To mark the 50th anniversary of overseas players coming to county cricket in large numbers, we’ve asked an expert on each county to pick their top three for that club. Broadcaster and former Lancashire coach and player David Lloyd picks them for his side.
1. CLIVE LLOYD
West Indies (1968-86)
My formative years were spent with Clive. He is a brilliant man, an adopted Lancastrian, and was a fabulous player. He hit the ball so hard and was a magnificent fielder: a game-changer. He dragged the team along. We would look at him, as cautious county cricketers, and think, ‘I wonder if I can do that – let’s see if I can do something different’.
I remember playing a Gillette Cup game against Gloucester at Old Trafford when we both scored hundreds. Jack Davey was just a medium-pacer, left-arm over, but I couldn’t get him away. Clive came down to me and said, ‘You keep coming forward, go back’. I said, ‘But he’s bowling a fuller length’. He said, ‘Just go back, it will give you more time and you can hit him over the leg-side’. It worked.
In that same game Procky [Mike Procter] bowled a bouncer at Clive and he got in an almighty tangle and it went down to fine-leg, I think for six over the keeper. Procky gave him a mouthful and Clive came down the wicket to me and said, ‘This man is vexing me, I’m going to hit him into the pavilion’. And he did!
2. WASIM AKRAM
One of the greatest cricketers I’ve ever seen – his nickname was ‘King’. He’d be in any World XI. Wasim was an instant hit with the players, which is so important. They revered him. He could change a game at any time, whatever the pitch or conditions.
3. FAROKH ENGINEER
I’m going to go with my old mate Farokh, just in front of Muttiah Muralitharan. Farokh was one of the very first overseas players, a wonderful gloveman and destructive batsman – he once scored 90-odd in a session of a Test match against West Indies. He had a career at Lancs, whereas Murali was devastating but only with the county for a short time.
Have your say
Pick up issue 7 of Wisden Cricket Monthly, featuring a 21-page special to mark the 50th anniversary of overseas players in county cricket