Rob Smyth has written a fine piece commemorating the England cricket team's 1986 tour of the West Indies. As it happens, for a various reasons this was the last England tour not to have been televised, so even those of us who were paying attention couldn't see the carnage.

The funny thing was that some folks thought England had a decent chance of coming away with a result:

It was only 18 months since the West Indies had won 5-0 in England, but the common perception was that they had aged and England had matured. The argument for England said they had the best batting line-up in the world (in 1985 they averaged a whopping 52 runs per wicket, miles clear of everyone else), and the best spin-bowling attack too. (Two Tests were to be played at Trinidad, which usually took spin.)

[…] By contrast, the Windies had an inexperienced captain in Viv Richards, and an ageing team with six regulars in their thirties. In 1985, they had even lost a Test match.

Yeah, whatever happened to that I.V.A. Richards guy?

I did like this anecdote from the comments describing just how good the West Indies were:

alanrusbriger 10h ago

Great article. I seem to remember an England player of 80's vintage being asked out in Australia some years after he'd retired who would win if the great West Indian team described above played the then all conquering Australian side containing Waugh, Warne, McGrath Ponting, Gilchrist et al. He paused and said that it would be pretty close, but the Australians would shade it… Mind you, Clive Lloyd is 65, Viv Richards is in his mid 50's by now and Joel Garner doesn't bowl except on special occasions. If the two sides faced each other at their best Australia would be lucky to make the fourth day.