West Indian cricket team in England in 1988
|West Indians in England in 1988|
|Dates||7 May – 8 August 1988|
|Captains||IVA Richards||MW Gatting
|Result||West Indies won the 5-match series 4–0|
|Most runs||AL Logie (364)||GA Gooch (459)|
|Most wickets||MD Marshall (35)||GR Dilley (15)|
|Player of the series||GA Gooch (Eng) and MD Marshall (WI)|
|One Day International series|
|Result||England won the 3-match series 3–0|
|Most runs||CG Greenidge (78)||MW Gatting (140)|
|Most wickets||IR Bishop (4)||GC Small (6)|
|Player of the series||MW Gatting (Eng) and MD Marshall (WI)|
The West Indian cricket team played 16 first-class cricket matches in England in 1988, under the captaincy of Viv Richards. The West Indies enjoyed tremendous success during the tour, while England endured a "disastrous summer" of continuous change.
England easily won the initial three-match One Day International (ODI) series, retaining the Texaco Trophy and raising expectations for a successful summer in the five-match Test series to follow. However, the West Indies comfortably retained the Wisden Trophy by winning the Test series 4–0. This tour has become known in cricketing circles as the "summer of four captains" as England used four different captains in the five Test matches.
West Indian cricket team
By the summer of 1988, the West Indies had experienced nearly ten years as the best Test team in world cricket, including a streak of winning 10 of 11 Test series they played from 1980 to 1985–86 (the other was drawn). However, the West Indies side that had enjoyed this considerable recent success was beginning to show signs of ageing. The experienced batsmen Viv Richards (the captain), Gordon Greenidge, Jeff Dujon, and Desmond Haynes were all coming to the end of their careers, and bowlers Michael Holding and Joel Garner had recently retired. As a result, the squad arrived with an unusually inexperienced group of pace bowlers. Supporting Malcolm Marshall, a veteran of 53 Tests, were relative newcomers Courtney Walsh (20 Tests), Patrick Patterson (11), Winston Benjamin (4), Curtly Ambrose (3) and Ian Bishop (0).
The West Indies' most recent series had been a hard-fought 1–1 draw at home against Pakistan, but their previous two Test series against England had both resulted in 5–0 victories. The first of these, in England in 1984, was the first whitewash England had suffered since the 1920–21 season when England toured Australia, while the second occurred in the Caribbean in 1985–86. These two one-sided victories by the West Indies became known as "blackwashes".
English cricket team
By contrast, the English team had suffered a run of bad performances spanning several years, winning only seven of their previous 52 Tests. The England side had most recently toured Australia, drawing the Bicentennial Test and losing the only One Day International played, and New Zealand, drawing all three Test matches and sharing the ODIs 2–2. Before this, they had endured a "hostile" and highly controversial tour of Pakistan, during which an argument between captain Mike Gatting and umpire Shakoor Rana had led to a diplomatic incident. The three match series was lost 1–0, but the "teasing, taunting ... bemusing" performance of leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, who took 30 wickets in three Tests, was unlikely to be repeated, given that the West Indies' only specialist spinner was Roger Harper, an off-break bowler.
Despite having lost 5–0 to the West Indies in each of the two most recent series, England had grounds for optimism leading up to the Test series: the West Indian team was ageing and lacked a leg-spinner; and the England team had home advantage. England's morale was also surging following good performances in the shorter form of the game: the team had reached the World Cup Final the previous year, losing to Australia, and were expected to do well in One Day International cricket, even against the West Indies.
England's "summer of four captains"
As the series unfolded, England were dominated by the West Indians in "the crazy summer of 1988". Wisden was moved to comment "The morale and reputation of English cricket has seldom been as severely bruised as it was during the 1988 Cornhill Insurance Test series against West Indies".
The notability of there being four captains in just five Test matches can better be understood with context. The captain of a cricket team performs a vital role. Unlike many other team sports, the captain makes crucial decisions regarding on-field tactics, and may also have an important say in team selection. Traditionally, captains of international teams are not changed frequently – for example, between 1977 and 1988 (comprising 104 Test matches), only seven different men captained England, yet there were four captains in just a few weeks in the summer of 1988.
|First Test||Mike Gatting||31||Middlesex||23|
|Second Test||John Emburey||36||Middlesex||2|
|Fourth Test||Chris Cowdrey||30||Kent||1|
|Fifth Test||Graham Gooch||35||Essex||34|
The many changes of captain over the summer reflected uncertainty in the English cricketing establishment as to how to respond to the drubbing the team was receiving from the West Indies; the selectors "did not seem to know where to turn, either for a new captain or for a settled team".
The England team had not suffered such uncertainty since the West Indies tour of England in 1966, where the selectors chose 23 different players and three different captains (Colin Cowdrey, M. J. K. Smith and Brian Close) and England lost the five-Test series 3–1. Notably, Peter May was on the Board of Selectors for the 1966 series, while he was chairman of the board of Selectors for the 1988 series.
Before the Test series began, the West Indian cricket team played three One Day Internationals against England in May 1988. All of the ODIs were won by England, largely thanks to disciplined, economical bowling by Gladstone Small, Phil DeFreitas and Derek Pringle throughout and good batting performances from Mike Gatting in the First (82*) and Third (40*) ODIs. England retained the Texaco Trophy.
|First||Edgbaston||England won by 6 wickets||19 May||Scorecard|
|Second||Headingley||England won by 47 runs||21 May||Scorecard|
|Third||Lord's||England won by 7 wickets||23 May, 24 May||Scorecard|
The ODIs were followed by five Test matches. The First Test was drawn, and the remaining four Tests were all won convincingly by the West Indies.
|First||Trent Bridge||Match drawn||2 – 7 June||Scorecard|
|Second||Lord's||West Indies won by 134 runs||16 – 21 June||Scorecard|
|Third||Old Trafford||West Indies won by an innings and 156 runs||30 June – 5 July||Scorecard|
|Fourth||Headingley||West Indies won by ten wickets||21 – 26 July||Scorecard|
|Fifth||The Oval||West Indies won by eight wickets||4 – 8 August||Scorecard|
The West Indies played 11 first-class matches, in addition to the five Tests, defeating Somerset in May and Kent in June. The other nine first-class matches, and the First Test, were all drawn: Sussex, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Glamorgan, Nottinghamshire, and Essex. During the match against Gloucestershire at Bristol, immediately after the ODI series, Phil Simmons suffered a horrific injury, receiving a ball to the head from bowler David Lawrence. Not wearing a helmet, the blow caused his heart to stop and he had to be taken to hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery. He missed the rest of the tour, but made a full recovery in time for the 1991 West Indies tour of England.
In addition to the One Day Internationals, there were four other non-first-class fixtures. West Indies beat Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk's XI in a 40-over match, Hampshire in a 50-over match and a combined Oxford and Cambridge Universities team over three days; they also drew with Minor Counties in a two-day match.
Test matches in detail
- 5 June was a rest day
Mike Gatting was the incumbent England captain for the First Test at Trent Bridge. The result was a draw, with Graham Gooch and David Gower helping England to save the game from a position of weakness, after conceding a sizeable first-innings lead to the West Indies.
England won the toss and declined from 125/0 to 245 all out, the last five wickets tumbling for just 22 runs. Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose took all ten wickets between them. The West Indies racked up 448/9 despite no batsman reaching a century. England had a chance to get back into the match, but from 334/7, the unheralded batting of Marshall (72) and Ambrose (43*) took the tourists into a position of dominance.
The West Indian surge for victory was frustrated by the weather, which periodically interrupted the match throughout, and by an obdurate partnership of 161 between Gooch (146) and Gower (88*).
Before the Second Test, Gatting was sacked for an alleged off-field indiscretion with a barmaid. The tabloid media made allegations of "shenanigans" in his room; he "admitted taking ... [her] into his room but denied anything untoward had happened". During the previous winter, Gatting had been involved in a notorious on-field altercation with umpire Shakoor Rana in Pakistan that snowballed into a diplomatic disaster with the third day of the second Test in Faisalabad being abandoned and accusations of cheating. His recently published autobiography Leading From The Front "...was banned in all shops on county grounds. Gatting was good enough to lead Middlesex and England, but spectators couldn't buy his book at Lord's". The new allegations may simply have been the last straw.
- 19 June was a rest day
Gatting was replaced as England captain by his Middlesex colleague John Emburey. Gatting was also dropped from the team, replaced by Yorkshire's Martyn Moxon. Phil DeFreitas was also replaced, by Gladstone Small, but the tourists were unchanged.
England began the Second Test with an inspired fiery burst of fast bowling by Graham Dilley, who took four of the first five wickets to fall to reduce the West Indies to 54/5. At lunch on the first day, Dilley had figures of 4/35, and "he would have taken five had Pringle at first slip caught Logie when he was 10".
The missed chance was to prove costly. The pattern established in the first Test recurred, as England let the West Indies recover, with Gus Logie and Jeff Dujon scoring 81 and 53 as the team passed 200.
In England's first innings, the West Indian pace attack found little resistance after they had dismissed Gooch and Gower. Marshall was again to the fore, with six wickets, and West Indies secured a precious first-innings lead of 44 runs.
The touring batsmen then enjoyed the Lord's conditions, reaching 397 in their second innings, with sizeable contributions from Greenidge (103), Richards (72), Dujon (52) and Logie again, this time with an unbeaten 95, a match performance that secured him the award of Man of the match.
England never seriously threatened to reach the victory target of 442 runs, which would have comfortably broken the world record for a fourth-innings run chase. Allan Lamb added to his reputation for mastering fast bowling with a defiant 113, but it was sizeable contributions from the tail and extras that took England to a respectable total of 307 – but a bad defeat by 134 runs.
30 June – 5 July
- 3 July was a rest day
The third Test changed the pattern of the summer. England were "unable to cope for any length of time with the West Indian fast bowlers" and never gave even a sign of competing in a one-sided affair.
The England team had a different look, with four changes to the team. 36-year-old Essex off-spinner John Childs made his debut, the oldest England debutant for 40 years. Childs joined the recalled Gatting and DeFreitas, and newcomer David Capel. Small and Paul Jarvis were both left out due to injury, and Derek Pringle was dropped, but the most media attention focused on Chris Broad, who was also dropped, "ostensibly for his consistent failure to make runs in home Tests, but there was always a suspicion that he was being disciplined for the incident at Lord's when he was spotted by a television camera mouthing his disappointment at an lbw decision".
No batsman scored more than 33 in England's first innings, as the four quick bowlers shared cheap wickets. In reply, West Indies piled up 384/7, again without a century, in a team effort down to and including man-of-the-match Marshall, who scored 43* batting at number eight.
Needing 249 to make West Indies bat again, England were dismissed for just 93, Marshall finishing with magnificent figures of 15.4–5–22–7, the best of his Test career. Extras were the third highest scorer, with 12.
With such a huge margin of victory and such a poor performance, England (and Emburey) were strongly criticised. After being bowled out for just 93 runs, and a personally very unsuccessful match (no wickets as a bowler, and scoring just 1 and 8 runs as a batsman), Emburey was sacked as England captain and dropped from the team.
- 24 July was a rest day
The England selectors surprised the cricket public with their new appointment as captain, selecting a player who many believed owed his appointment more to his father than his own ability. Chris Cowdrey was the son of Colin Cowdrey, an England captain in the 1960s and later given a knighthood and then life peerage for his services to the sport; Chris Cowdrey was also godson of the chairman of selectors, Peter May. Cowdrey was a successful captain of Kent in county cricket, but had played just five Tests previously, during the 1984–85 tour to India, captained by David Gower. He became only the second son to follow his father as captain of the England cricket team, after George Mann in the 1940s followed Frank Mann in the 1920s.
The England side was thoroughly shaken-up following the debacle in the Third Test at Old Trafford. The selectors tried to turn things around with seven new faces in the team, the most extensive change of an England XI during a Test series since seven players were changed for the 1921 Ashes Tests against Australia at Lord's and Headingley (when only JWHT Douglas, Ciss Parkin, Lionel Tennyson and Frank Woolley were retained, and Tennyson replaced Douglas as captain). As well as Cowdrey replacing Emburey, the selectors also dropped Paul Downton, Martyn Moxon, Mike Gatting, David Capel, Phil Defreitas and John Childs in favour of Derek Pringle, Neil Foster, Bill Athey, and Jack Richards, with Tim Curtis and Robin Smith making their Test debuts. For the West Indies, both Greenidge and Richardson sat the match out, injured: Haynes returned, and a debut was handed to Keith Arthurton. Jeff Dujon was promoted up the batting order as a makeshift opener.
Apart from Pringle, who played in the First and Second Tests, none of the six new selections had played in the series so far, but the match followed the old pattern, as the England batting again failed twice against the hostile West Indies pace attack. The side fell to a relatively facile defeat against a West Indies team whose own batsmen failed to dominate; they had no need. Curtly Ambrose secured his first man-of-the-match award for taking seven wickets at a cost of 98 runs.
An all-rounder with a moderate first class record (averaging 32 with the bat and 40 with the ball), Cowdrey's debut as captain in the Fourth Test at Headingley was a disaster. He scored 0 and 5 and took no wickets, as England were crushed by 10 wickets, West Indies again winning at a canter. Worse for Cowdrey, he suffered a minor injury in a county match and was persuaded to step aside for the Fifth Test. He never played for England again.
- 7 August was a rest day
In desperation, the England selectors turned to 35-year-old Graham Gooch, stalwart opening batsman, as their fourth captain of the series, for the Fifth Test at The Oval. England also replaced Cowdrey with DeFreitas, dropped Gower for Matthew Maynard, and replaced the injured Allan Lamb with Rob Bailey, a recall and two Test debuts respectively. The tourists replaced the youngster Keith Arthurton with Greenidge, who had recovered from an injury.
England won the toss and the new captain received the first ball, but Gooch was soon out with the score on only 12. Some solid top-order play followed, with Curtis (30), Bailey (43) and Smith (57) all making starts but getting out when well set. From 120/3, England lost their remaining wickets for 85, but that is perhaps less surprising than the fact that off-spinner Roger Harper took three of them. A lion-hearted response by the England bowlers, led by Neil Foster (5/64), gave England a chance of a rare win, as the West Indies were dismissed for 183, giving the England team their first first-innings lead of the series, 22 runs ahead.
In England's second innings, Gooch played a lone hand. With the exception of Foster (34), promoted as nightwatchman at the end of day two, no-one else passed 15. When Gooch was last man out for 84 on the third day, England had compiled 202. The England bowlers managed to restrain the West Indian batsmen, Childs notably bowling 40 overs for just 79 runs, but, with more than two days left to play, there was little pressure on the West Indies, and they strolled to victory in 91 overs, losing just two wickets, with more than a day to spare.
Gooch had enjoyed a successful series against West Indies as a batsman, and remained in charge for England's next match, against Sri Lanka at Lord's later in 1988, in which he achieved his first victory as captain. England did not tour that winter, and David Gower returned to the captaincy for the six-match Ashes series at home against Australia in the summer of 1989. England lost 4–0, bringing Gower's long captaincy career to a close.
Gooch took over again as England captain for the tour to West Indies in the winter of 1989–90, winning one Test and drawing another before injury forced him out of the team. He was replaced temporarily as captain by Allan Lamb, who lost both of his matches in charge. Gooch went on to captain England the following summer, remaining in that position almost exclusively until 1993 and bringing England a degree of success that they had not experienced for almost a decade. For much of this period, he was also rated as one of the world's leading batsmen.
The West Indies team's next opposition was Australia where the team enjoyed a 3–1 Test series win on foreign soil. "The West Indians made a slow start to their tour, losing twice to Western Australia before running into form ... So effectively, at times irresistibly, did Vivian Richards's West Indian side play in the first three Test matches in Australia that by the New Year they had already retained the Frank Worrell Trophy."
The West Indies went on to record further Test series victories in the next two years, defeating India 3–0 in a four-Test series in the Caribbean in 1988–89, and narrowly beating England once again in the Caribbean in 1989–90. However, the team's long period of pre-eminence was coming to an end. Their 2–1 home defeat by Australia in 1994–95 saw the West Indies relinquish the mantle as the World's best Test cricket side to their visitors, and by the time that the International Cricket Council launched the official Test rankings in 2001, the West Indies were rated as the sixth best team in the world.
The following players represented England in at least one Test or One-day International during the 1988 tour:
|England squad - West Indian cricket team in England in 1988|
1 MW Gatting *1 · 2 CWJ Athey · 3 RJ Bailey · 4 BC Broad · 5 DJ Capel · 6 CS Cowdrey *3 · 7 JH Childs · 8 TS Curtis · 9 PAJ DeFreitas · 10 GR Dilley · 11 PR Downton † · 12 JE Emburey *2 · 13 NA Foster · 14 GA Gooch *4
The following players represented West Indies on the 1988 tour of England:
|West Indies squad - West Indian cricket team in England in 1988|
1 IVA Richards * · 2 CEL Ambrose · 3 KLT Arthurton · 4 WKM Benjamin · 5 IR Bishop · 6 PJL Dujon † · 7 CG Greenidge · 8 RA Harper · 9 DL Haynes · 10 CL Hooper · 11 AL Logie · 12 MD Marshall · 13 BP Patterson
- Key: *=Captain, †=Wicket-keeper
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