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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
Lloyd's 33 minutes of fame
By Steve Beauchampé

As West Indies return to Edgbaston 20 years after the event that shaped his career, Andy Lloyd knows he has a degree of immortality, at least as far as quiz masters are concerned.

Lloyd is hit by a delivery from Malcolm Marshall
Marshall's delivery left Lloyd down and out
"Who's the only Test opener never to have been dismissed?" he says.

"I'm the answer to that question."

Unfortunately, Lloyd's Test career is best remembered for the moment that ended it, after barely more than half an hour.

The 1984 West Indian tourists boasted the fearsome pace trio of Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner at their peak.

They were ready, willing and extremely able to torment the English batsmen.

For the first Test, Warwickshire's 27-year-old left-hand opener was drafted in for his Test debut.

"I'd played in the three preceding one-day internationals, and done quite well", recalls Lloyd, "so I was confident and ready to play."

The ball kept low, swung back, and I turned in to it and was struck on the right temple
Andy Lloyd
England won the toss and, on a bright June morning, Lloyd strode out to begin what was the probably the shortest and most unfortunate of Test careers.

Garner sparkled, capturing Graeme Fowler and Derek Randall to leave England struggling at 5-2.

Lloyd and David Gower steadied things with a 20-run stand, but Lloyd had managed 10 when the moment arrived to change the course of his career, with Marshall the bowler.

"He bowled me a short pitched ball which I expected would fly over my left shoulder, but it kept low, swung back, and I turned in to it and was struck on the right temple."

Though wearing a helmet - "a flimsy, early prototype compared to the robust versions used today" - Lloyd suffered serious injury and was hospitalised for several days with blurred vision.

"My season was over", he recalls, "My right eye was damaged and had I been hit again [not unlikely given the effects of such an injury] it could have jeopardised my recovery."

So that was it: 33 minutes at the crease, 6.1 overs.

"The damage was permanent and the vision in my right eye not as sharp. Consequently I never again scored the weight of runs to justify a recall."

Andy Lloyd
He might have knocked my middle pole out next ball, but I'll never know
Andy Lloyd
Lloyd feels no ill will to the West Indies side, despite widespread criticism that the incessant short-pitched bowling was designed to intimidate batsmen, rather than induce uncertainty in their game.

"You play to your strengths and they had the quickest bowlers in the world," he says.

"But that side was about much more than pace, there was Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, skipper Clive Lloyd, Roger Harper's off spin.

"They were the best team in the world, absolutely brilliant, and they beat us 5-0."

"Even so, we were a handy side, with Gower, Randall, Bob Willis and Ian Botham, and Allan Lamb scored three centuries in that series alone."

England 191 all out
IT Botham 64, J Garner 4-53
West Indies 606 all out
HA Gomes 143, IVA Richards 117, DR Pringle 5-108
England 235 all out
PR Downton 56, J Garner 5-55
West Indies won by an innings and 180 runs
While Lloyd's international career was over, his contribution to Warwickshire continues to this day.

Club captain from 1988-1992, he is widely acknowledged as having laid much of the groundwork for successor Dermot Reeve's all-conquering side of the mid-1990s.

Today, as chairman of Warwickshire's cricket committee, he is helping oversee the Bears' latest Championship challenge.

But in certain respects, it is the events of June 1984 that give him most pride.

"Being selected for your country is the greatest honour any player can achieve and it was just disappointing that I couldn't have had a real go at it.

"I was feeling confident. He might have knocked my middle pole out next ball, but I'll never know.

"In one day - in one hour - I experienced the greatest high and low of my playing career."


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