ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Players / Sir Viv Richards
Full name Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards
Born March 7, 1952, St John's, Antigua
Current age 62 years 144 days
Major teams West Indies, Combined Islands, Glamorgan, Leeward Islands, Queensland, Somerset
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm slow
|Test debut||India v West Indies at Bangalore, Nov 22-27, 1974 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v West Indies at The Oval, Aug 8-12, 1991 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Sri Lanka v West Indies at Manchester, Jun 7, 1975 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v West Indies at Lord's, May 27, 1991 scorecard|
|List A span||1973-1993|
You knew when he was coming. The outgoing batsman would already have disappeared into the pavilion, and the expectation of what was to follow filled the air. Viv kept you waiting... time to ponder. Then he appeared, sauntering, swaggering, arms windmilling slowly. He would take guard, and then, head tilted back slightly and cudding his gum, he would walk a few paces down the pitch to tap it while looking the bowler in the eye. It was calculated menace and magnificent theatre from arguably the most devastating batsman of all time.
How to bowl to him? Get him to the other end, perhaps. Hold your nerve, do not take what might follow as personal. Occasionally he was vulnerable early on if his desire to dominate overwhelmed him. But he had no weakness until his eyesight infinitesimally but inevitably started to let him down and those eye shots became harder.
His strengths were on the front foot. So far forward could he get that he was able to plant that left foot outside the line of off stump, at once eliminating lbw and creating his own leg stump line from where he would flick bowlers relentlessly through midwicket. Or he might send a similar ball skimming through extra cover. Straighten the ball down the line of the stumps and the bowler stood a chance, but he rarely missed and they ran a terrible risk.
His power was awesome, he hooked devastatingly and never wore a helmet, rocking back from his front-foot base to take the ball from his eyeline in front of square. Occasionally, for no apparent reason, he would block an over in immaculate fashion, seemingly in defensive position before the ball had left the bowler's hand. Then, refreshed, off he would go again.
Mike Selvey October 2004
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Scyld Berry on Richards
With his magnetic presence and enormous talent, he instilled a sense of self-belief in every team he played for
Despite a batting style that was outrageously aggressive, Richards' numbers stack up well against those of the world's best batsmen
The modern generation of cricket followers were provided with an ample illustration of what the legendary Don Bradman's domination of the game must have been like in the 1930's by the exploits of Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards
'I felt I was an artist'
(Feb 22, 2010)
Viv Richards, the only captain under whom West Indies never lost a series, speaks about the sense of confrontation he brought to his cricket, his first Test in Antigua and his success against England
Caesar returns triumphant
(Jan 31, 2010)
The greatest cricketer of his generation, and the moment of his fulfillment
Viv Richards: bowler killer
(Mar 24, 2004)
For a decade, the swaggering superstar of Australia's summer carnival liked nothing better than smashing Aussies to a pulp
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1977
Walter Lawrence Trophy 1980
Walter Lawrence Trophy 1986
Selected as one of the Five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, 2000
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?
Alastair Cook did not bat like a leading man but the crowd applauded him for simply not failing