David Lloyd: making cricket fun to watch
Cricket is not just about runs and wickets. Cricket is more than that. Cricket is more about characters. Cricket is about the stories behind those characters. Who else narrates those stories so well than David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd. He is funny. He is passionate. He certainly adds colour to the commentaries. It’s so good to listen to him. The humour with which he presents his commentary makes him a highly sought after commentator. A couple of years ago he threw in the towel leaving a huge void in commentary box.

Lloyd is capable of relating these stories as he has been involved with cricket all his life. His First-Class career with Lancashire stretched across over 400 games in which he scored over 19,000 runs. He is bit of  a Jack of all trade, capable of bowling left-arm spin, keeping wickets and of course captaining Lancashire successfully at a time when not many wanted the job.

Lloyd is known only as a commentator for the modern generation, but he was a decent Test cricketer. In his second Test match, he produced a career best 214 not out to help England rout India by an innings at Edgbaston.

Many observers agree that he got a raw deal as an England player. Although he played two home series, he toured with England once and was axed after that as he never played Test cricket again with his last Test coming at the age of 28. Many England batters would, however, love to possess a Test average like Lloyd as he averaged 42.

Post retirement, he took up umpiring and he was a First-Class umpire. Then he moved to coaching. He was responsible for grooming several young players at Lancashire who went on to play for England. Given his success at Old Trafford, he was the leading contender for the England job, which he did with mixed success for a three-year period from 1996 to 1999.

But it’s as a commentator that Lloyd made a mark most. His ability to think out of the box helped strike a chord with cricket fans. Once he brought in an old abdominal guard to the studio and showed it to viewers explaining how Dennis Lillee had left it shattered.

Lloyd is known for winding up people as well. Once in the Caribbean with a game called off early due to rain, the commentators returned to their hotel rooms. Lloyd phones Geoffrey Boycott’s room to ask whether he’d be interested in going on a fishing trip. Boycott not an outdoors man shoots back, ‘That’s what you have done all your life as a player – fishing outside the off-stump.’

He's got under the skin of England’s greatest player Sir Ian Botham as well. Once in Kandy when Botham got a local player’s name wrong, Lloyd asked, ‘Have you been drinking that arrack last night,’

People like Lloyd have looked at cricket beyond numbers. That makes them interesting to listen to. His voice is missed in the commentary box, but as they say, you should go when everyone is asking why, not when.