Just read a brilliant article in Cricinfo. NZ umpires really screwed
Lloyd and his team over in 1980. Question for the longest time decided
opininon has been that the Pakis were the worst umpires in the world.
Kaiser Hyat, Shakoor Rana and other such thugs that were both cheats
and incompetent. After reading the cricinfo article, it seems like NZ
was actually worse than the Pakis.
Shoulder barges and flying stumps
February 18, 2006
Michael Holding boils over at Dunedin ? Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
The 1979-80 tour of New Zealand by West Indies produced what was one of
the most acrimonious Test series of all time, and probably marked the
nadir in player behaviour in a year pockmarked by unsavoury incidents.
West Indies arrived after a tour of Australia during which they had won
the Test series 2-0 and also beaten England 2-0 in the inaugural final
of the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup. But from the off, things went
badly. Michael Holding recalled that the team had to carry their own
kit to the bus and were accommodated in "cramped motels" rather than
five-star hotels. And he didn't like the food provided on the grounds -
"usually sausage and beans".
example, had gone straight home after the Australian leg of the tour),
perhaps it was because they were on the back foot against opponents
they would have expected to crush. Whatever the reason, the result was
The trouble all started early in New Zealand's second innings at
Dunedin when Holding felt he had John Parker caught behind by
wicketkeeper Deryck Murray, but umpire John Hastie disagreed. Holding
fumed, then walked down to the striker's end and fly-hacked two of the
stumps out of the ground. The spectacular image of the kick, described
by a local paper as " a disgraceful display of back-alley behaviour",
was to provide a fitting image of the series, although Holding later
admitted it had been reproduced a bit too much for his liking. "This
was not cricket," Holding wrote, "and I didn't have to be part of it. I
was on my way to the pavilion, quite prepared not to bowl again, when
Clive Lloyd and Murray persuaded me back."
Rather than take any action, Willie Rodriguez, the West Indies manager,
gave Holding no more than a talking to, and then inflamed the situation
when he told the press that: "We got two men out and they were not
given. They were atrocious decisions." As if to underline their
manager's comments, only Desmond Haynes (who was Batsman of the Match)
attended the post-game presentations. Richard Hadlee was unimpressed,
pointing out "good sportsmanship is fundamental". All-in-all, it
overshadowed a remarkable Test which New Zealand won by one wicket
after being set 104.
Nine days later, the teams resumed battle in the second Test at
Christchurch, but any hope that the acrimony would be forgotten was
dispelled on the third afternoon, and again it was a catch at the
wicket which triggered the problems. This time, the batsman was New
Zealand's captain, Geoff Howarth, who was on 68 (he went on to get
147), the bowler Joel Garner, and the umpire Fred Goodall.
At the tea break, West Indies were almost apoplectic. Lloyd asked his
side what they wanted to do, and the unanimous decision was not to
resume. As the umpires and batsmen waited in the middle, a New Zealand
board official was told by Lloyd: "They can wait. We won't be joining
Holding with Colin Croft and Joel Garner ? Getty Images
Howarth returned to the pavilion and talked to Lloyd, apparently
assuring him that he would tell his batsmen they had to walk if they
knew they had hit the ball. West Indies agreed to resume, some 12
minutes after the scheduled time. But in the first over Holding later
recalled that Howarth stood his ground "for yet another clear catch by
Murray." The final session was marred by a dreadful over rate, and at
one stage Holding bowled four successive bouncers to Howarth.
That night, West Indies packed up their kit and emptied the dressing
room. Although the next day was the rest day, they did not anticipate
returning and expected to be leaving New Zealand altogether. During a
three-hour squad meeting a vote was taken and the majority, including
Rodriguez, said they wanted to quit the tour. But when the West Indies
board was advised, it made it clear that was not an option.
But the fourth day contained the most unpleasant incident of all. Colin
Croft, who was repeatedly jeered by the crowd for dawdling back to his
mark, appealed - belatedly - for a catch behind when Hadlee swished at
a bouncer and again Goodall turned it down. Croft reacted with a
four-letter salvo at Goodall, and both then umpires spoke to West
Indies' captain, Lloyd. It had little effect.
In his next over, Croft slammed a series of bouncers at Hadlee, and
when Goodall no-balled him, Croft deliberately knocked the bails off as
he walked back past the stumps. As he ran in to bowl his next ball (he
did so from almost directly behind the umpire) he deliberately
shoulder-charged him. "It hurt for a while," Goodall said. "I told
Lloyd I have taken some treatment from players in my time, but it has
always been verbal."
Both umpires again talked at length with Lloyd (who would not budge
from where he was standing in the slips and made them walk all the way
over to him) but he refused to remove Croft from the attack. He must
have wished he had as in his next over Croft again peppered Hadlee with
bouncers, one flying high over Murray for four byes, conceding 15 runs.
Croft was taken off and spent the rest of the day sulking on the
boundary, showing almost no interest in proceedings.
Fortunately, the third Test was less eventful, but not before West
Indies had withdrawn a protest against the appointment of Goodall to
stand in the match. The tour still ended on a sour note when four
senior West Indies players indicated they had flights arranged to take
them home which would mean them leaving at lunch on the final day. They
explained that substitute fielders could take their place. Fortunately,
they were talked out of a last act of petulance.
"Our bowlers appealed ump*** times," Lloyd shrugged at the
end-of-series press conference . "But it got to the ridiculous stage
when they weren't even appealing. They knew they wouldn't get the
decision." Murray estimated that as many as 20 decisions went against
Clive Lloyd: failed to control his side ... but that did stop him
becoming an ICC match referee ? Getty Images
Wisden summed up the situation as follows: "The main complaint in New
Zealand was about the umpiring, and in retrospect there is little doubt
that if both sides suffered from difficult, debatable decisions, more
went against West Indies than against New Zealand. Both Rodriguez and
Lloyd said there should be neutral umpires in Test matches. Such
complaints by touring teams are by no means uncommon; they have been
made in every cricketing country for years. But Rodriguez, after
stating at a press conference in Christchurch that he did not think the
umpiring was biased, only incompetent, claimed after his departure that
the West Indians had had to get batsmen out nine times before getting a
decision. And his allegations went well beyond the bounds of acceptable
comment when he claimed the West Indians were `set up; that there was
no way we could win a Test'."
But once back in the Caribbean, Lloyd admitted that he should have
taken a firmer line with his players and that he was to blame for
incidents that "were not in the best interests of the game". For the
tour of England which followed, Rodriguez was replaced by the more
diplomatic Clyde Walcott, and all the squad signed a contract which
included a penalty clause covering bad behaviour.
Martin Williamson is managing editor of Cricinfo.