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Viv Richards

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The Honourable Sir
Viv Richards

KNH OBE OOC
Vivian richards crop.jpg
Richards in 2005
Personal information
Full name
Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards
Born (1952-03-07) 7 March 1952 (age 70)[1]
St. John's, British Leeward Islands
NicknameMaster Blaster, Smokin Joe,[2][3] King Viv[4]
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
BattingRight-handed
Bowling
RoleBatsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 151)22 November 1974 v India
Last Test8 August 1991 v England
ODI debut (cap 14)7 June 1975 v Sri Lanka
Last ODI27 May 1991 v England
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1971–1981Combined Islands
1971–1991Leeward Islands
1974–1986Somerset
1976/77Queensland
1990–1993Glamorgan
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 121 187 507 500
Runs scored 8,540 6,721 36,212 16,995
Batting average 50.23 47.00 49.40 41.96
100s/50s 24/45 11/45 114/162 26/109
Top score 291 189* 322 189*
Balls bowled 5,170 5,644 23,226 12,214
Wickets 32 118 223 290
Bowling average 61.37 35.83 45.15 30.59
5 wickets in innings 0 2 1 3
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 0
Best bowling 2/17 6/41 5/88 6/24
Catches/stumpings 122/– 100/– 464/1 238/–
Source: CricInfo, 18 August 2007

Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards KNH OBE OOC (born 7 March 1952) is an Antiguan retired cricketer who represented the West Indies cricket team between 1974 and 1991. Batting generally at number three[5][6][7] in a dominant West Indies side, Richards is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.[8][9][10][11][12]

Richards made his test debut in 1974 against India along with Gordon Greenidge. His best years were between 1976 and 1983 where he averaged a remarkable 66.51 with the bat in test cricket. In 1984 he suffered from pterygium and had an eye surgery[13] which affected his eyesight and reflexes.[14] Despite this, he remained the best batsman in the world for the next four years, averaging 50. His form declined in the latter years of his career where he averaged 36. Overall, Richards scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23 and retired as then West Indies leading run scorer overhauling the aggregate of Garfield Sobers.[15] He also scored 1281 runs in World Series Cricket with five tons at average of over 55 which was regarded as highest and most difficult cricket ever played.[16] As a captain, he won 27 of 50 Test matches and lost only 8. He also scored nearly 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals and more than 36,000 in first-class cricket.

He was knighted for his contributions to cricket in 1999.[17] In 2000 he was voted one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Century by a 100-member panel of experts and in 2002 the almanack judged that he had played the best One Day International innings of all time.[18] In December 2002, he was chosen by Wisden as the greatest One Day International batsman who had played to that date and as the third greatest Test cricket batter.[19] In 2009, Richards was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.[20]

In October 2013, Wisden selected the best test team across 150 years of test history and slotted Viv Richards at no. 3, he was only batsman of the post war era along with Sachin Tendulkar to get featured in that team.[21]

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Order of the National Hero (Antigua and Barbuda)

Order of the National Hero (Antigua and Barbuda)

The Most Exalted Order of the National Hero is an Antiguan and Barbudan order of chivalry recognising pre-eminently distinguished service to Antigua and Barbuda or to humanity at large. The present Order was established and constituted by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda under the National Honours Act 1998. which received Royal Assent from the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda on 31 December 1998.

Order of the British Empire

Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Order of the Caribbean Community

Order of the Caribbean Community

The Order of the Caribbean Community is an award given to"Caribbean nationals whose legacy in the economic, political, social and cultural metamorphoses of Caribbean society is phenomenal"

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is a sovereign country in the West Indies. It lies at the juncture of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the Leeward Islands part of the Lesser Antilles, at 17°N latitude.

Cricket

Cricket

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 22-yard (20-metre) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at one of the wickets with the bat and then running between the wickets, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each batter. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side either catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground, or hitting a wicket with the ball before a batter can cross the crease in front of the wicket. When ten batters have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.

Batting (cricket)

Batting (cricket)

In cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the ball with a bat to score runs and prevent the loss of one's wicket. Any player who is currently batting is, since September 2021, officially referred to as a batter —regardless of whether batting is their particular area of expertise. Batters have to adapt to various conditions when playing on different cricket pitches, especially in different countries; therefore, as well as having outstanding physical batting skills, top-level batters will have quick reflexes, excellent decision-making skills, and be good strategists.

Gordon Greenidge

Gordon Greenidge

Sir Cuthbert Gordon Greenidge is a Barbadian, former first-class cricketer, who represented the West Indies in Test and One-day Cricket for 17 years. Greenidge is regarded worldwide as one of the greatest and most destructive opening batsmen in cricket history. In 2009, Greenidge was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Pterygium

Pterygium

Pterygium refers to any wing-like triangular membrane occurring in the neck, eyes, knees, elbows, ankles or digits.

Garfield Sobers

Garfield Sobers

Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers,, also known as Sir Gary or Sir Garry Sobers, is a former cricketer who played for the West Indies between 1954 and 1974. A highly skilled bowler, an aggressive batsman and an excellent fielder, he is widely considered to be cricket's greatest ever all-rounder and one of the greatest cricketers of all time.

One Day International

One Day International

A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket, played between two teams with international status, in which each team faces a fixed number of overs, currently 50, with the game lasting up to 9 hours. The Cricket World Cup, generally held every four years, is played in this format. One Day International matches are also called Limited Overs Internationals (LOI), although this generic term may also refer to Twenty20 International matches. They are major matches and considered the highest standard of List A, limited-overs competition.

ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises "the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history". It was launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai on 2 January 2009, in association with the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), as part of the ICC's centenary celebrations. The initial inductees were the 55 players included in the FICA Hall of Fame which ran from 1999 to 2003, but further members are added each year during the ICC Awards ceremony. The inaugural inductees ranged from W. G. Grace, who retired from Test cricket in 1899, to Graham Gooch, who played his last Test match in 1995. Living inductees receive a commemorative cap; Australian Rod Marsh was the first member of the initial inductees to receive his. Members of the Hall of Fame assist in the selection of future inductees.

History of cricket

History of cricket

The sport of cricket has a known history beginning in the late 16th century. Having originated in south-east England, it became an established sport in the country in the 18th century and developed globally in the 19th and 20th centuries. International matches have been played since the 19th-century and formal Test cricket matches are considered to date from 1877. Cricket is the world's second most popular spectator sport after association football (soccer).

Early life

Richards was born to Malcolm and Gretel Richards in St. John's, Antigua, then part of the British Leeward Islands. He attended St. John's Boys Primary School and then Antigua Grammar Secondary School on a scholarship.[22]

Richards discovered cricket at a young age. His brothers, Mervyn and Donald, both played the game, representing Antigua as amateurs, and they encouraged him to play. The young Viv initially practised with his father and Pat Evanson, a neighbour and family friend, who had captained the Antigua side.[23]

Richards left school aged 18, and worked at D'Arcy's Bar and Restaurant in St. John's. He joined St. John's Cricket Club and the owner of the restaurant where he worked, D'Arcy Williams, provided him with new whites, gloves, pads and a bat. After a few seasons with St. John's C.C., he joined Rising Sun Cricket Club, where he remained until his departure to play abroad.[24]

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Cricket career

Richards made his first-class debut in January 1972 when he was 19.[25] He took part in a non-competition match, representing the Leeward Islands against the Windwards: Richards made 20 and 26.[26] His competitive debut followed a few days later. Playing in the domestic West Indian Shell Shield for the Combined Leeward and Windward Islands in Kingston, Jamaica versus Jamaica, he scored 15 and 32, top-scoring in the second innings in a heavy defeat for his side.[27]

By the time Richards was 22, he had played matches in the Antigua, Leeward Islands and Combined Islands tournaments. In 1973, his abilities were noticed by Len Creed, Vice Chairman at Somerset, who was in Antigua at the time as part of a West Country touring side.[28] Surrey had earlier rejected both Richards and Andy Roberts at the Surrey Indoor Nets in late 1972. "They did not think we were good enough even to further our cricket education."[29]

Move to England, 1973–1974

Richards relocated to the United Kingdom, where Creed arranged for him to play league cricket for Lansdown C.C. in Bath. He made his Lansdown debut, as part of the second XI, at Weston-super-Mare on 26 April 1973. Richards was also employed by the club as assistant groundsman to head groundsman, John Heyward, to allow him some financial independence until his career was established. After his debut he was promoted to the first team where he was introduced to the Lansdown all-rounder "Shandy" Perera from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Richards cites Perera as a major influence on his cricket development especially with regards to post-game analysis. He finished his first season at Lansdown top of the batting averages and shortly afterwards was offered a two-year contract with county side Somerset.[28]

Richards then moved to Taunton in 1974 in preparation for his professional debut with Somerset CCC where he was assigned living accommodation by the club; a flat-share with two other county players: Ian Botham and Dennis Breakwell. On 27 April 1974 Richards made his Benson & Hedges Cup debut for Somerset against Glamorgan in Swansea; after the game Somerset skipper Brian Close arranged a player's ovation for Richards in recognition of his playing and contribution to the victory. Richards was awarded Man of the Match.[28][30]

Test debut to international stardom, 1975–1984

Richards made his Test match debut for the West Indian cricket team in 1974 against India in Bangalore. He made an unbeaten 192 in the second Test of the same series in New Delhi. The West Indies saw him as a strong opener and he kept his profile up in the early years of his promising career.

In 1975 Richards helped the West Indies to win the inaugural Cricket World Cup final, a feat he later described as the most memorable of his career.[31] He starred in the field, running out Alan Turner, Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell. The West Indies were again able to win the following World Cup in 1979, thanks to a Richards century in the final at Lord's, and Richards believes that on both occasions, despite internal island divisions, the Caribbean came together.[32] He was until 2005 the only man to score a century and take 5 wickets in the same one-day international, against New Zealand at Dunedin in 1986–87. He rescued his side from a perilous position at Old Trafford in 1984 and, in partnership with Michael Holding, smashed 189 to win the game off his own bat.

1976 was perhaps Richards' finest year: he scored 1710 runs, at an astonishing average of 90.00, with seven centuries in 11 Tests. This achievement is all the more remarkable considering he missed the second Test at Lord's after contracting glandular fever; yet he returned to score his career-best 291 at the Oval later in the summer. This tally stood as the world record for most Test runs by a batsman in a single calendar year for 30 years until broken by Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan on 30 November 2006.

Richards had a long and successful career in the County Championship in England, playing for many years for Somerset. In 1983, the team won the NatWest Trophy, with Richards and close friend Ian Botham having a playful slugging match in the final few overs. Richards also starred in Somerset's victores in the finals of the 1979 Gillette Cup,[33] and the 1981 Benson & Hedges Cup,[34] making a century in both finals, also helping Somerset to win the 1979 John Player League and the 1982 Benson & Hedges Cup.

Richards refused a "blank-cheque" offer to play for a rebel West Indies squad in South Africa during the Apartheid era in 1983, and again in 1984.

West Indies captain, 1984–1991

Richards captained the West Indies in 50 Test matches from 1984 to 1991. He is the only West Indies captain never to lose a Test series, and it is said that his fierce will to win contributed to this achievement. His captaincy was, however, not without controversy: one incident was his aggressive, "finger-flapping" appeal leading to the incorrect dismissal of England batsman Rob Bailey in the Barbados Test in 1990, which was described by Wisden as "at best undignified and unsightly. At worst, it was calculated gamesmanship".[35] This behaviour would nowadays be penalised according to Section 2.5. of the Rules of Conduct of the ICC Code of Conduct.[36]

During a match against Zimbabwe during the 1983 Cricket World Cup, Richards returned to the crease after a stoppage for bad light and accidentally took strike at the wrong end, which remains a very rare occurrence.[37]

Richards made his highest first-class score, 322, for Somerset again Warwickshire in 1985.[38] However, despite his totemic presence at Somerset, over time his performances declined as he devoted most of his time to international cricket. The county finished bottom of the County Championship in 1985, and next to bottom in 1986. New team captain Peter Roebuck became the centre of a major controversy when he was instrumental in the county's decision not to renew the contracts of Richards and his West Indies teammate Joel Garner for the 1987 season, whose runs and wickets had brought the county much success in the previous eight years. Somerset proposed to replace the pair with New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe. Consequently, Ian Botham refused a new contract with Somerset in protest at the way his friends Richards and Garner had been treated and promptly joined Worcestershire.[39] After many years of bitterness over the event and the eventual removal of Roebuck from the club, Richards was eventually honoured with the naming of a set of entrance gates after him at the County Ground, Taunton.[40]

After his sacking from Somerset, Richards spent the 1987 season in the Lancashire League playing as Rishton CC's professional,[41] in preparation for the West Indies tour the following season.

In November 1988, while on tour of Australia with the West Indies,[42] Richards became the first West Indies player to reach 100 first-class centuries by scoring 101 against New South Wales.[43] Richards remains the only West Indies player to achieve this milestone, and among non-England qualified players only Don Bradman (117) scored more first-class centuries than Richards' 114.[44]

Richards returned to county cricket for the 1990 season towards the end of his career to play for Glamorgan, helping them to win the AXA Sunday League in 1993.

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First-class cricket

First-class cricket

First-class cricket, along with List A cricket and Twenty20 cricket, is one of the highest-standard forms of cricket. A first-class match is one of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each, although in practice a team might play only one innings or none at all.

Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island. In the Americas, Kingston is the largest predominantly English-speaking city in the Caribbean.

Jamaica

Jamaica

Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola ; the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands lies some 215 kilometres (134 mi) to the north-west.

Bath, Somerset

Bath, Somerset

Bath is a city in the Bath and North East Somerset unitary area in the county of Somerset, England, known for and named after its Roman-built baths. At the 2021 Census, the population was 101,557. Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Bristol. The city became a World Heritage Site in 1987, and was later added to the transnational World Heritage Site known as the "Great Spa Towns of Europe" in 2021. Bath is also the largest city and settlement in Somerset.

Batting average (cricket)

Batting average (cricket)

In cricket, a player's batting average is the total number of runs they have scored divided by the number of times they have been out, usually given to two decimal places. Since the number of runs a player scores and how often they get out are primarily measures of their own playing ability, and largely independent of their teammates, batting average is a good metric for an individual player's skill as a batter. The number is also simple to interpret intuitively. If all the batter's innings were completed, this is the average number of runs they score per innings. If they did not complete all their innings, this number is an estimate of the unknown average number of runs they score per innings.

Ian Botham

Ian Botham

Ian Terence Botham, Baron Botham, is an English cricket commentator, member of the House of Lords, a former cricketer who has been chairman of Durham County Cricket Club since 2017 and charity fundraiser.

Dennis Breakwell

Dennis Breakwell

Dennis Breakwell, is a former English first-class cricketer who made over 400 appearances between 1969 and 1984 playing for Northamptonshire and Somerset County Cricket Clubs. A left-handed batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler, Breakwell developed into an all-rounder as his career progressed, and he featured in a series of strong sides at Northampton alongside Colin Milburn and Sarfraz Nawaz and at Somerset alongside Joel Garner, Viv Richards and Ian Botham, rooming with the latter two in his early days at the club. Following the end of his playing career he became coach and head groundsman at King's College, Taunton coaching among others England batsman Jos Buttler and Somerset's Alex Barrow and Tom Webley.

Benson & Hedges Cup

Benson & Hedges Cup

The Benson & Hedges Cup was a one-day cricket competition for first-class counties in England and Wales that was held from 1972 to 2002, one of cricket's longest sponsorship deals.

Brian Close

Brian Close

Dennis Brian Close, was an English first-class cricketer. He was picked to play against New Zealand in July 1949, when he was 18 years old. Close went on to play 22 Test matches for England, captaining them seven times to six wins and one drawn test. Close also captained Yorkshire to four county championship titles – the main domestic trophy in English cricket. He later went on to captain Somerset, where he is widely credited with developing the county into a hard-playing team, and helping to mould Viv Richards and Ian Botham into the successful players they became.

Bangalore

Bangalore

Bangalore, officially Bengaluru, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of more than 8 million and a metropolitan population of around 11 million, making it the third most populous city and fifth most populous urban agglomeration in India, as well as the largest city in South India, and the 27th largest city in the world. Located on the Deccan Plateau, at a height of over 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level, Bangalore has a pleasant climate throughout the year, with its parks and green spaces earning it the reputation as the "Garden City" of India. Its elevation is the highest among the major cities of India.

1975 Cricket World Cup Final

1975 Cricket World Cup Final

The 1975 Cricket World Cup Final was a One Day International cricket match played at Lord's, London on 21 June 1975 to determine the winner of the 1975 Cricket World Cup. It was the second time that the West Indies and Australia had met in the tournament after playing against each other in the group stage. The West Indies won the match by 17 runs to claim their first title.

Alan Turner (cricketer)

Alan Turner (cricketer)

Alan Turner is a former Australian cricketer. He was a left-handed batsman who played for New South Wales from 1968 until retirement in 1978. He scored over 5,700 runs as a stocky opener with a practised cut shot, though he was not able to prove his abilities at best at international level. He played in fourteen Test matches and six One Day Internationals from 1975 to 1977. On the back of his several good Sheffield Shield seasons he was selected for Australian tours of England and New Zealand. He scored a single Test century against the touring West Indian side in 1975–76. The cricket writer Peter Hanlon described Turner as "an ordinary man in the company of Gods."

After cricket

Richards being interviewed after a cricket match in 2006
Richards being interviewed after a cricket match in 2006

Richards is a commentator on BBC's Test Match Special (TMS).[45] He participated in Prince Edward of the United Kingdom's 1987 charity television special The Grand Knockout Tournament. He was featured in the 2010 documentary movie Fire in Babylon and spoke about his experiences playing for the West Indies. Richards joined the Delhi Daredevils as their mentor in The Indian Premier League in 2013, and also mentored the Quetta Gladiators in the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022 Pakistan Super League.[46]

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Test Match Special

Test Match Special

Test Match Special is a British sports radio programme, originally, as its name implies, dealing exclusively with Test cricket matches, but currently covering any professional cricket. It broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 LW and local MW frequencies, BBC Radio Five Sports Extra (digital) and via the internet to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. TMS provides ball-by-ball coverage of most Test cricket, One Day International, and Twenty20 matches and tournaments involving the England cricket team.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the youngest sibling of King Charles III. Edward is 13th in line of succession to the British throne.

The Grand Knockout Tournament

The Grand Knockout Tournament

The Grand Knockout Tournament was a one-off charity event which took place on 15 June 1987, and was shown on British television on 19 June 1987, in addition to airing on American TV via the USA Network on 12 August 1987, and European satellite channel Superchannel on 6 March 1988. It followed the format of It's a Knockout, a slapstick TV gameshow which was broadcast in the UK until 1982.

Fire in Babylon

Fire in Babylon

Fire in Babylon is a 2010 British documentary film about the record-breaking West Indies cricket team of the 1970s and 1980s. Featuring stock footage and interviews with several former players and officials, including Colin Croft, Deryck Murray, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and Andy Roberts, the film was written and directed by Stevan Riley and was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Documentary. It was the joint-winner of the UNESCO Award at the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival 2011.

Indian Premier League

Indian Premier League

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a men's T20 franchise cricket league in India. It is annually contested by ten teams based in seven cities and three states. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007. Brijesh Patel is the incumbent chairman of IPL. It is usually held annually in summer across India between March to May and has an exclusive window in the ICC Future Tours Programme.

Quetta Gladiators

Quetta Gladiators

Quetta Gladiators is a Pakistani professional Twenty20 cricket franchise that competes in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). They play most home games at the 27,000-capacity Gaddafi Stadium. The Gladiators won and became the champions in PSL 2019. The team is nominally based in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, Pakistan.

2022 Pakistan Super League

2022 Pakistan Super League

2022 Pakistan Super League was the seventh season of the Pakistan Super League, a franchise Twenty20 cricket league which was established by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2015. Played between six teams in a double round robin format with strict COVID-19 protocols, the league began on 27 January 2022 with the first phase taking place in Karachi. The second phase including the playoffs took place in Lahore, with the Final played on 27 February where Lahore Qalandars beat Multan Sultans by 42 runs to win their maiden PSL title.

Pakistan Super League

Pakistan Super League

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league contested during February and March of every year by six teams representing six cities of Pakistan. The league was founded on 9 September 2015 with five teams by the Pakistan Cricket Board. Instead of operating as an association of independently-owned teams, the league is a single entity in which each franchise is owned and controlled by investors.

Personality and playing style

Quiet and self-contained away from the pitch,[3] Richards was a very powerful right-handed batsman with an extremely attacking style, "possibly the most destructive batsman the sport has ever seen".[3] He was also an excellent fielder and a more than competent off-spin bowler. He is often regarded as the most physically devastating and exciting batsman that ever played the game by cricketers, journalists, fans and others alike,[47][48] and played his entire 17-year career without a helmet.[47][48][49]

His fearless and aggressive style of play, and relaxed but determined demeanor made him a great crowd favourite and an intimidating prospect for opposition bowlers all over the world. The word "swagger" is frequently used to describe his batting style.[3][50][51] His batting often completely dominated opposing bowlers.[50][51] He had the ability to drive good-length balls from outside off-stump through midwicket, his trademark shot, and was one of the great exponents of the hook shot.[52]

Viv Richards was notorious for punishing bowlers that dared to sledge him,[53] so much so, that many opposing captains banned their players from the practice. However playing for Somerset in a county game against Glamorgan, Greg Thomas attempted to sledge Richards after he had played and missed at several balls in a row. He sarcastically informed Richards: "It's red, round and it's about five ounces, in case you were wondering." Richards then hammered the next delivery for 6, straight out of the stadium and into a nearby river. Turning back to the bowler, he commented: "You know what it looks like, now go and find it."[54]

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Autobiographies

Viv Richards, with David Foot, wrote an autobiography titled Viv Richards, in 1979.[55]

In 1991, Richards published a second autobiography entitled Hitting Across the Line.[56] In the book, Richards describes how his whole life revolved around sports, cricket in particular. Of special interest is his technique, expressed by the title of the book. To hit across the line of the ball is considered taboo, and dangerously risky. However, Richards' explanation of the conditions in which he played cricket in Antigua as a child, explains how this technique came to be.

Achievements

Statistical summary

Richards' Test career batting chart
Richards' Test career batting chart

In his Test career, he scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23 (including 24 centuries). Richards also scored 5 centuries in World Series Cricket between 1977 and 1979. These are not recognised by the ICC as "official" Test centuries. Richards won 27 of 50 matches as a Test captain, and lost only 8. He is also the scorer of the equal second fastest-ever Test century, from just 56 balls against England in Antigua during the 1986 tour.[57] He hit 84 sixes in Test cricket. His highest innings of 291 is equal seventh (along with Ramnaresh Sarwan) on the list of West Indies' highest individual scores.[58]

International records

  • In 1986, Richards became the first batsman to score a Test century at a strike rate of over 150.[59]
  • Richards scored the fastest century in Test history (56 balls) in 1986,[60] being sole record holder until his feat was first equalled by Misbah-ul-Haq in 2014[61] and then eclipsed by Brendon McCullum's 54-ball ton in 2016.[62]
  • Richards set a record for being the fastest batsman to 1,000 ODI runs (21 innings); this record has subsequently been equalled by Kevin Pietersen, Babar Azam, Jonathan Trott and Quinton de Kock.[63]
  • Along with Michael Holding, Richards holds the record for the highest ever 10th wicket partnership in ODI history.(106*)[64]
  • He also holds the record for the highest individual ODI score when batting at number 4 position (189*)[65]
  • He became the first player to score a fifty and to take a five wicket haul in the same ODI. He also became the first cricketer to score a century as well as to take a five wicket haul in the same ODI match.[66][67]
  • Richards was the first player to complete the double of scoring 1000 runs and taking 50 wickets in ODI history.[68]

Honours

The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in 2012
The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in 2012

In 1994, Richards was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to cricket.[69] In 1999, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation (KCN) by his native country Antigua and Barbuda.[70] In 2006, he was upgraded to Antigua and Barbuda highest award, Knight of the Order of the National Hero (KNH).

The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua, is named in his honour. It was built for use in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The ground has hosted three Test matches, as well as a number of One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals.[71][72][73]

The Richards–Botham Trophy, replacing the Wisden Trophy for winners of West Indies–England Test series, is named in honour of Richards and Sir Ian Botham.[74]

In 2022, Richards was awarded the Order of the Caribbean Community (OOC), the highest honour that can be conferred upon a Caribbean national. The award confers the styling "The Honourable" as well.[75]

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Antigua Recreation Ground

Antigua Recreation Ground

Antigua Recreation Ground is the national stadium of Antigua and Barbuda. It is located in St. John's, on the island of Antigua. The ground has been used by the West Indies cricket team and Antigua and Barbuda national football team. It had Test cricket status. It was also known as the Old Recreation Ground, or the Old Rec. against England in the "Blackwash" series of 1986 at the Recreation Ground. It was also where Brian Lara twice set the record for highest individual Test innings, scoring 375 in 1994 and the current record of 400 not out in 2004, both times against England.

Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi PP SI is a former Pakistani cricket coach and former international cricketer. Misbah captained Pakistan in all formats and is former head coach and former chief selector of the Pakistan national team.

Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum

Brendon Barrie McCullum is a cricket coach, commentator and former cricketer representing New Zealand, who played all formats, including as captain. McCullum was renowned for his quick scoring, notably recording the fastest test century of all time. He is considered one of the most successful batsmen and captains of New Zealand cricket. He retired from all forms of cricket in August 2019. McCullum is currently serving as the head coach of the England Cricket Test team.

Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Peter Pietersen is a cricket commentator, conservationist, and former England international cricket player. He is a right-handed batsman and occasional off spin bowler who played in all three formats for England between 2005 and 2014, which included a brief tenure as captain.

Babar Azam

Babar Azam

Mohammad Babar Azam, is a Pakistani international cricketer and captain of the Pakistan national cricket team in all formats. Regarded as one of the finest batters in contemporary world cricket, he is the only cricketer in the world to be in the top five rankings across all formats. He is ranked as the number one batter in ODIs, number two in Tests and number four in T20Is. A right-handed top-order batter, he plays for and captains Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL and Central Punjab in domestic cricket of Pakistan. With 40 wins, he is one of the most successful T20I captains of all time.

Jonathan Trott

Jonathan Trott

Ian Jonathan Leonard Trott is a South African-born English former professional cricketer who played international cricket for the England cricket team. Domestically, he played for Warwickshire County Cricket Club as well as playing in South Africa and New Zealand. He was ICC and ECB Cricketer of the Year in 2011.

Michael Holding

Michael Holding

Michael Anthony Holding is a Jamaican former cricketer and commentator who played for the West Indies cricket team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest pace bowlers in cricket history, he was nicknamed "Whispering Death" due to his silent, light-footed run up to the bowling crease. His bowling action was famously smooth and extremely fast, and he used his height to generate large amounts of bounce and zip off the pitch. He was part of the fearsome West Indian pace bowling battery, together with Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Wayne Daniel, Malcolm Marshall and Sylvester Clarke, that devastated opposing batting line-ups throughout the world in the late seventies and early eighties. Early in his Test career, in 1976, Holding broke the record for best bowling figures in a Test match by a West Indies bowler, 14 wickets for 149 runs (14/149). The record still stands. During his first-class cricket career, Holding played for Jamaica, Canterbury, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Tasmania. In September 2021, Holding announced his retirement from being a commentator.

Order of the Nation (Antigua and Barbuda)

Order of the Nation (Antigua and Barbuda)

The Most Distinguished Order of the Nation is an Antiguan and Barbudan order of chivalry recognising distinguished and outstanding service to Antigua and Barbuda, the Caricom region or the international community. Originally established by the National Awards Act 1987, that act was repealed and the order was re-established and constituted by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda under the National Honours Act 1998 which received Royal Assent from the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda on 31 December 1998.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is a sovereign country in the West Indies. It lies at the juncture of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the Leeward Islands part of the Lesser Antilles, at 17°N latitude.

North Sound

North Sound

North Sound, also known as Old North Sound to distinguish from the Division of North Sound, is a settlement and former plantation in Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua

Antigua

Antigua, also known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the Lesser Antilles. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region and the most populous island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981.

2007 Cricket World Cup

2007 Cricket World Cup

The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was the ninth Cricket World Cup, a One Day International (ODI) cricket tournament that took place in the West Indies from 13 March to 28 April 2007. There were a total of 51 matches played, three fewer than at the 2003 World Cup.

Legacy and place in cricket history

In 2000, Richards was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, coming fifth behind Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Shane Warne in the poll of 100 international cricket experts appointed by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.[76]

Several prominent personalities including former cricketer Imran Khan and writer John Birmingham are of the opinion that Richards was the best ever batsman against genuine fast bowling.[50][77] For Barry Richards, Ravi Shastri and Neil Fairbrother, he has been cited as the best batsman they personally witnessed.[78][79][80] Wasim Akram rates Richards the greatest batsman he ever bowled to, ahead of Sunil Gavaskar and Martin Crowe.[81]

Akram also rates Richards as the best and most complete batsman he ever saw ahead of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara.[82][83] Crowe himself rated Richards as the best batsman he played against, along with Greg Chappell.[84] Arguably the two greatest spinners ever, Muthiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne both idolize Richards. Murali idolized Richards in his years growing up, while Warne rates him the greatest batsman "for me", and overall just after Bradman.[85]

If you talk about a batsman with an unmatched technique, charisma and someone who had a huge impact on the game, it is Sir Vivian Richards. I have played against all the greats from mid-eighties to the nineties to the 2000s, but Viv Richards was a class apart

-Wasim Akram on Viv Richards

Ian Botham who is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time and one of England's greatest cricketers, rates Richards as the greatest batsman he ever saw ahead of Sunil Gavaskar, Greg Chappell, Martin Crowe, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara.[86] Michael Holding, often regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time and part of the West Indies four-prolonged pace attack during the late 1970s and early 1980s rates Richards as the greatest batsman he witnessed in the last 50 years.[87] England's fast bowling great Bob Willis rated Viv as greatest batsman he ever witnessed and best he ever bowled to.[88]

At number 3:- Viv Richards; I never saw Donald Bradman play but if he was better player then Viv then he must have been some player

Bob Willis on Viv Richards

Australian fast bowling greats Jeff Thomson often regarded as the fastest bowler in cricket history along with Dennis Lillee rates Richards as best batsman they ever bowled against. Lillee rates Richards as best batsman he bowled to and went on to say him as The Supreme player.[89] Thomson also rates Richards as the greatest batsman he bowled against.[90][91] Former Australian captain Ian Chappell who is regarded as one of the best cricket captains of all time rates Richards as the most intimidating and dangerous batsman he ever saw who often changed games simply by walking to the crease.[92]

For sheer ability to rip an attack apart with animal like brutality and still maintaining better consistency then all others around. I have to pick Viv on top of the list. I just love bowling to the man because it was such a challenge. I regard him as the supreme player. I think we finished about level- I got him as often as he got me

- Dennis Lillee on Viv Richards in his autobiography Menance

Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar who are regarded as two of the greatest modern day batsman rates Richards as the best they ever saw and their batting idol while growing up.[93][94] Kumar Sangakara, former Sri Lankan Wicket keeper batsman often rates Richards along with Lara as the greatest batsman he ever witnessed and further calls Richards as his cricketing idol while growing up.[95] Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-haq rates Richards as the greatest batsman he ever saw ahead of both Tendulkar and Lara.[96]

The ICC has produced rankings for batsmen and bowlers for both the longer and shorter versions. In the ratings for Test Cricket, Richards holds the equal seventh highest peak rating (938), after Sir Donald Bradman (961), Steve Smith (947), Sir Len Hutton, Sir Jack Hobbs, Ricky Ponting and Peter May.[97] The ODI ratings placed Richards in first followed by Zaheer Abbas and Greg Chappell.[98] He topped the rankings at the end of the years 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1986.

He was voted the greatest cricketer since 1970 in a poll, ahead of Ian Botham and Shane Warne.[99] That poll saw both Botham and Warne vote for Richards, and in the opinions of both, Richards is the greatest batsman they ever saw. In 2006, in a study done by a team of ESPN's Cricinfo magazine, Richards was again chosen as the greatest ODI Batsman ever.[100]

To mark 150 years of the Cricketers' Almanack, Wisden named him in an all-time Test World XI.[101]

Discover more about Legacy and place in cricket history related topics

Shane Warne

Shane Warne

Shane Keith Warne was an Australian international cricketer, whose career ran from 1991 to 2007. Warne played as a right-arm leg spin bowler and a right-handed batsman for Victoria, Hampshire and Australia. He is one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the sport; he made 145 Test appearances, taking 708 wickets, and set the record for the most wickets taken by any bowler in Test cricket, a record he held until 2007.

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi is a Pakistani politician and former cricket captain who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan from August 2018 until April 2022, when he was ousted through a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly. He is the founder and chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

John Birmingham

John Birmingham

John Birmingham is a British-born Australian author, known for the 1994 memoir He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, and his Axis of Time trilogy.

Barry Richards

Barry Richards

Barry Anderson Richards is a former South African first-class cricketer. A right-handed "talent of such enormous stature", Richards is considered one of South Africa's most successful batsmen. He was able to play only four Test matches – all against Australia – before South Africa's exclusion from the international scene in 1970. In that brief career, against a competitive Australian attack, Richards scored 508 runs at the high average of 72.57. Richards' contribution in that series was instrumental in the 4–0 win that South Africa inflicted on the side, captained by Bill Lawry. His first century, 140, was scored in conjunction with Graeme Pollock's 274 in a famous 103-run partnership. Mike Procter, whose South African and English career roughly paralleled that of Richards, was prominent in that series as a bowler.

Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri

Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri is the former head coach of the India national cricket team, a cricket commentator and former captain of Indian Cricket Team. As a player, he played for the India national cricket team between 1981 and 1992 in both Test matches and One Day Internationals. Although he started his career as a left arm spin bowler, he later transformed into a batting all-rounder.

Neil Fairbrother

Neil Fairbrother

Neil Fairbrother is an English former cricketer who played 75 One Day International matches and 10 Test matches as a batsman for England. Fairbrother, named by his mother after her favourite player, the Australian cricketer Neil Harvey, was educated at Lymm Grammar School and played his county cricket for Lancashire. Although primarily a one day player at international level, he had strong success in the County Championship and had a first class high score of 366.

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram HI is a Pakistani cricket commentator, coach, and former cricketer and captain of the Pakistan national cricket team. Akram is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, and several critics regard him as the greatest left-arm fast bowler in cricket history. He is often revered as The Sultan of Swing, In October 2013, Wasim Akram was the only Pakistani cricketer to be named in an all-time Test World XI to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, is an Indian cricket commentator and former cricketer who represented India and Bombay from 1971 to 1987. Gavaskar is acknowledged as one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time.

Martin Crowe

Martin Crowe

Martin David Crowe was a New Zealand cricketer, Test and ODI captain as well as a commentator. He played for the New Zealand national cricket team between 1982 and 1995, and is regarded as one of the country's greatest batsmen.

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar BR is an Indian former international cricketer who captained the Indian national team. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is the all-time highest run-scorer in both ODI and Test cricket with more than 18000 runs and 15000 runs respectively in total. He also holds the record for receiving the most man-of-the-match awards in international cricket. Known for his large fanbase and described by ESPNcricinfo as 'the most worshipped player in the world', Tendulkar is sometimes referred to as "The God of Cricket" in India. A film with that name was released in 2021.

Brian Lara

Brian Lara

Brian Charles Lara, is a Trinidadian former international cricketer, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He topped the Test batting rankings on several occasions and holds several cricketing records, including the record for the highest individual score in first-class cricket, with 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994, which is the only quintuple-hundred in first-class cricket history.

Greg Chappell

Greg Chappell

Gregory Stephen Chappell is a former cricketer who represented Australia at international level in both Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODI). The second of three brothers to play Test cricket, Chappell was the pre-eminent Australian batsman of his time who allied elegant stroke making to fierce concentration. An exceptional all round player who bowled medium pace and, at his retirement, held the world record for the most catches in Test cricket, Chappell's career straddled two eras as the game moved toward a greater level of professionalism after the WSC schism.

Football

Some writers contend that Richards also played international football for Antigua and Barbuda, appearing in qualifying matches for the 1974 World Cup.[102][103] However, he does not appear in recorded line-ups for these matches.[104]

Discover more about Football related topics

Association football

Association football

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players who primarily use their feet to propel a ball around a rectangular field called a pitch. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposite team by moving the ball beyond the goal line into a rectangular-framed goal defended by the opposing side. Traditionally, the game has been played over two 45 minute halves, for a total match time of 90 minutes. With an estimated 250 million players active in over 200 countries and territories, it is considered the world's most popular sport.

Antigua and Barbuda national football team

Antigua and Barbuda national football team

The Antigua and Barbuda national football team is the national team of Antigua and Barbuda and is controlled by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, a member of the CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

1974 FIFA World Cup qualification

1974 FIFA World Cup qualification

99 teams entered the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for 16 spots in the final tournament. West Germany, as the hosts, and Brazil, as the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 14 spots open for competition.

1974 FIFA World Cup

1974 FIFA World Cup

The 1974 FIFA World Cup was the tenth FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial football tournament for men's senior national teams, and was played in West Germany between 13 June and 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded. The previous trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, had been won for the third time by Brazil in 1970 and awarded permanently to the Brazilians. This was the first out of three World Cups to feature two rounds of group stages.

Source: "Viv Richards", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 28th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viv_Richards.

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See also
References
  1. ^ CricInfo profile
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  3. ^ a b c d "Sir Viv Richards at 60: Former team-mates on West Indies legend". BBC Sport.
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  5. ^ Sealey, Louis (ed.). "Michael Holding rates West Indies hero Viv Richards as the best batsman in history – Metro". Metro.co.Uk. Retrieved 28 January 2022. As he was batting at No 3 for West Indies, I often saw him watch the first couple of overs, get a visual picture, and then go and sleep. People would have to wake him up and say 'Viv, it's your turn'. Sometimes it was early, sometimes, because you had (Gordon) Greenidge and (Desmond) Haynes, not so early
  6. ^ David Foot (1987). Viv Richards. Hamilton. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-241-12046-0. When he was captain at school he promoted himself to no.3 in batting order, a batting position where he kept and played for most of his career
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  109. ^ Nandakumar Marar Sania is an icon for Indian sport: Masaba The Hindu – 24 February 2005
Sources
  • Martin-Jenkins, C. (1983) The Cricketer Book of Cricket Disasters and Bizarre Records, Century Publishing: London. ISBN 0-7126-0191-0.
  • McDonald, Trevor (1984). Viv Richards: The Authorised Biography. Sphere. ISBN 0722157274.
  • Richards, Viv; Foot, David (1982). Viv Richards (autobiography). Star. ISBN 0352312084.
External links
Preceded by West Indies Test cricket captains
1980–1990
Succeeded by
Preceded by West Indies Test cricket captains
1991
Succeeded by
Categories

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