a lot of memories with Sir Clive Lloyd. The immediate memory that comes to my mind as a flashback is that in 1974 when Clive Lloyd came as captain to Eden Gardens. The Indian team was led by Nawab Pataudi.

“That was the West Indies team that had the likes of Greenidge, Richards and this team dominated world Cricket for the next 15 years under his leadership. That team produced greats like Sir Gordon Greenidge, Sir Vivian Richards, Alvin Kallicharran, Lawrence Rowe. It is Clive Lloyd who has shown world Cricket how fast bowlers can make an impact during that time.

“The introduction of Sir Andy Roberts, supported by Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, and later Malcolm Marshall.

These were the players of 70s and 80s who played under Clive Lloyd with tremendous control on the game. The way he handled all the great players of that West Indies team in that era is something extraordinary.”

Clive left the crowd enthralled with his wisdom and humour before retiring for the evening.

While on his way out, Clive was given a guard of honour by 20 age-group cricketers from Bengal.

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