Emperor, empowerer

With his magnetic presence and enormous talent, Richards instilled a sense of self-belief in every team he played for

Scyld Berry

August 16, 2010

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

A Portrait of Viv Richards by Brendan Kelly is seen during the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition, London, April 25, 2007
King Viv: Grand in person and on canvas © Getty Images
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Before anyone thought of the phrase, Viv Richards walked the walk. After a suitable pause, following the applause for Gordon Greenidge or Desmond Haynes, Richards took the field like an emperor returning to his domains. Head held high; nose aquiline; jaw working his gum; the maroon cap - never, never, a helmet, for that would have been an admission of fear; and brandishing his choice of weapon, normally a Slazenger, in his right hand. Nobody has walked to the crease as Richards did. No choreographer, equipped with spotlights and sound effects, could have improved upon his natural entrance.

Nobody has batted like Richards either. Sure, a few batsmen since his day have hit the ball as hard or harder, like Matthew Hayden or Adam Gilchrist. But nobody has proclaimed such a message as Richards did when he hit the ball. His batting was all power and dominance - his mental power, and the power of an awesomely muscular yet athletic 5' 10" body; and his dominance of the opposition, if not from the moment he made his grand entrance, then from the first ball, when he planted his front foot down the pitch and outside off stump and whipped it through midwicket for four. By the second ball of a Viv Richards innings, if not before, there were few teams who did not recognise that in their midst was a Master.

Richards has to rank among the half dozen greatest cricketers of all time. It is not a matter of statistics, although his Test average of 50 was fine enough. It is a matter of what he did with his power and dominance. He not only led West Indies' domination of Test and one-day cricket in the eighties, as invincible captain in the second half of the decade or as the vice-captain, No. 3 batsman and figurehead of Clive Lloyd's side, he also empowered the teams he played for to an extent that has not been sufficiently appreciated. Ask this question about every cricketer you admire: did he leave the teams he represented stronger than when he started? Richards did so, which is why he won my vote ahead of Sir Garfield Sobers as one of the Five Wisden Cricketers of the Century. Sobers was the finer cricketer, no doubt the finest all-round cricketer ever. But Richards had the greater impact, greater even than Lloyd or Sir Frank Worrell, who were his forerunners.

What were West Indies before 1976? "Easygoing Calypso cricketers" was the stock description. In that year, mostly in Australia and England, Richards scored more runs in Tests (1710 at an average of 90) than anybody had done in a calendar year before, and wouldn't for another 30 years. Andy Roberts was already knocking batsmen over, one way or another, but soon a whole platoon of fast bowlers gathered around the West Indian banner, which was - though it was Lloyd's side in name and fact - held aloft by Richards.

Thus were the world champions born.

Nobody has walked to the crease as Richards did. No choreographer, equipped with spotlights and sound effects, could have improved upon his natural entrance

He did the same for his other teams. When Richards made his first-class debut in 1971-72, the Combined Islands had just been allowed to participate in the West Indian first-class domestic tournament, the Shell Shield. Until then, any cricketer from outside Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana was powerless. Richards' own father was a decent player who represented Antigua but never got the opportunity to play a first-class match. When his son got going, the Combined Islands became too powerful, winning the tournament in 1980-81, and were split into the Leewards and Windwards: the outer islands became the dominant force in the Caribbean, as Worrell had predicted.

The same applied in Antigua itself. Richards and Roberts put their native island on the map as nobody else could have done. What was a backwater after 1950, when the brutal sugarcane plantations were finally abolished, was transformed into a highly desirable tourist destination and Test venue by 1981. Quite an advance for an island of 80,000 people.

Richards empowered Somerset and Glamorgan too, the two counties he represented. Somerset was the Antigua of English cricket until the 1970s: a backwater. They had never won anything in their history. Led by Richards (though Brian Rose was the actual captain), they became the one-day team of their era in English cricket, the Liverpool or Manchester United, winning five trophies in five seasons. Almost single-handedly he won Cup finals at Lord's, striding out and making a hundred, instilling self-belief into small-town players who had never possessed it before.

Glamorgan were the same, or even worse, by the time Richards joined them in 1990, famous only for internal bickerings and bad signings. Richards propelled them to the Sunday League title in 1993, in his final competitive season. In an innings of power and self-belief, if fading dominance, he had to ward off a young tearaway called Duncan Spencer to see Glamorgan home in their final match "after 23 seasons of often abject failure" as Wisden put it. Nobody has called the county a joke since.

It would be hyperbole to assert that Richards empowered Afro-Caribbeans everywhere. But by means of his cricket he gave those of them interested in cricket a pride and sense of responsibility - to themselves, to destiny - which they had never known before. "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery" sang Bob Marley at the same time as Richards walked down pavilion steps and on to the field. "None but ourselves can free our minds." And Richards was the man who did exactly that.

Scyld Berry is the editor of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. This article was first published in the June 2004 issue of Wisden Asia Cricket magazine

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ab1968 on (August 17, 2010, 21:26 GMT)

ok, ok - did not meant to be disrespectful. Poor choice of words, agreed. But I was judging Richards by his own and his fans' standards.

But, you gotta admit, even in the 70s and 80s, which is when I was growing up as an avid cricket fan, low 40s was very good, mid 40s was very, very good - Gower, Zaheer, Boycott, Gooch(?) - and above 50 was great. Higher than 55 was genius - Sobers.

So, in that sense, only against England was he exceptional.

Posted by GB_Cricket on (August 17, 2010, 17:14 GMT)

@KiwiRocker, you are saying Sachin saved himself from facing Wasim and Waqar. using same logic, any similar minded fool can say waqar saved himself from bowling to Sachin and strong Indian batting lineup. Waqar anyway played only 4 tests and had a very poor test record against India and also very ordinary record against Australia and SA. will that make Waqar an ordinary bowler? if you follow cricket properly, you'll understand most good or great players will have better stats against the teams they play most during their peak years. Its generally not in their hand to "save" themself from facing another player. There can be few exceptions however like when some players shy away from taking field in the name of injury etc. like Shoaib Akhtar did a few years ago and Inzi was furious at him.

Posted by RoshanF on (August 17, 2010, 17:09 GMT)

I see that there are very loose comments coming from people who obviously never saw the great Viv play in full and not just highlights to be seen in compilations. He excelled in an era of much more difficult batting conditions against better bowlers than any seen in the past 15 years. For sure there were featherbeds put out occasionally in India and Pakistan but everywhere else it was a lot tougher. That is why not many averaged in the 50s. Besides it would have been obvious to anyone who ever saw Viv play that he did not care two figs about averages but set about dismantling nay destroying bowlers from the word go long before anyone ever thought of doing that. Today's batters have better bats and certainly much more benign pitches not to mention a decidedly lack of quality bowlers to contend with. So for all those who say otherwise, I say, GET THIS - there isn't a batsman today nor has there been any during the past twenty years who can come near the master that was Viv Richards.

Posted by KishoreSharma on (August 17, 2010, 15:27 GMT)

@olepolice, let's forget about the counties and focus on West Indies. Your email does not address my point that Richards did not leave West Indies stronger than they were when he joined. Moreover, it is wrong for Berry to imply that the powerful teams of the late 1970s and 1980s were to a large part due to Richards - even if he were not there the Windies would still have been champions due to the sheer quantity of talent, especially in pace bowling, that they unearthed then. My point on pitches concerned the period from 1986 onwards. As Garner and Holding were aging, Richards seemed desperate to prove that he could match Lloyd's record. It is no coincidence to say that West Indian pitches deteriorated significantly during that era. Of course, the emergence of Ambrose and Bishop in the late 1980s could not have been predicted then and the attack once again became top class. But the pitches were not corrected and served to damage West Indian cricket in the longer term.

Posted by eddy501 on (August 17, 2010, 13:47 GMT)

During the recent all time XI WI selection some people suggested that Viv's stats werent as good as Weekes, Walcott and Worrell. They said he had weak results against some nations and that in general he stayed on too long and just managed to keep his avg above 50. These points are all statistically true and right. HOWEVER,when you have a long career you will have dips in form and perform better against some teams than others. I suggested that it was VIV circa 1976-1986 is what i had in mind when i picked him, not 1975 or 1990. People suggested that i could not just pick his good years but also his bad as that gave a fairer picture. I have given it some thought but remain firm on my view that the all time XI would be my memory of the best players playing at there best. Remember, that is exactly how G Pollocks and B Richards inflated Test persona has been viewed for over 30 years!

Posted by Neil247 on (August 17, 2010, 13:27 GMT)

Of course the word "Best" carries a lot of connotations. Simply because someone "swaggers", or "has a presence" or is "nice to watch" or "destructive" etc etc etc is essentially meaningless in determining if a particular batsman was the "Best". Thing is Viv was really,really good AND all of the above. Which is what adds to his appeal. And as regards comparing between eras, forget it. That's simply a waste of time since there is no way we can normalize the infinite variables...So comparing Viv to Bradman and later to Tendulkar/Lara is a meaningless excercise. All greats in their own way.

Posted by Phat-Boy on (August 17, 2010, 6:10 GMT)

And KiwiRocker, what in blazes do Wasim and Waqar have to do with Tendulkar allegedly not proving himself? Geez, he has destroyed every other great bowler of his era and thrived against them in all conditions but because he didn't really play much cricket against two of them, it doesn't count? That's like saying that a boxer who has knocked out every heavyweight champ for the last 50 years can't be considered great because he never fought two others who had retired a few years earlier or something.

Posted by Phat-Boy on (August 17, 2010, 6:05 GMT)

KAIRAVA, all his cricket against a Pakistan attack containing all the bowlers you just listed came in the last 3 years of his career. In fact he only played two matches that I can find against Waqar (and averaged 91 what's more), and Sarfraz was long gone by then anyway. The most of those bowlers he ever played against in one match was three - and that only happend a couple of times when a very young Wasim played alongside Imran and Qadir. So basically you might as well have just said that for some reason Richards struggled against the Pakistan ODI side even though it generally contained no higher amount of gun bowlers than any other team of the era.

Posted by KAIRAVA on (August 17, 2010, 5:23 GMT)

In ODI's of the 1980's, Richards averaged more than 47 (his career ODI average) against sides which had average fast bowling lineups (Eng, Aus, Ind, NZ, SL) save for a Lillee in Australia, a Botham in England & a Hadlee in NZ. But against Pakistan, which had its own pace quartet (Sarfaraz, Imran, Wasim, Waqar) & not too forget the guile of Abdul Qadir, he averaged only a lowly 30.When performance is a measurement of greatness, then the quality of the opposition attack is a major factor. That is why Gavaskar in Tests, is held in a greater esteem than his contemporaries because he was more successful than any other batsman of his time, against the mighty West Indian fast bowlers.

Posted by Paulk on (August 17, 2010, 5:20 GMT)

Stats can be misleading if taken in isolation. Sir Viv's contemporary Larry Gomes averaged 56 against Australia and 39 overall ( a good career average and a great one against Australia for his era). Larry Gomes was a very good batsman indeed but nobody, no Aussie nor Larry Gomes himself would consider him a better player than Sir Viv.

Posted by degiant on (August 17, 2010, 4:31 GMT)

All I know, is when VIV was batting we will win and win quickly

Posted by Paulk on (August 17, 2010, 2:40 GMT)

Viv was a legend of his time. Couple of points: one that for most of his career he had a much higher batting average (coupled to an amazing strike rate) which declined towards the end and secondly one should remember that batting averages in the 50s in his era was not common at all. Only Gavaskar, Chappell and Miandad I think had 50+ averages none of them were even close to his strike rate. So he was unique and very very special in his era. In contemporary cricket batting averages and strike rates have both gone up so his figures may not stand out as much as it did in 70s and 80s. yeah one had to really live through the 70s and 80s to see his greatness. Figures only tell you so much and not nearly enough.

Posted by Phat-Boy on (August 17, 2010, 0:40 GMT)

AB1968 - get a clue mate.

Since when was 44 a "very poor average"? legends like Greenidge and Haynes averaged that for their careers, and I don't think many regard them as "very poor" players. Richards averaged 44.43 against Australia throughout his career - and that average actually INCREASES slightly when you limit it to the period when Lillee and Thompson etc were still playing. he also averaged 42 against Pakistan for the duration of his career. Given the general concensus that 40+ pre-1995 is about the same as 50+ is now, what the hell is wrong with that record? At any rate, the English bowlers against whom he averaged 62 included Willis, Dilley, Snow, Botham, Lever, and Underwood - all of whom averaged under 30 with the ball and all of whom aside from Lever took 100+ test wickets. You speak of facts - you need to learn some before you mouth off about the greats.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (August 16, 2010, 22:40 GMT)

@ab1968. Since when is an avg. of 44.43 vs Aus and 41.93 vs Pak "very poor"? (he also avg. more than 60 vs Pak in 2 different series showing that form was temporary and class was permanent) Ok, what is a "good avg". for u? 80? He didn't play post 2000 when every Tom, Dick and Harry averages 40+. His team mate, the well respected Gordon Greenidge averaged 44.72 over his whole career! Not too far from Viv's 44.43 vs Aus. Look, if u don't rate Viv as highly as some of us thats fine, its completely your opinion BUT where do u get off saying 44.43 vs Aus and 41.93 vs Pak, (excluding his superior SR, is "very poor"? That is a very poor choice of words lol.

Posted by olepolice on (August 16, 2010, 20:55 GMT)

@Kishoresharma, . I disagree with your disagreement with Scyld Berry's assertion that VIV left teams better than they were . i have only to point you to Mr Berry's article where he very profoundly proves that Sir VIV Richards took long struggling English Counties Somrset and Glamorgan to glory when he played , today both counties are respected and successful counties all of this came during Sir Viv's tenure and surely even you cannot in the face of such irrefutable proof continue to attempt to nullify the obvious impact the Great Master Blaster Sir Vivian Isaac Richards made on the world of cricket. The assertion that the greatest fast bowling attack the world has ever seen and will ever seen was as a result of dodgy Caribbean pitches ! are the pitches in every nation that they played dodgy is so foolish we overpowered everyone everywhere we went Sir Viv thanks for the memories from a West indian , Trini , Viv fan Deryck Anthony Richardson!

Posted by ab1968 on (August 16, 2010, 19:38 GMT)

The best one-day batsman and hence the most all round batsman - for sure.

But behind the hagiography, look at the numbers. Only against England does Richards have an average over 55. Against half-decent pace attacks, ie Pakistan and Aus, very poor averages.

Strange how a walk and swagger can elevate to where facts cannot follow.

Posted by K-amps on (August 16, 2010, 19:07 GMT)

Anyone who has not seen Viv play, has no idea about what he was. If I were to be re-born as as a cricketer, it would not be Sachin or Bradman or Waseem... it would either be Imran Khan or Viv Richards.

I have seen him bat, I have seen the modern day greats as well... Richards could figure in ANY playing 11, in ANY format at ANY time...

So far, he is without equal !

Posted by gotmymojo on (August 16, 2010, 15:39 GMT)

Mr. Berry:

Yes, Viv was a great batsman and a joy to watch. But don't talk rubbish of comparing him with Gary Sobers, the greatest cricketer to have ever played the game. There is no comparision. All others come second. Forget about hemets, he never wore a thigh pad and scored his runs on uncovered pitches! He did it with authority and class. In any team, he will always be the first name you write down.

Posted by PrinceofPortofSpain on (August 16, 2010, 15:09 GMT)

My top ten Test batsmen of all time in the order that they made their appearances would be Jack Hobbs, Wally Hammond, Don Bradman, George Headley, Graham Pollock, Viv Richards, Javed Miandad, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting. Sorry about Everton Weekes, Zaheer Abbas, Glen Turner, Sunil Gavaskar, Greg Chapple, Aravinder DeSilva, Len Hutton and Barry Richards. Food for thought.

Posted by OmanBiek on (August 16, 2010, 14:15 GMT)

Very nice, but as an afro-caribbean i would say that he did empower us. I was raised in a time when the West Indies were past their glory. Its sad to see what the team has become now. But when i was a child my father used cricket and Viv's attitude to instill an unwavering self-belief in myself that has never really deserted me. I know its the same for many many other west indians whose parents were lucky to have witnessed first hand the golden era when Richards dominated the world. So by my estimation he has empowered in atleast some small but significant way Afro-Caribbeans

Posted by CricFan24 on (August 16, 2010, 14:13 GMT)

@shreyas goyal and co. That is utter crap. Sehwag is NOT the fulcrum of the team. He has huge batting support and backbone lower down. So he is virtually FREE to throw his bat around. Viv WAS the fulcrum of the WI team at No.4. The batting REVOLVED around him, unlike Sehwag. The King,Tendulkar,Lara and co. are in a different league and bracket from the Sehwags,Pontings,Kallises,Dravids...And you can throw all the stats you want.

Posted by KishoreSharma on (August 16, 2010, 14:12 GMT)

I agree with TriniTraveller and also take umbrage at the assertion that Viv Richards left teams stronger than when he found them. West Indies have plummted since the 1990s partly due to the lack of discipline Richards, as captain, brought to the team and his excessive reliance on tall fast bowlers knocking over batsmen on dodgy Caribbean wickets (thus destroying a whole generation of the batsmenship and all-round quality bowling that the West Indies have been famous for). Scyld is wrong in asserting that the Windies were nobodys before 1975. They had fine, possibly great, teams in the 1960s and were bulding the nucleus of a great side from 1973 onwards. Lloyd admittedly brought greater discipline into their game, something that was undermined by his inheritors, including Richards. West Indian from the mid-1990s are far below the standards of West Indian teams before 1975 - that is enough to undermine Scyld Berry's ridiculous assertion. Cheers Kishore Sharma

Posted by   on (August 16, 2010, 13:44 GMT)

Awesome cricketer. No one can begrudge his place on the Top 5 list. There is little else that can be said but add that it was fine article for one of the finest cricketers.

Posted by Sandgroper61 on (August 16, 2010, 13:43 GMT)

I grew up watching cricket in the 70s and 80s; my batting heroes from that era include, among others, the Chappells (not Trevor, obviously, I'm not insane), Gower ... and Viv. You didn't see people leave their seat when he batted. Hardened Aussies would let their beer glass stay empty rather than miss something. His average doesn't tell the full tale because (in the manner of Keith Miller) he wasn't about runs for runs' sake; it was the impact he was after. Not an accumulator, a destroyer. But I have to disagree with Berry's thoughts on captaincy; Viv had sod-all to do except rotate the best fast attack the world had ever seen - and he did it really, really slowly, causing a reduction in over rates we still suffer from today. With respect, I could have captained that side and won Tests batting at 11 and fielding from fine leg to fine leg.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (August 16, 2010, 13:22 GMT)

Well said eddy501.@Trinitraveler, remember Viv in his prime averaged 60+ with a MONSTROUS SR. Along with his leadership, fielding and aura, you have a player who dominated. If you have the luxury of having Headly, Sobers, Lara etc. in an XI, would u not choose some1 who could dominate, lead and destroy attacks better than they could? I do believe Viv was a unanimous or near unanimous vote in the selection. In addition, so what if he faded towards the end, he could have retired before just for the sake of stats but he didn't, he chose to lead and never wore a helmet even as he aged and still avg. 35+ in an era where 35+ was very acceptable. As you can see, in this era, the contest between bat and ball is heavily skewed, it is no secret and thus an avg. of 55 for example, is like the new 50.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (August 16, 2010, 11:36 GMT)

A fine tribute to one and only the King Richard. King Richard was the greast batsman ever. Bradman may have scored tons of runs but he lacked the swagger that King possessed. On other day someone had compared Sehwag to Richard, this is a gross insult to Richard. King scored everywhere against the finest. Sehwag is a flat track bully who has to yet prove in seaming conditions in England and South Africa. You need to score consistently. Tendulkar has convinently saved himself without facing two of best bowlers of his era(Wasim and Waqar). King played with a passion that no one can match. Quite often people forget that King was also one of greatest leaders of his team. Lara and Ponting were average captains while Tendulkar was total failure. I rate King Richards the best batsman of all time and only other cricketers to rival king are Imran Khan. Sobers and Shane Warne. All these players reinvented the game. I still enjoy old videos of King instead of boring IPL circuses and so on!

Posted by sriramlak on (August 16, 2010, 10:42 GMT)

TriniTraveller, It is quite unfortunate that a West Indian has not fully recognized the unparalleled genius of Viv Richards. I am an Indian by the way and do fully believe that leave alone lesser mortals like Sachin Tendulkar, even Sir Gary Sobers wouldn't certainly compare himself favourably with Viv. Viv never really faded out, even in his so called "out of form" series', there would have been matches that VIv would have won for his team, outbatting his opposition !!!! Sachin during his lean seasons (which were quite a few by the way) batted much like a novice and I am sure that nobody else in his place would have been given so many chances. If you do not agree with me, please do consider their individual batting styles during their respective peaks, Viv simply annihilated opposition like none else, Sachin and Lara preferred to see off great bowlers while accumulating runs against lesser bowlers. Viv always went after the best and destroyed them, effortlessly.

Posted by eddy501 on (August 16, 2010, 10:24 GMT)

@TriniTraveller.........i respect your view that Headley, Lara and Weekes were picked in your XI before Richards but answer me this....

What do you mean by better batsman? You mention his powers fading in his latter career and this is true. And compared to Tendulkar and Lara who appeared to get better Viv's powers did decline. However when picking a world XI i thought of the players in their prime ala Lara in 1994/95, Viv 1976 etc. You wouldnt pick an All time soccer team thinking of Pele in 1980 or Maradona in 1994, you think of them in 1970 and 1986. Viv in his pomp walks into any team, ever.

Posted by VoltaireC on (August 16, 2010, 8:38 GMT)

There can only be one King and that's IVA Richards. Stats and technique are really misleading things when evaluating a once-in-a-millennium player like Viv. As Holding said so clearly Viv didn't score big runs always since he dint need to....but whenever he was needed he delivered and that was many times. In the era of best fastbowling Viv took all of them to cleaners.....fearless, heroic, epic and murderous! Listen carefully to what Botham says(he's not given to hyperbole) that he couldn't imagine anyone else to be better than Viv....in case of Imran where everyone nearly worships him, he almost worships Viv. The impact he had cannot be explained simply in words...one has to experience Kings deeds. I was kinda underwhelmed when he dint score many in successive series against India in 83-84.....I realized/understood his enormous quality during 87 series....India set a very competitive 275+ 4th innings target on 5th day spinning track...Viv scored a nonchalant 100 & Windies cantered hom

Posted by BillyCC on (August 16, 2010, 7:00 GMT)

TriniTraveller, I can't comment on whether Headley, Lara and Weekes were better batsman than Viv Richards because I don't know. However, Richards was a great player, as you mentioned, and deserves his place in the All Time West Indies XI and also amongst the Legends of Cricket. Greatness is not all about technique or statistics. One factor used to judge greatness is the "magic" factor or the X factor. Richards has the magic factor in abundance, as did Lara.

Posted by TriniTraveller on (August 16, 2010, 6:25 GMT)

I would also take umbrage with Scyld's assertion that he left all his teams better than when he found them. That was not the case with the WI team in 1991. That must be the worst managed transition in the history of the game and WI have paid for it ever since. As world renowned captain and dominant force in WI cricket at the time does he not hold some responsibility (majority of the blame should go to WICB though) for how badly it went wrong? As captain he was tactically very poor. He relied on his fast bowlers and did very little thinking on the field. He inherited a great team from Lloyd as well. He was a very good leader of men though, able to lead from the front and motivate them to perform even in difficult situations...compare that to Lara who was the exact opposite, a better student of the game but rubbish at communicating and leading his team to perform above their ability. King Viv was great and a legend but WI had better batsmen and captains (Worrell and Lloyd).

Posted by TriniTraveller on (August 16, 2010, 6:12 GMT)

I am a West Indian. I think King Viv was great but I didn't vote for him in my all time XI. Why? Because West Indies had better batsmen. I would take Headley, Lara and Weekes before King Viv. His mental strength and his hand eye co-ordination are what saw him dominate the World of Cricket for a decade but just look how badly he faded as he started to get older and his hand eye co-ordination naturally diminished. His mental strength could only carry him so far. The best batsmen in the world are those whose sgames have evolved to adapt to conditions and opponents...look at Tendulkar today and he is a very different batsman to how he started or Headley's tour to Australia in the 1930's...King Viv played one way.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2010, 5:52 GMT)

I think in modern day cricket only Sehwag can be compared to Sir Richards he has the same style, confidence and technique with him. He just pulverizes the bowlers and has done it all around the world just like the great sir Richards. God bless both of them.....

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (August 16, 2010, 5:11 GMT)

Very much one of the 5 cricketer's of the century. What a player and what a leader. Your right, stats aren't the only thing u place Richards on but avg. 47, SR 90 in ODI's (still the only player EVER to avg. 40+ with a SR 90+) in an era where his closest rival was far far far away proved his absolute DOMINANCE, he just wreaked havoc, simple as that. He was not there just to score, he was there to score very quickly and simply take the game away b-4 the opposition even realised what was happening. I've been enjoying this ESPN series, every single one and can't wait to go through the entire list.

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