One Day Wonders (1969-1989)
Jack Bond led Lancashire for five seasons during which time they finished third in the championship in 1970 and 1971. They also achieved a hat-trick of Gillette Cup wins (1970-72) and consecutive Sunday League titles in 1969 & 1970.
The signing of overseas stars Farokh Engineer from India and West Indies’ Clive Lloyd helped Lancashire to be recognised as one of the best one-day and fielding sides the game had seen. Lancashire had some fine players who were coming to their peaks but more importantly they played well together as a team.
The Gillette Cup semi-final against Gloucestershire in 1971 was one of the most memorable seen at Old Trafford. David Hughes came in to bat at 8.45pm, and in semi-darkness hit 24 in an over to win one of the most astonishing one-day matches ever played.
David Lloyd, Clive Lloyd along with Barry Wood, Harry Pilling, Frank Hayes were the mainstays of the batting and the bowling of Peter Lever, Ken Shuttleworth backed up by Hughes and Jack Simmons were usually too much for other one-day teams.
David Lloyd succeeded Jack Bond in 1973 until 1977 and in 1975 the Gillette Cup was won for a record fourth time. They reached the final on two other occasions (1974 and 1976) and in the County Championship had a very successful run in 1975 finishing fourth with the title still at stake in the final match.
Peter Lee was Lancashire’s most successful bowler four seasons out of five and he is the last Lancashire bowler to take 100 wickets in a season. Frank Hayes burst through in 1973 scoring runs for Lancashire and making a century against the West Indies on his Test debut at Lord’s. However the team that had won so many Cup Finals in the early 1970′s was beginning to break up and in 1976 Lancashire slipped to 16th in the championship. In the next eleven years they were to occupy the bottom six of the county championship.
A succession of captains including Frank Hayes, Clive Lloyd, John Abrahams and Clive Lloyd again came and went without much success. John Abrahams led Lancashire in 1984 to their first trophy since 1975 when they won the Benson & Hedges Cup at Lord’s. Lancashire continued to disappoint in the County championship remaining in the bottom six despite promising more.
Jack Bond and Peter Lever were dismissed as Manager and Coach after the 1986 Nat West Trophy Final defeat and in their place David Hughes was appointed captain and Alan Ormrod Manager/Coach. Cedric Rhoades was also replaced as Chairman by Bob Bennett who promised to introduce a less rigorous and less paternalistic regime.
For the 1987 season Lancashire began to build a useful team, Graeme Fowler and Gehan Mendis developed into a dependable opening partnership. Neil Fairbrother, Hughes and Abrahams made useful contributions and a young Mike Atherton scored 600 runs in the second half of the season. The bowling spearheaded by West Indies’ Patrick Patterson and Paul Allott with Hughes and Mike Watkinson in support, with spinners Simmons and Ian Folley looked more than useful. They finished 2nd in the County Championship, their highest position for 27 years and the tide seemed to have turned once more.
In 1988 a young fast bowler from Pakistan, Wasim Akram made his debut for Lancashire and looked fast. The county saved it’s most consistent forays for the Sunday League and finished third. They also won a trophy winning the Refuge Cup Final against Worcestershire at Edgbaston.
The following year they won the Sunday League in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season, and finished 4th in the county championship. Jack Simmons decided to call it a day at the age of 48 after taking 1,000 first-class wickets for the county.