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Dec 28, 2010

Sanath, Murali among greatest

Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has named two Sri Lankan veterans Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan as candidates to form the greatest One Day International team of all time.

Dashing left hander Jayasuriya and legendary off spinner Muralitharan both members of the 30 members World Cup squad are slotted in the opening and spin category respectively to form the greatest One Day International team of all time.

The other Sri Lankan players who are included in the list of players are Aravinda de Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Chaminda Vaas.

The International Cricket Council's official website is asking supporters from across the globe to select their choice of the greatest One Day International match and team of all-time to mark the 40th anniversary of ODI cricket.

In his Greatest ODI Team of All Time, Lloyd believed quite a few West Indies players would make the cut. "Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall, would be some of the contenders for sure."

Lloyd named some of the candidates for the team: Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralidaran, Daniel Vettori, Sanath Jayasuriya, Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Javed Miandad, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Adam Gilchrist and Wasim Akram. "I would love to lead a side like this. It will be dream come true. If I cannot lead, then there is no one better than Imran Khan for the job,"

As ODI cricket celebrates its 40th anniversary in January 2011, Lloyd went down memory lane about his side which is rated the best ever in cricket history.

"I think the approach we had, showed the way. We played quite a few shots and enjoyed our cricket. I am sure some of the teams picked it up from there. Sri Lanka certainly did with Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana in 1996.

'It was our thinking that shots must be played and the paying public must be entertained. That is the reason the crowds enjoy watching one-day cricket," said Lloyd.

Lloyd acknowledged that one-day cricket has changed quite a lot since his time at least in terms of batting.

"At least now they are playing a lot more shots. Now they innovate a lot. You have the Dilscooop, the reverse sweep, slog sweep and a lot more. That's what crowds want, entertainment. All this makes one-day cricket exciting," added Lloyd.

Lloyd calls one-day cricket the greatest innovation for the sport.

He was part of the early years of the format in the 1960s in England when it was played on Sunday afternoons between a select side called International Cavaliers and retired and current county cricketers.

"Whoever thought this format up deserves credit. As the craze grew everybody realised it was a bonanza. It started off as a 40-over game, went to 60 overs and we even played 55 overs a side in county cricket. It (ODIs) has improved the standards of fielding, raised tactical awareness and also brought in innovation."

Lloyd was also part of the other key moment in history when World Series Cricket (WSC) brought in new things like day-night cricket, white ball and coloured clothing in the late 1970s. "We have to thank Kerry Packer for these things.

He was instrumental for that. We owe him a great debt of gratitude," said Lloyd.

So dominant was Lloyd's side in that era that it made the final of the first three ICC Cricket World Cups with absolute ease and even won two of those editions (1975, 1979).

Source - Daily News

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