Big Lloyd: a giant and an icon
Bermuda will mourn the death of Lloyd James, a tall, imposing batsman who was a true legend.
My memory goes back to his first Cup Match century of 147 runs. His century was devastating to Somerset, who at the time had dominated the Cup Match classics. Yes, and if that wasn’t enough, he came back the next year and scored 173 and set a record that lasted for decades.
Suddenly, the real contest was about getting Lloyd James out. The next year, the Somerset fans jumped with glee when he was contained to 84 by the bowling of Mackie Simmons. Containing Lloyd was the job of the captain. There was no silly mid-on when Lloyd was batting; most of the fielders were hanging somewhere near the boundary.
His lengthy structure made the cricket bats look like a child’s toy, yet it seemed that every little touch sent the ball steaming towards the boundary.
In spite of his size, he was gentle in speech and demeanour. He and all his family were well-educated, respectful Warwick folk, and he was able to make contributions in many areas of civic and social life.
In his later life, he turned towards real estate and he was hands-on. I recall one day when he was pouring concrete and the wheelbarrow had only one handle.
He used his fingers and hand to hold one side of the barrel and the handle for the other rather than buy a new one. When heroes are being tarnished all around the world — the latest being R. Kelly — Lloyd James has passed through this life with dignity and maintained a sterling reputation.
He will be remembered by his smile, which was embracing while in his company but menacing when he was at bat.
He meant different things to many persons, particularly his family: he was husband, Dad, grandpa, brother and uncle. Due condolences to the James family for his departure. He was a giant and an icon, and honoured us with his presence.
My understanding is that both he and Lee Raynor tried Somerset first before being embraced by St George’s. History sums up that mistake — they both turned out to be nemeses. I always would be sitting on the opposite end of the field in Cup Match, county and league matches. So my sensibilities about the man were real.
I could contemplate with unease the threat he posed; even when we posted a great score, the gap narrowed very quickly when Lloyd came to the wicket. Players and fans will be saying aloud and in their hearts: “Get him out.”
Rest in peace, one of Bermuda’s greatest cricket legends.