West Indian cricket team in England in 1988
The West Indies toured England in 1988, winning the Test series 4–0. The tour has become known in cricketing circles as the “summer of four captains” as England used four different captains in the five Test matches. The win set a high water mark for West Indian fortunes in Test cricket in England. They have failed to win a single series in England in the 32 subsequent years.
About West Indian cricket team in England in 1988 in brief
The West Indies toured England in 1988, winning the Test series 4–0. The tour has become known in cricketing circles as the “summer of four captains” as England used four different captains in the five Test matches. The win set a high water mark for West Indian fortunes in Test cricket in England. The 1988 series proved to be the culmination of a 25 year run of almost uninterrupted success, but they have failed to win a single series in England in the 32 subsequent years. In Test match cricket, the captain is an important role and one which is usually relatively stable. Traditionally, captains of international teams are not changed frequently – during the entire decade of the 1970s, there were only seven different men captained England in just a few weeks. The significance of there being four captains in just four Test matches can better be understood with context. The captain of a cricket team performs a vital role, and England captain may also have an important responsibility for strategy and tactics, and the England team may have been dominated by the West Indians in the 1988 series. The summer’s contest was described as ‘the crazy summer of 1988’ by Andrew Miller and Martin Williamson of ESPNcricinfo. 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. 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. Despite having lost 5–0 to the West Indies in each of the two most recent series, England had grounds for optimism, following good performances in the shorter form of the game: the team had reached the World Cup Final the previous year, losing to Australia. Before this, they had endured a 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 morale and reputation of English cricket has seldom been as severely bruised as it was during the 1988 Cornhill Insurance Test series against the West Indian cricket team. As the series unfolded, England were dominated by West Indians. The players of the test series were Malcolm Marshall for West Indies for his 35 wickets and Graham Gooch for England, who scored 459 runs and ended the summer as captain. The West Indians won the Wisden Trophy by winning the ODI series 3–1 and retaining the Texaco Trophy 2–1. However, England easily won the initial three-match one Day International series, raising expectations for a successful summer in the 5-match Test series to follow. The first of these, in 1984, was the first whitewash England had suffered since the 1920–21 season when England toured Australia.