Sabina Park 1976: The strangest declaration in the history of cricket, when the West Indies bowled Sunil Gavaskar ‘body line’

Sunail Gawaskar Day Story
Sunail Gawaskar Day Story

Sabina Park Kingston’s pitch was considered the fastest in the West Indies in the 1970s.

After losing the Port of Spain Test in 1976, the West Indies removed two of their three spinners and added fast bowlers Wayne Daniel and Vibern Holder. This meant that the host team came on the field with four fast bowlers in the last Test match.

Clive Lloyd won the toss and elected to field.

Michael Holding was forcing the batsmen to bounce on every ball and when he made a full lethal ball long after, Gavaskar drove him across the mid-wicket boundary for four runs.

The bouncer that Holding then threw almost knocked off Gavaskar’s head.

Gavaskar somehow removed himself from the ball line. While doing this, his hat fell but fortunately it did not fall on the wicket.

Reminiscent of the Body line Series

The West Indies bowlers bowled so dangerously that day that it was reminiscent of the 1933 body line series.

At the time, England captain Douglas Jardine, led by Harold Lloyd, had devised a special strategy to control Don Bradman.

Like Jordan, Lloyd wanted to win this match against India at all costs.

Just as Bradman was the main target of the English team in 1932, Sunil Gavaskar was the number one enemy of the West Indies team in 1976.

An hour after the lunch break, when the West Indies did not win, Lloyd invited his trump card Michael Holding to bowl again.

He decorated the ‘Umbrella’ fielding for Gavaskar and put both Julian and Fredericks on the league slip.

Holding then informed the umpire that he would bowl the ball round the wicket.

Beamers with Bouncers

The West Indies bowlers bowled so dangerously that it was reminiscent of the 1933 body line series.

At the time, England captain Douglas Jardine, led by Harold Lloyd, had devised a special strategy to control Don Bradman.

Like Jordan, Lloyd wanted to win this match against India at all costs.

Just as Bradman was the main target of the English team in 1932, Sunil Gavaskar was the number one enemy of the West Indies team in 1976.

 

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