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Tuesday, December 9, 1997 Published at 08:12 GMT

Special Report

Whitewashed - West Indies on the receiving end (Pt 2)

Viv Riohards - master of his world

Kings of one-day cricket

The early 1970s saw West Indian dominance challenged. Both India and Australia won series in the Caribbean, and even England gained a drawn rubber there.

[ image: Clive Lloyd - led his team to win World Cup]
Clive Lloyd - led his team to win World Cup
The year 1975, however, saw the inaugural cricket World Cup and the West Indies proved that they could adapt their game to the constraints of one-day cricket. Skipper Clive Lloyd thrashed 102 runs off the Australian attack in the final at Lord's to see his side home by 17 runs.

Four years later, it was England on the receiving end in the final as Viv Richards - in the sort of form which made him a nightmare to bowl to - bludgeoned the sorry home bowlers for an unbeaten 138. With England collapsing from 183-2 to 194 all out, the West Indies coasted to victory by the huge margin of 92 runs.


Most of the 1980s was a period of Calypso Cricket as stars such as Richards, Greenidge and Haynes with the bat, and Garner, Marshall and Holding with the ball, strode triumphantly across the Test stage.

[ image: Gordon Greenidge - mainstay of the batting]
Gordon Greenidge - mainstay of the batting
One of the few blemishes on their record came in 1983, when they surprisingly lost their hold on the World Cup to India.

[ image: Malcolm Marshall - one of the greats]
Malcolm Marshall - one of the greats
The following year, however, things were back to normal as the West Indian tourists crushed England 5-0. This whitewash - swiftly dubbed a "blackwash" by fans and the media - was the first England had suffered since 1920-21.

It was not to be a unique humiliation for England in modern times, however, as their visit to the Caribbean in 1986 ended with exactly the same 5-0 scoreline. By those standards, the West Indies slipped a little two years later when they allowed England to escape with a single draw in a 4-0 series win!

The early 1990s seemed set fair for the West Indies, especially with the emergence of batsman Brian Lara.

[ image: Brian Lara - not the force he was once]
Brian Lara - not the force he was once
Lara's "annus mirabilis" was 1994, when he beat the record for a Test innings, held by Sir Gary Sobers, by scoring 375 against England in April. He followed that up with a first class record of 501 for his English county, Warwickshire, against Durham that summer.

The downturn in West Indian fortunes, however, began just the following year when the Australians visited the Caribbean and came away with a 2-1 victory, crowned with a crushing innings win in the final Test in Jamaica. The Waugh brothers hammered the once-feared home pace attack all round the Sabina Park ground and Lara, once seemingly capable of winning matches on his own, could respond with only a duck in the crucial second innings.

Worse was to follow in the 1996 World Cup. Racked by internal dissension and criticised for lack of effort, the low point was a humiliating 73-run defeat at the hands of the part-timers from Kenya. In their six-team group, the West Indies finished last of the four qualifiers, ahead only of Kenya and Zimbabwe..

They eventually regrouped and reached the semi-finals, but the aura of invincibility was gone, replaced by an image of disorganisation and under-achievement.

[ image: Courtney Walsh - captain of the whitewashed squad]
Courtney Walsh - captain of the whitewashed squad
The Australians again proved their masters in 1996-7 and although the West Indians edged a narrow series victory over the Indians earlier this year, their weaknesses have been well and truly exposed - even if only temporarily - by the Pakistan debacle.

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1997 Contents
 -  Schengen
 -  Quiz
 -  Asian economic woes
 -  BSE
 -  Thanksgiving
 -  Korean elections 97

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