The side that arrived in 1984 read like a who's who of West Indian cricket greats - Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards, Colin Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Joel Garner. The England side were no mugs either featuring David Gower, Allan Lamb, Mike Gatting, Ian Botham, Bob Willis and David Bairstow, father of current England player Johnny. Invited to bat first, the West Indies made heavy going of batting with only Clive Lloyd passing 50 but a number of players getting themselves in but only making 20s. Derek Pringle was the pick of the bowlers with 3-21 as the visitors could only muster 179 all out. In reply, England's openers put on 75 runs for the first wicket and while they made slightly hard work of it, victory by 3 wickets was wrapped up in the 48th over. Andy Lloyd, who would be hospitalised by a Malcom Marshall bouncer later in the summer when he made his test debut, top scored with 49.
It would be 1995 before they were back in Nottingham and this time England were asked to bat first. Opener Alec Stewart top scored with 74 out of a total of 199/9 in 55 overs, which looks below par these days but wasn't too bad at the time. Courtney Walsh took 3-28 out bowling his new ball partner Curtly Ambrose, who went wicketless. 80 from opener Sherwin Campbell and 70 from Brian Lara laid the basis for a five wicket victory with 14 balls to spare.
Five years later and local legend Paul Franks was called up for his first, and only, one day international. He opened the bowling for England as the West Indies finished with 195-9 from their 50 overs, Chris Gayle top scoring with a, sedentary by his later standards, 37 from 71 balls. In reply, England could never really get a decent partnership going, suffering three run-outs, which meant that Alec Stewart's unbeaten century went to waste as England lost by just 3 runs.
In 2004, England were going through one of their bits-and-pieces phases with four genuine all-rounders in the side and the wicketkeeper batting at three in an attempt to ape Adam Gilchrist. Future England captain Andrew Strauss top scored with 43 and Geraint Jones hit 35 but they were shot out for a disappointing 147 in less than 39 overs. Unsurprisingly, the visitors cruised to victory with Chris Gayle (60 not out) and skipper Brian Lara (32 not out) taking them over the line with more than 17 overs to spare.
Chris Gayle was captain when they returned in 2007 and he led the way, opening the batting and scoring 82. That was matched by Runako Morton as the West Indies set a more modern 289-5 from 50 overs. By this point, England had moved their wicketkeeper up to open, with similarly disastrous results. Even as Owais Shah (51) and Paul Collingwood (44) were putting on 72 runs for the fifth wicket, England were always behind the rate. Eventually they were bowled out for 196, with Daren Powell taking 4 wickets, as the West Indies won by 93 runs.
In the 10 years since that meeting, England have become significantly better at the 50-over game while the West Indies seem to have suffered neglect at the hands of their board, although Chris Gayle is back in the side at least. However, this could well be England's best chance to put a stop to that run of four defeats in a row.
England play the West Indies at Trent Bridge on the 21st of September