November 8, 2010

The bonafide great who never was

Apartheid prevented Barry Richards from becoming a batting superstar, the next Bradman, even
70

To Donald Bradman, he was as good as Jack Hobbs or Len Hutton. To John Arlott, he was "a batsman of staggering talent". To many who played with and against him, he was the most complete batsman they ever saw. To Robin Jackman, in his days as the heart of the Surrey attack, he was a reason to think about tennis.

"When the fixtures came out at the beginning of the season, one thing we always used to look at was whether we were playing Hampshire over the Wimbledon fortnight," Jackman said. "Because if we were, there was very little chance that Barry would be playing. He managed to find a groin injury when Wimbledon was on."

Along with Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards was the bonafide great who never was. Four Tests was all he had to prove himself before apartheid sentenced South Africa to 22 years of isolation. Richards, tall, wristy, implacable, possessed of feline grace and eyesight, took his chance, scoring 508 runs at 72.57 against the 1969-70 Australians. A surprise? Hardly. "Even before that series, everybody knew he was going to be a batting genius," said Ali Bacher, South Africa's captain in that famous rubber.

Richards scored a century before lunch nine times in his first-class career. That might have been 10 had Bacher not been bowled around his legs by Alan Connolly shortly before the interval on the first day against Australia at Kingsmead in 1970 as he tried to fangle a single to give the tyro the strike.

But Richards duly reached three figures in the first over after lunch, and he went on to score 140 in his most celebrated innings. In the first hour of that second session - perhaps the most storied 60 minutes in South Africa's cricket history - Richards shared 103 runs with Pollock, who made 274, a monument that stood as the highest Test innings by a South African until 1999. "I don't think this country has ever again seen batting like we saw that day," Bacher said.

Besides batting up a storm, Richards proved the keenness of his cricketing brain by demystifying the bowling of Johnny Gleeson, the Australian spinner who was able to deliver offbreaks and legbreaks with no discernible change in his action.

"Whenever one of our Test batsmen came in during the Aussies' matches against the provincial teams on that tour and Gleeson was bowling, he was immediately taken off," Bacher said. "We never got a chance to see him before the series." All would be revealed in the first Test in Cape Town.

"Trevor Goddard got out, and I came in, and immediately Gleeson was brought on from the Wynberg end. For the first two overs he made me look like a clown. When I thought it was the offbreak, it was the legbreak; when I was sure it was the legbreak, it was the offbreak."

Bacher resolved to plonk his front foot down the pitch and heave Gleason over midwicket, which served him well enough in his innings of 57.

"That night we had a team meeting, and Barry told us how to play him. He said if we could see a lot of fingers on top of the ball, it was the offbreak. If we could only see the thumb and one finger, it was the legbreak. He took one look at him and worked him out, and for the rest of the series he ran down the wicket to Gleeson. The rest of us were still a bit wary - even Graeme Pollock played him from the crease - but Barry went after him."

"When you're that talented you want the world to see it, not a few guys watching at Southampton"
Robin Jackman on why Richards wasn't a satisfied man at Hampshire

Gleeson took 19 wickets in that series - second among the Australians only to Connolly's 20 - and his bag included the scalps of Goddard, Bacher, Pollock, Eddie Barlow and Lee Irvine. But not once did he dismiss Richards.

By the time Richards was done with first-class cricket, he owned 28,358 runs, 80 centuries and an average of 54.74 from 339 matches. If English bowlers didn't know what was about to hit them when he arrived to play for Hampshire in 1968, they were fully appraised by the end of that summer. Richards topped the first-class run-scoring charts with 2395 at 47.90. In 10 years with Hampshire, he went past 1000 runs in all but one. He passed that milestone in 15 seasons all told.

Richards averaged 109.86 in the 1970-71 Sheffield Shield, in which he played for South Australia and became only the second man after Bradman to register a century against all opponents. Against Western Australia he scored 325 of his 356 - 198 in boundaries - in a single day against an attack that bristled with the varying threats posed by Graham McKenzie, Dennis Lillee, Tony Lock, Tony Mann, John Inverarity and Ian Brayshaw. At the WACA!

Impressive though those numbers are, the sum of Richards added up to much more than his parts. "He was technically perfect, but he still had the ability to really hurt you, whereas others who were technically very good but not as good as Barry - say a Boycott - you never felt were going to hurt you that much," Jackman said. "They'd wear you down, hour after hour. But Barry could really turn it on when he felt like it. Sometimes he did it just because he felt like it."

As a fast bowler for Western Province and then Rhodesia, as well as for Surrey, Jackman crossed swords with Richards on the county circuit as well as in South Africa's Currie Cup.

"I used to regard it as an achievement if I bowled a maiden to him; that was my ultimate," Jackman said. "Most of the time when I bowled to him, I'd have the new ball and he'd be opening the batting. Of course you'd have the right number of catchers, and there were some gaps in the field. So if you got through a few overs to him with and he hadn't really scored, and you bowled a maiden to him, you felt like you were doing really well."

Praise for Richards isn't hard to come by. What sets Jackman's words apart is that he was the most successful bowler in the game against the South African. In their 25 first-class matches together, Jackman dismissed Richards 16 times. John Shepherd, the Barbados-born former Rhodesian, Gloucestershire and Kent seamer, is second on the list with 13, also in 25 matches. In county cricket exclusively, John Snow, the former Sussex and Warwickshire spearhead, was Richards' most lethal opponent, taking his wicket 10 times in 20 games.

Former Transvaal left-arm fast bowler Don Mackay-Coghill, one of the more successful South Africans against Richards, with eight first-class dismissals, had a habit of welcoming him to the crease by reminding him of the score in their personal duel: "Good morning, Barry. Six times now."

But it's the legends in which Richards was the good guy in the white hat that are better known. The story of him turning his bat sideways to play out an over with the edge - and that with a bat whose edges were much thinner than those of modern bats - is among the few South African cricket tales to have lived on into this era. He is also known to have imagined the ground as the face of a vast clock and hit six fours in an over, each of them scooting to a different part of the boundary in clockwise order.

Jackman: "When he played well, he didn't necessarily play better on one day than another. You were just very happy when you got him out. He was simply a fabulous batsman. He and Gordon Greenidge made a formidable opening pair, and it wasn't often you got an early breakthrough against Hampshire."

After he retired, Richards coached South Australia to a Sheffield Shield final before becoming Queensland's chief executive. They won the Sheffield Shield for the first time in their history on his watch. Richards has served as president of Hampshire and dabbled in international coaching on the Asian subcontinent.

All of which may make being Richards seem like the best job in the world. Not so, sometimes. He has known the searing pain of a son committing suicide, as well as the debilitating disintegration of a lengthy marriage. His truncated Test career "really hurts him", said Jackman, who has spent time with Richards as a commentator. "When you're that talented you want the world to see it, not a few guys watching at Southampton." The fact that he fell 20 short of 100 first-class centuries is another bleak point, particularly as he had a reputation in county games for losing focus after sating himself with runs. Too many 70s and 80s that should have been converted were marooned in double figures. Astonishingly for so poised a player, he suffered with flat feet.

But the world according to cricket won't remember Barry Richards for much of that. Instead, he will always be the man who might have been.

Telford Vice is a freelance cricket writer in South Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wakeybeancounter on November 11, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    To be honest I have no qualms accepting what Bradman said about batting and batsman. After all I think the guy did know a touch about the subject, don't you think?

  • TATTUs on November 11, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    @engle Thats what. They are not actually picking 100. Its just going to be 25-30. This series was already aired on ESPN!

    P.S: I dont know if they will add more players to the list. But considering the players so far in the list, Barry Richards should not have been added now.

  • Engle on November 10, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    @Tattu. My point is that if you're picking World XI's then, yes, you have to go with tried and true players, which is why I was not convinced of Barry's inclusion in the World 2nd XI. However, if you're picking Legends or Top 100's, then you do have some leeway to consider other factors.

  • Engle on November 10, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    @Hema and others. The reason I say that Barry cannot be compared to Kambli, is because Kambli had doors open for him, especially after hitting double centuries. He had the opportunities to prove himself. Barry had a brick wall.

  • pom_basher on November 10, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    @Wakeybeancounter - best right handed opener of all time was Sunil Gavaskar, by ANY standards. Was Mr. Bradman wrong there?

  • Biggus on November 10, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Hey, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this series 'Legends of Cricket', NOT 'Legends of Test Cricket' or 'Most prolific scorers'. To many other greats of the game ( Sobers and Bradman to name just two ), Barry Richards was a legend. They were in no doubt about it. I guess I'm just a mere mortal, but I'm prepared to accept the opinions of many players far more qualified than I to make that call. Who am I to say they're wrong?

  • TATTUs on November 10, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    @Wakeybeancounter

    The Don also rated Don Tallon as best WK ever.!Also there was no one from the famous WI pace quartet in that team. I guess you have no qualms about that too.

  • Wakeybeancounter on November 10, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Bradman rated Richards the best right handed opener of all time.A generation of players modelled their games on his. Players like Gooch would drive miles just to play in a charity game along side him. Ask any player of that era who was the worlds best batsman and it was a toss up between the two Richards.Like Viv, Barry turned it on when needed, be it when the TV cameras turned up or another great was on the other side. His ability,style and technique were second to none. He carried ordinary teams to leaque titles.He scored runs against all comers and made it look easy. But hey don't take my word for it ask top notch players how good this guy was, players like the Chappells, Gooch etc and I think they will tell you to a man that this guy was one of the greatest batsman of all time.As I said before if The Don rated this guy so should the rest of us!

  • pom_basher on November 10, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    When Kambli scored tons of runs and was averaging 100+, his average was better than that of Sachin. So, by using the same yardsticks you are using for Barry, Kambli becomes a better batsman than Sachin :-)

  • TATTUs on November 10, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    @Engle

    Your last sentence just highlights the sympathy element in this inclusion , which pointed some time ago.

  • Wakeybeancounter on November 11, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    To be honest I have no qualms accepting what Bradman said about batting and batsman. After all I think the guy did know a touch about the subject, don't you think?

  • TATTUs on November 11, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    @engle Thats what. They are not actually picking 100. Its just going to be 25-30. This series was already aired on ESPN!

    P.S: I dont know if they will add more players to the list. But considering the players so far in the list, Barry Richards should not have been added now.

  • Engle on November 10, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    @Tattu. My point is that if you're picking World XI's then, yes, you have to go with tried and true players, which is why I was not convinced of Barry's inclusion in the World 2nd XI. However, if you're picking Legends or Top 100's, then you do have some leeway to consider other factors.

  • Engle on November 10, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    @Hema and others. The reason I say that Barry cannot be compared to Kambli, is because Kambli had doors open for him, especially after hitting double centuries. He had the opportunities to prove himself. Barry had a brick wall.

  • pom_basher on November 10, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    @Wakeybeancounter - best right handed opener of all time was Sunil Gavaskar, by ANY standards. Was Mr. Bradman wrong there?

  • Biggus on November 10, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Hey, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this series 'Legends of Cricket', NOT 'Legends of Test Cricket' or 'Most prolific scorers'. To many other greats of the game ( Sobers and Bradman to name just two ), Barry Richards was a legend. They were in no doubt about it. I guess I'm just a mere mortal, but I'm prepared to accept the opinions of many players far more qualified than I to make that call. Who am I to say they're wrong?

  • TATTUs on November 10, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    @Wakeybeancounter

    The Don also rated Don Tallon as best WK ever.!Also there was no one from the famous WI pace quartet in that team. I guess you have no qualms about that too.

  • Wakeybeancounter on November 10, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Bradman rated Richards the best right handed opener of all time.A generation of players modelled their games on his. Players like Gooch would drive miles just to play in a charity game along side him. Ask any player of that era who was the worlds best batsman and it was a toss up between the two Richards.Like Viv, Barry turned it on when needed, be it when the TV cameras turned up or another great was on the other side. His ability,style and technique were second to none. He carried ordinary teams to leaque titles.He scored runs against all comers and made it look easy. But hey don't take my word for it ask top notch players how good this guy was, players like the Chappells, Gooch etc and I think they will tell you to a man that this guy was one of the greatest batsman of all time.As I said before if The Don rated this guy so should the rest of us!

  • pom_basher on November 10, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    When Kambli scored tons of runs and was averaging 100+, his average was better than that of Sachin. So, by using the same yardsticks you are using for Barry, Kambli becomes a better batsman than Sachin :-)

  • TATTUs on November 10, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    @Engle

    Your last sentence just highlights the sympathy element in this inclusion , which pointed some time ago.

  • TATTUs on November 10, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    @Patrick Clarke

    who ever the opposition might be, playing in an International representing your country backed by your fans and opposed by the opposition fans is way different from any other form of cricket.

    Being not able to represent SA internationally is not Barrys fault, but that doesnt serve as a justification either for his inclusion in this esteemed list. Just look at the others in this list, and you will know the difference. I have no nuances calling Barry a great batsman or highly talented or an exciting one, but he just cant be in THIS list. Thats what I feel personally.

  • Emancipator007 on November 10, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Whoopsie @ Engle yeah, the moment I saw footage of Barry my mind immediately went to Greg Chappell-same rangy style and willowy authoritative stokes. BUT I am beginning to feel sorry for one Ricky Ponting (can't believe I am saying this; P)- an avalanche of INTERNATIONAL ! 25000 plus runs at extremely high averages in both forms of the game and the most authoritative, attacking batsmanship between 2002-2007 (nearly invincible and during this phase I thought he would hurtle to 45 tons before Tendulkar). And to think such records don't get you into 3 international XIs!- OZ XI and the 2 World XIs (out of approx 18 all-time batsmen - or at least 12 middle-order batsmen- chosen in the 3 XIs, Ponting does not cut it !). Ponting to his credit at least did not avoid trips to India (unlike Lillee and G Chappell's policies of picking tours) knowing his atrocious records there and played quite competitively on the last 2 tours.

  • on November 10, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    Barry Richards also scored 554 runs at an average of 79.14 and a highest score of 207 in World Series Cricket between 1977 and 1979, when widely regarded as being past his best. The next nearest performers are Viv Richards (average 55.69) and Greg Chappell (average 55.60). Those runs would have been made against Andy Roberts, Michael Holding,Colin Croft and Joel Garner (West Indies) and Dennis Lillee, Max Walker and Len Pascoe (Australia) on notoriously unreliable wickets. That is definitive proof of how great a batsman Barry Richards was.

  • pom_basher on November 9, 2010, 20:57 GMT

    @george204 - I know you are pointing towards players like ponting, lara, rahane, and sugawekar when you say "today's pretenters filling their boots on flat wickets" :-) We all know that Barry played against fully fit top notch international level bowlers who were not bogged down by crammed schedule of english county cricket. C'mon he might be a graceful batsman, but you cannot extrapolate his international success by just one series. I reiterate that Kambli was more successful than that for a longer period in international arena.

  • Hema_Adhikari on November 9, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Engle, friend you are missing the point, the Kambli comparison is not made to say the Kambli was better batsman than Barry but to say we would never know how good Barry was based on those 4 tests, just like we would not have known the 'true' potential of Kambli had he not played more tests. It is not a comparative analogy but a logic formulation. Barry could have been another Kambli or could have broken Don's record- the point is we will never know.

  • Engle on November 9, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    While arguments are being hurled back and forth, B.Richards case cannot and should not be compared with the Kambli's of the world. They got a chance to showcase themselves, he did not. So drop those analogies. The big question, then, is how well would he have performed given the chance ? The author suggests ' the next Bradman ', which I doubt. The next Hick ? I doubt that too. He did have a touch of genius, text-book technique, time to play shots, a bit of temperament and an aesthetic artistic quality that makes even pics of his batting a joy to behold. All things considered, I believe he would be at the G.Chappell level of batsmanship. As an opener, though, he would stand out from amongst others. So, let's be magnanimous and accept this romantic, tragic figure into the club. It's the least we can do to someone who was sidelined, yet had so much to offer.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on November 9, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    @George204: funny that you would say that considering Sachin has more international centuries than Barry Richards's number of runs. Blame Indians for being over the top and then shoot yourself in the foot by being so ridiculous. :)

  • Don_Simon on November 9, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    @ Ryan Stephen: Have you ever herd a player called Andy Ganteaume? He played his only test for WI against Eng and scored a century. His average is 112.00 and I presume he must be a much better player than Barry Richards. What I am trying to emphasize is that Barry Richards cannot be considered as a great player because he hasn't played enough test matches. Much is the same with including Dennis Lillee in the All-time XI.Richard Hadlee or Imran Khan would have been a better and logical choice.

  • george204 on November 9, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    It's well known that Barry started to lose interest in the game & retired early (37, in an era when it was common to play on into your early 40s) because he had no prospect of test cricket. He was playing loosely, giving his wicket away after 60 or 70 for years before that (just look at his first class conversion rate). Knowing that he would never get the career his talent deserved must have eaten away at him, worn him down even. Just imagine what his first class figures would look like if there had been test cricket to sustain the hunger - he'd have EASILY passed 100 hundreds. Barry Richards was ten times the batsmen than any of today's pretenters filling their boots on flat wickets...

  • pom_basher on November 9, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    VG Kambli was also highly rated by Bradman. And he also has good first class average (better than certain barry richards) to boast. I have watched him playing, and he was a top quality entertainer. scored 2 double centuries, topped averages and all in his short test match career. Could hit sixes in domestic league at will. A true legend he was, wasn't he?

  • on November 9, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    @RaviSharma: Have you been living on mars? Barry Richards played only 4 Tests because of Apartheid. The only chance he did get he scored at an average well over 70 against Australia. Everyone who saw him or played against him testify as to how great he was.

  • Rumour on November 9, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    To Ravi Sharma - You must be the worlds greatest cricket brain ever. (calling the person who included B Richards in a world XI an idiot). No lesser man than Don Bradman picked him in his dream team. You (and all else complaining about Sharma, etc...) are obvious way too young to have seen the master batting. There is a lot of stylish talented batsman out there, but never in my life will I ever see anyone bat like Barry again. What a sight!!!

    Gulshan, a question often asked, but in truth, Pollock could not hold a candle to Richards.

  • Beertjie on November 9, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    To answer you, @Gulshan_Grover, Pollock was a masterful player who 'overcame' his earlier weakness against off-spin. How he would have played against Pras and co. we will never know. I suspect he would have struggled against India, but that wouldn't disqualify him from being a legend because it was the way he batted that entranced spectators, rather like his opposite in stature, Lara, did over the past two decades, despite his acknowledged limitations against certain fast bowlers. Despite his few tests + WSC games, Richards played against a wider variety of top class players and was breathtaking to behold - an entertainer like his great name sake. But his better footwork suggests that he would have played the Indian spinners better than Pollock. I think that would have been the real challenge to both. I "preferred" him to Pollock because I could 'see' the pure genius in him, but I would have to say that an objective judgment would go for Pollock. @landl47, Richards was a tragic hero

  • george204 on November 9, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    My word, there are some bitter comments under this article. Get over yourselves, India fans - cricinfo is allowed to post article praising great players not called Sachin! (actually, I don't think Tendulkar is fit to lace Barry Richards' boots, but that's a debate for another day...) Anyone that doubts Barry Richards' greatness doesn't know much about cricket - if Barry's first class record counts for nothing, then surely easy runs made on flat subcontinent wickets against weak test attacks count for even less!

  • pom_basher on November 9, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    TO FOLLOW in this list - DG Bradman........ AK Sharma........ AM Rahane........ KC Ibrahim........ SR Tendulkar........ CA Pujara........ VG Kambli........ SS Bhave........ S Badrinath........ RT Ponting........ SS Karim........ CL Walcott........ RB Simpson........ Fawad Alam........ UM Merchant........ RG Sharma........ L Hutton........ PJ Hughes........ SV Manjrekar........ A Jadeja........ S Sriram........ GS Sobers. Cricinfo might have done some of them already. Im eagerly waiting for one on SS Karim!

  • pom_basher on November 9, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    To follow in the series - AK Sharma.... AM Rahane... SS Sugwekar... VG Kambli.... SS Bhave.... S Badrinath... SS Karim (!!!!????)

  • Emancipator007 on November 9, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    Zaheer Abbas butchered Test-class greats Bedi, Prasanna and Chandrasekhar in Test matches MIND you and not in domestic county games. Literally hundreds of average Indian domestic players have plundered runs against all the top Indian spinners in Ranji . No one is discounting the "what-could-have-been- case" of Barry, just his presence in a Test Legends series. In fact, I think if he had played in the noughties, Barry could have been the most dominant batsman along with Sehwag.

  • Emancipator007 on November 9, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Agree @Waspsting about Gower and M Waugh. Spot on@TATTUs about the "dynamics of international cricket". I would also include the Test careers and style of play of Martin Crowe and Aravinda de Silva which get overlooked because they played for the lesser fancied nations NZ and SL. De Silva practically owned extremely strong Aussie sides in ODIs right thru his career and did well in NZ, OZ in Tests too. De Silva was on par with Viv Richards in stroke-making abilities. And Crowe was the rare technician-cum-stroke player (David Boon was an in-between player) of the mid-late 80s before the arrival of Tend with the same skills at a much younger age. @Mikey like most on cricinfo , even you are an arm-chair observer or a basher of long playing Test players Tend and Laxman (at 38, I can still bowl at 80 mph and can take on any batsman in world cricket just that circumstances did not allow for a cricket career - still contemplating a part-time career for the US team). CONTD.

  • Nipun on November 9, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Everyone scores runs in county cricket.Period.So,4 test matches,that too against a weak Australian team at that time,& a legend of cricket?Wow,cricinfo made my day with this nice joke :) Keep putting in such jokes please;after all,good jokes are so rare to find nowadays :)

  • TATTUs on November 9, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I think the sympathy that he couldnt play at the highest level helps him as well.

  • TATTUs on November 9, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    @Don SImon

    you hit the nail on the head there! A batsman may be so good to watch , he may well have made 100s, 100s before lunch...100s in a session...300 in a day in firstclass or any other cricket thats not International. But for a player to be in this league[look at the other players in the list] he needs to play international cricket. Its no fault of Barry Richards. But it doesnt justify his inclusion as well.

  • Don_Simon on November 9, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    @BARRYRICHARDFAN: I have been watching cricket for over 55 years and without doubt 'Rohit Gurunath Sharma' is the finest batsman I have ever seen. Can we have him in the all time XI please? After all his First Class average is better than Barry Richards'.

  • waspsting on November 9, 2010, 1:07 GMT

    @BarryRichardFan... that's the sort of thing I was looking to hear - opinions from people who saw him bat. And I can't think of anyone who did who feels differently than you do. @Beertjie - I agree with you thats its not all about the averages, and in Barry's case, they're very good anyway. But, IMO, too often averages get disregarded (at least during the day) to the value placed on beauty, speed of scoring etc. Who mentions Dravid in the same breath as Lara or Tendulkar? Yet his record in Indian wins in TERRIFIC. In their times, Peter May, Cowdrey and Ted Dexter got all the plaudits and Ken Barrington very little. Today, the experts looked at the stats and put Ken in the England all time team, while excluding the others. Lillee, Rod Marsh and Imran Khan considered Ian Chappell a better player than Greg. No one else seems to. Even Bradman didn't get universal support, even in Australia!! oldtimers talked about how Trumper was so much better looking!

  • landl47 on November 8, 2010, 23:29 GMT

    Barry Richards was the second-best batsman (after Sobers) I ever saw in first-class cricket. The most remarkable innings I saw him play was the very first game of the season at Lord's, the year after Hampshire won the county championship. On a bitterly cold day, against a very useful MCC side, he was out an hour after lunch for around 182. Every shot was perfect; he only lifted the ball in the air a couple of times and both went for 6. There were about 50 of us in the ground, such a pity. I saw him play many brilliant innings beside that, but that was the best. As others have said, it's difficult to rank him against the best players because he didn't play much test cricket, but those who say he wasn't a magnificent batsman obviously never saw him play. He is a legend in my mind because he showed in the few top-level games he played how good he might have been. Legends can be tragic as well as triumphant.

  • Beertjie on November 8, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    I have seen 14 of the 22 in the 2 World XIs play, a number live. I endorse the view of @puskas about the joy and wonder of his genius, but it is not about aesthetic pleasure. By scoring consistently at the great rate he did in those 9 matches against the best of his time, Richards proved his capaciity to turn games, like his immortal namesake. That his average was almost 72 overall in those matches allows us a degree of extrapolation from those figures (please note, @waspsting: not mere averages, otherwise the run accumulators would be legends, and the incomparable Viv would be trumped by Barrington). @Biggus, you're quite right - he was as close to a natural genius as you're likely to find. I guess these non-poliical views might get a posting.

  • gujratwalla on November 8, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    While i agree Barry Richards was a great batsman in first-class cricket it is difficult to put him in as an all time international great. He played only 4 tests and that against a tired and just above average Australian side with no geniune fast bowlers.Richards played for the Rest of the World XI against England in 1970 and was overshadowed by Sobers,LLyod,Barlow andG. Pollock.Here we had John Snow and co. to deal with and Richards was found wanting.He would have been a 'great' if he had been successful against the great fast bowlers of his generation like Lillee,Thomson,Holding,Roberts,Imran etc.It is a pity he never played TEST cricket against them, as being a success in Test cricket requires not only ability but courage ,patience anmd durability.We cannot call him a great on his unproven abilty in Test cricket ,9 tests don't make a great!(i still rate the ROW matches as Tests).Mike Hendrick was to many a bowler par excellence but he neve got a chance to prove this at Test level.

  • on November 8, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    WHich joker will rank this guy in the world XI and an all time great after playing ONLY four matches at the highest level?

  • BARRYRICHARDFAN on November 8, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    I have been watching cricket for over 55 years and without doubt Barry Anderson Richards is the finest batsman I have ever seen.

    Watching him regularly in the 1970s for Hampshire was a fantastic experience he was such a classic and destructive batsman he sometimes failed but usually he scored loads of runs.

    I remember talking to an old Hampshire member who told me in his opinion after seeing both players often that Barry was even better than Jack Hobbs

  • buffalobill99 on November 8, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    Godfather007: Didn't do that well in WSC? Huh? He topped the averages.

    I agree in general that it's very difficult to place him with the best because of his very short Test career. But there is no one who saw him bat (like the Don) doubted he belonged in the top pantheon of batsmen.

  • Paulk on November 8, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    There are two ways to think about this - true he never got a chance to prove himself on the biggest stage. But growing up in the 70s and 80s he was certainly a legendary figure looming in the background that everyone used to talk of with awe. So in that sense he was certainly legendary in the most literal sense of the word, no matter what the stats say. And his teammates and opponents have great regard for his batting, many considering him better than or as good as the the other Richards. I'll give him the benefit of doubt. With that said, if Mike Hussey had retired after 22 tests (due to late start to his career) with a test average of about 90 no doubt he would been a legendary figure as well.

  • Gulshan_Grover on November 8, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    To bad Vinod Kambli did not retire after four tests when he was averaging about 200. Bad decision to hang around and miss being cricinfo legend:)

    Jokes aside, I think Barry Richards was a great batsman. Was he a Sobers and Viv Richards kind of great, we would never know. Alas!

    One genuine question for SA cricket lovers since this topic has fascinated me from the beginning. Who was better; Graeme Pollock or Barry Richards?

  • on November 8, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    This is unbelievable, how can you call Barry Richard Legend? The term legend is being used loosely here. He is not even very good let alone great or legend.

  • Engle on November 8, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    I still cannot fathom how Cricinfo selected B.Richards in their 2nd XI over H.Sutcliffe who scored 4500+ runs with an average that never descended below 60.

  • waspsting on November 8, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    I stated my reservations about calling Barry Richards a "legend" and including him in All-Time World 11s, though i'll take the word of those who say he was the goods. Following the rest of this debate though - my fellow 'nay-sayers' might be putting it a little too strongly, but they're not wrong.

    I can appreciate how a batsman can fascinate the eye, in a way which Hick, Ramprakash and Hussey never could - and how that accounts for a lot of Richards' support... BUT I DON'T BUY IT.

    Lawrence Rowe was as beautiful as anything, and while not a bad bat, he was no great, simply because he didn't score enough runs. Gower and Mark Waugh same thing. (at least, not as great as many an uglier player - Steve Waugh, Kallis, Barrington, Boycott etc.)

    Speculation is one thing, but putting the guy up there as a "Legend" and a leading contender for a spot in the all time 11, is stretching things a bit

  • Biggus on November 8, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    @TATTUs-Had you seen him play you would never compare him to Mike Hussey. I'm a big Hussey fan and a West Australian as well, but as the article and some of us have tried to explain, Barry Richards was in a completely different class. Hick, Ramprakash, Greenidge, Abbas and all were wonderful players, but you had only to watch Richards to realise that here was something you might see only once in your life-a completely natural genius.

  • puskas on November 8, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    The headline of this article admits that Richards didn't prove his talent on the biggest stage, but those of us who watched him could have no doubt that he would have done. "Only" playing 1st class cricket still left him facing some very high class bowling - I have a particularly fond memory of him dancing to dismantle Derek Underwood on a pitch taking spin. In WSC he was facing an Aussie attack with Lillee at his best, and averaged 77. Compare his record for Hampshire with that of Gordon Greenidge - Richards and he faced the same batting challenges, but Richards dealt with them better. The Graeme Hick / Mark Ramprakash / Michael Hussey remarks may or may not carry weight - we can only speculate - but watching Barry Richards bat was a wonder and a joy, and for that to me the "legend" status is fully justified.

  • Wakeybeancounter on November 8, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    If Richards is good enough for Bradman then he should be good enough for the rest of us

  • TATTUs on November 8, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    @Lourens

    We have our right to opinion. Not necessarily, everytime the legends are right. And most of the legends just go by whatever hammering he has given to them. Now when Hussey was averaging 90, the same legends were all praise of him. and had he stopped playing then, they would have sung praises of him that had he come into the team in his 20s he would have been Bradman and all that.

    Personally , you cant get a player atleast in the league of the other players in the list with only 4 tests to his name. No matter what ever he has done elsewhere.

  • slogger_rob on November 8, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    I had the pleasure of watching Barry play in a charity game years ago. His timing was perfect. I've seen some footage of Bradman (who is a legend) but think I might even have picked Barry over him to bat for my life.

    Fantastic player and while some may say he was robbed of an international career, I think it was the world that was really robbed.

  • on November 8, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    @emancipator007 @TATTUS @JaansonI think the selectors of these legends, who are most legends themselves know more than you. Also the difference between Bond and Richards are Bonds injuries, not his ability. Barry was not out due to injuries, but due to nothing he did or did not do. Richards played in the Packer series, which was super test cricket on steroids. But hey, if you think you know better than people who actually played international cricket and played against Richards, you should maybe become the coach of Australia, or West Indies and show people your skills and knowledge.

  • Godfather007 on November 8, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    I have to agree completely with jaanson,TATTUs,mikey76.......It is completely illogical how a player having played just 4 internationals is considered as one of the greatest.He excelled in only the domestic circuit & didnt do that well in the world series cricket as is being highlighted in this article by Telford Vice.The more funny part is how Barry taught his teammates to play a "legendary" spinner Johnny Gleeson.Also when Robin Jackman says that bowling a maiden to him was an achievement makes mockery of this LEGENDS OF CRICKET series.Cricinfo doesnt know the meaning of the word "LEGEND" and including Barry Richards in second World XI was a stupid decision.If doing well in domestic cricket makes you a legend then Graeme Hick,Mark Ramprakash,Patsy Henderson,Brad Hodge are the greatest.LOL

  • sandy_bangalore on November 8, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    4 tests and someone becomes good enough to be hailed as a legend worldwide??! If the criteria is just first class exploits, then Mark Ramps Ramprakash and Graeme Hick should be a shoo in. Why arent they spoken of in the same breath then? And he has a propensity as well for making statements which comes back and leaves him red faced: Like for instance calling the Aussies 'Dads army' prior to the 2002 series vs SA. They hammered the saffers 2-0, with Gilly scoring the fastest double ton. And he never rates the Asian teams either, while the fact is theya re far more entertaining than the SA team.

  • Quazar on November 8, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    I second @Biggus. Richards and Pollock deserve to be in this series based on the respect they earned from the best players of their era. Further, they still remain mighty figures in the annals of SA cricket, as well as inspirational benchmarks for Test batsmen from that country. To me, the above attributes more than qualify them as legends of the game. (Glad that Cricinfo agrees)

  • christeam on November 8, 2010, 9:17 GMT

    PS: will the many respondents to cricinfo who mis-spell his name please get this into their heads. It's Mike PROCTER, not Proctor. the poor bloke has had to deal with people getting it wrong all his life; it's disrespectful to continue this egregious practice. thank you.

  • christeam on November 8, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    one test of greatness is the effect that a player had on spectators - and, even i first-class cricket, barry richards wasup there with the best i have seen. his footwork, timing, power and placement were breathtaking. i once saw him late-cut a bouncer to the boundary, after which the batsman at the other end came down and asked him how he had done it. richards showed him. he scored runs on all surfaces, against all bowling and in all conditions. the only thing that ever defeated him was boredom. yes, it's a pity that hedidn't play more tests, bu had he done so he would have scored thousands of runs. bradman saw the genius in richards, and who woud argue against the don?

  • TATTUs on November 8, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    @ Emancipator.

    good one.

    Imagine if Hussey had stopped playing at that average of 90! He would have been hailed as 'what would have been'! I mean scoring 300 in a day against 2 left arm slowers is made such a great deal. Yes, Lillee is there, still.

    Somehow the older players have this poetic reference written about them, which makes them so great. The current cricketers are looked differently with all the scrutiny. The older generation is considered more elegant , poetic and blah blah blah...

    C;mon, now, its ridiculous to include one man who has played just 4 tests in this series at least. look at his company in the list. I just have to say this, he may be great and all that[no disrespect even though it may look that way]. He just doesnt belong to this list. Thats it.

  • Biggus on November 8, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    I can just imagine the scene at cricinfo HQ. cricinfoguy1-"Emancipatator007 is displeased with our tribute on Barry Richards. He says it's an insult and demands that we remove it!". cricinfoguy2-"My god man, what are you waiting for?". cricinfoguy1-"Well Sir, 'TheOnlyEmperor' agrees, and if you remember he also said that Keith Miller was rubbish too!". cricinfoguy2-"Why are you still standing here you fool? Erase those files immediately! We can only hope that no more similarly qualified cricket analysts see them. Don't you understand what this means???? Get me the president on the 'hotline'. We have a 'CODE RED', I repeat, a 'CODE RED'!!!"

  • Emancipator007 on November 8, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    (was my 1st Comment) CRICINFO. Seriously. This is sacrilegious. This profile needs to be removed immediately from the Legends of Cricket series and has to be a nostalgia piece. And if you don't, then fans of this site will force you to include Shane Bond with almost 90 wickets in 18 Tests (from his brief exploits seemed greater than Dennis Lillie) and Vinod Kambli who was dropped at the age of 23 from Tests (after failing in only 1 series against WI in 1994) despite having a 54 plus average in the Legends series. M. Hussey was almost on his way to becoming the "next greatest batsman" after Bradman (better than Lara, Tendulkar, Gavaskar, mind you according to the pundits) after his stupendous start and very high average. We know what happened later and Hussey at least still has a great average in INTERNATIONAL cricket and not just domestic cricket (even the highly competitive World Series in which Barry played does not count). International TEST cricket is just too tough. 2 and 3 below

  • ROLAYH on November 8, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    @ jaanson ... dude I would rather disagree. Don Bradman played majority of his cricket in England and Australia only, so can we dare suggest that he was anything less than a legend. It was unfortunate that Barry didn't get to play the test cricket due to South Africa's situation. However whatever I've seen and read about him (and likes of Proctor, Pollock), he is truly among the legends. Let me ask you a question, was he the only one who was out of cricket from South Africa. Obviously no, so how come only he and Mike Proctor (of that era) are termed among the greats not many others....

  • Biggus on November 8, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    Barry Richards reputation as a legend rests on more than the four tests he played. He was a big performer in the WSC series in 77/78 and 78/79 and prolific in both the English and Australian domestic competitions, but most of all his reputation rests on the regard with which he was held by his peers, who after all are probably the best to judge, and they are in no doubt about his status. As an aside he was also, in my experience, a very nice bloke. He came down to my school in Perth during the Packer years to do a couple of guest coaching spots and he made a point of spending some time with all the kids. In similar situations I have seen other 'name' players treat it as a chore and escape as soon as possible. Not so with Barry. He made a point of making us all feel a little bit special which is the sort of encouragement kids need. The only other top player I've known to make such an effort was Graham McKenzie. Both top blokes and gentlemen to boot.

  • Emancipator007 on November 8, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Are you kidding? Not by a long shot and a brown-skinned Asian would have been forgotten by now. If Barry is included in this series (he should also be struck off the second XI), include Hick, Ramprakash , Zaheer Abbas (first Asian to get 100 100s and a Test legend) , Vijay Merchant (an average of 98! -yes in Ranji Trophy cricket, India's premier domestic cricket competition) as well. If cricinfo is serious, balanced and dispassionately critiques the truly certifiable, PROVEN and acknowledged Test greats, they have to remove this profile immediately and not insult the memory of fans and connoisseurs alike of bonafide Test legends. Better let Telford or captain Ali Bacher reminisce about Pollock, Proctor, Peter (Shaun Pollock's father) and Richards's performances in that 1970 series and how SA thrashed OZ 4-0 before their ouster from international cricket.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 8, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    @jaanson : Without taking away anything from Barry Richards, I would have to agree with you.

  • Emancipator007 on November 8, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    However easy run scoring may have been in the noughties and early evidence of greatness or magnificent starts have never indicated long-time success or legendary/all-time great status always. Folks and fans, am serious, campaign to maintain the sanctity of the Legends series; as it is many bonafide and longevity-based Test legends were not selected in the first and second XI (where Barry has managed to sneak in ahead of Greenidge, Sehwag, etc). I rate Bond as perhaps the best fast bowler of this decade along with Steyn and McGrath, but he is not even mentioned simply because of the criterion of having played fewer Tests. Wanna bet if Sunil Gavaskar was forced out of the international arena because of some purported Indian political establishment transgression in the early '70s after 774 runs @ 154.80 in his first Test series in 1971 and he went on to score thousands of runs in Ranji Trophy at a 70 or 80 plus average that he would be called the greatest batsman of all time? CONTD.

  • mikey76 on November 8, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Club cricketers as Legends?? I think he was little more than a club cricketer. Typical armchair criticism, no fifties against India...ooh wow! He butchered Johnny Gleeson who was the "mystery spinner" of his era and he also would have come across the likes of Underwood, Lock in county cricket. It's safe enough to say that his peers no what they are talking about Jaanson and not you sat at home watching your Tendulkar DVD's. So many players today are over-rated, they play on flat pitches against comparitively weak bowling attacks, Richards played on uncovered pitches against some great bowlers (Lillee, Snow etc) and made them look ordinary. How many hundreds before lunch has Tendulkar or Laxman scored??

  • TATTUs on November 8, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Had he played atlesat 25 tests, then may be you could consider him. International is just different from any kind of first class cricket.

  • TATTUs on November 8, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    It is ridiculous that a man, however well he may have been in first class cricket, however talented he might have been, it is wrong that he is included in this elite list of players who have played over a lot of grounds, faced dynamics of international cricket.

    Its unfortunate that he played just 4 tests, but you cannot in anyway brand that player as a great , even if he has scored 50 tons within a session and averages 150 in first class cricket.

  • on November 8, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Jaanson - by that logic Sunil Gavaskar couldn't be considered a legend because he only averaged 24 against Zimbabwe, and Don Bradman would certainly not be counted, as the only time he played against New Zealand (for South Australia, not a test match) he got dismissed for next to nothing. He scored an amazing number of runs in England, Australia and South Africa, and did so in real style.

    you can only judge a player by the matches that they played. Richards was one of the most dominant batsmen in an era that included the likes of Boycott, Turner, the Chappell brothers, Gavaskar, Grieg, Rowe and Sobers. For me that says enough.

  • waspsting on November 8, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    to add on to jaanson, he also failed in the world eleven series in england, against england - Sobers scored a ton of runs, and Graeme Pollock got a century, too.

    Hearing how people talk about him though, and given his performances in World Series Cricket (strange the article doesn't go into that), I'm sure he was a good bat. and an attractive one from all accounts.

    However... I do think it ridiculous to place him all time world 11s, as some have done (supposedly including Bradman). since he's mainly played first class cricket, he's rarely seen a fifth day pitch. How can you place him above guys like Hutton or Gavaskar, who had extensive experience on such wickets? and if you go by first class cricket performances, surely he can't be chosen ahead of Jack Hobbs?

    @jaanson - have to disagree with you a bit - i don't think you can draw conclusions against him based on four innings (just as you can't against him based on his 4 tests) be good to hear the comments from guys who've seen him

  • harshthakor on November 8, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    The title 'perfect batsman' sits comfortably on Barry Richards more than any other batsman.No batsman combined the ability to tear an attack apart with such technical perfection in the history of the game-like Sunil Gavaskar and Viv Richards rolled into one.He proved his prowess in Packer Cricket against the greatest bolwing overshadowing Viv Richards at his best.Had he played International Cricket would have been the greatest opener of all time given the great Vivian Richards the greatest competition for the best batsman of his time and may have even surpassed the likes of Tendulkar and Lara.No opening batsmen has ever been as talented as Barry Richards.Virendra Sehwag has never proved himself on the bouncy,fast surfaces.

  • jaanson on November 8, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    legends are those who have done well at the international level else we will have even club cricketers as legends. scoring runs in english county cricket and tributes by english players is no reason for a legend to be made out of a player. it was unfortunate that he got to play only 4 tests but there are many who play only a few tests and never play again, martin love of australai is an example of a player with centuries in test cricket but would anyone call love a legend? the real test is scoring in all countries, against all attacks. by that token richards not having played on the spinning pitches of sub continent cannot be called a legend. as it is in the 2 games he played against the indian spinners when india toured england, he failed to get a fifty in 4 innings . if he failed in england what chance did he have on indian wickets? so lets not get carried away and demean the admirable legend series by having players who played a handful of tests and were unproven in al conditions

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  • jaanson on November 8, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    legends are those who have done well at the international level else we will have even club cricketers as legends. scoring runs in english county cricket and tributes by english players is no reason for a legend to be made out of a player. it was unfortunate that he got to play only 4 tests but there are many who play only a few tests and never play again, martin love of australai is an example of a player with centuries in test cricket but would anyone call love a legend? the real test is scoring in all countries, against all attacks. by that token richards not having played on the spinning pitches of sub continent cannot be called a legend. as it is in the 2 games he played against the indian spinners when india toured england, he failed to get a fifty in 4 innings . if he failed in england what chance did he have on indian wickets? so lets not get carried away and demean the admirable legend series by having players who played a handful of tests and were unproven in al conditions

  • harshthakor on November 8, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    The title 'perfect batsman' sits comfortably on Barry Richards more than any other batsman.No batsman combined the ability to tear an attack apart with such technical perfection in the history of the game-like Sunil Gavaskar and Viv Richards rolled into one.He proved his prowess in Packer Cricket against the greatest bolwing overshadowing Viv Richards at his best.Had he played International Cricket would have been the greatest opener of all time given the great Vivian Richards the greatest competition for the best batsman of his time and may have even surpassed the likes of Tendulkar and Lara.No opening batsmen has ever been as talented as Barry Richards.Virendra Sehwag has never proved himself on the bouncy,fast surfaces.

  • waspsting on November 8, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    to add on to jaanson, he also failed in the world eleven series in england, against england - Sobers scored a ton of runs, and Graeme Pollock got a century, too.

    Hearing how people talk about him though, and given his performances in World Series Cricket (strange the article doesn't go into that), I'm sure he was a good bat. and an attractive one from all accounts.

    However... I do think it ridiculous to place him all time world 11s, as some have done (supposedly including Bradman). since he's mainly played first class cricket, he's rarely seen a fifth day pitch. How can you place him above guys like Hutton or Gavaskar, who had extensive experience on such wickets? and if you go by first class cricket performances, surely he can't be chosen ahead of Jack Hobbs?

    @jaanson - have to disagree with you a bit - i don't think you can draw conclusions against him based on four innings (just as you can't against him based on his 4 tests) be good to hear the comments from guys who've seen him

  • on November 8, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Jaanson - by that logic Sunil Gavaskar couldn't be considered a legend because he only averaged 24 against Zimbabwe, and Don Bradman would certainly not be counted, as the only time he played against New Zealand (for South Australia, not a test match) he got dismissed for next to nothing. He scored an amazing number of runs in England, Australia and South Africa, and did so in real style.

    you can only judge a player by the matches that they played. Richards was one of the most dominant batsmen in an era that included the likes of Boycott, Turner, the Chappell brothers, Gavaskar, Grieg, Rowe and Sobers. For me that says enough.

  • TATTUs on November 8, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    It is ridiculous that a man, however well he may have been in first class cricket, however talented he might have been, it is wrong that he is included in this elite list of players who have played over a lot of grounds, faced dynamics of international cricket.

    Its unfortunate that he played just 4 tests, but you cannot in anyway brand that player as a great , even if he has scored 50 tons within a session and averages 150 in first class cricket.

  • TATTUs on November 8, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Had he played atlesat 25 tests, then may be you could consider him. International is just different from any kind of first class cricket.

  • mikey76 on November 8, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Club cricketers as Legends?? I think he was little more than a club cricketer. Typical armchair criticism, no fifties against India...ooh wow! He butchered Johnny Gleeson who was the "mystery spinner" of his era and he also would have come across the likes of Underwood, Lock in county cricket. It's safe enough to say that his peers no what they are talking about Jaanson and not you sat at home watching your Tendulkar DVD's. So many players today are over-rated, they play on flat pitches against comparitively weak bowling attacks, Richards played on uncovered pitches against some great bowlers (Lillee, Snow etc) and made them look ordinary. How many hundreds before lunch has Tendulkar or Laxman scored??

  • Emancipator007 on November 8, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    However easy run scoring may have been in the noughties and early evidence of greatness or magnificent starts have never indicated long-time success or legendary/all-time great status always. Folks and fans, am serious, campaign to maintain the sanctity of the Legends series; as it is many bonafide and longevity-based Test legends were not selected in the first and second XI (where Barry has managed to sneak in ahead of Greenidge, Sehwag, etc). I rate Bond as perhaps the best fast bowler of this decade along with Steyn and McGrath, but he is not even mentioned simply because of the criterion of having played fewer Tests. Wanna bet if Sunil Gavaskar was forced out of the international arena because of some purported Indian political establishment transgression in the early '70s after 774 runs @ 154.80 in his first Test series in 1971 and he went on to score thousands of runs in Ranji Trophy at a 70 or 80 plus average that he would be called the greatest batsman of all time? CONTD.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 8, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    @jaanson : Without taking away anything from Barry Richards, I would have to agree with you.

  • Emancipator007 on November 8, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Are you kidding? Not by a long shot and a brown-skinned Asian would have been forgotten by now. If Barry is included in this series (he should also be struck off the second XI), include Hick, Ramprakash , Zaheer Abbas (first Asian to get 100 100s and a Test legend) , Vijay Merchant (an average of 98! -yes in Ranji Trophy cricket, India's premier domestic cricket competition) as well. If cricinfo is serious, balanced and dispassionately critiques the truly certifiable, PROVEN and acknowledged Test greats, they have to remove this profile immediately and not insult the memory of fans and connoisseurs alike of bonafide Test legends. Better let Telford or captain Ali Bacher reminisce about Pollock, Proctor, Peter (Shaun Pollock's father) and Richards's performances in that 1970 series and how SA thrashed OZ 4-0 before their ouster from international cricket.