May 31, 2012

The emperor in winter

Viv Richards may be in the commentary box these days, but the aura still endures
108

Viv Richards is 60. It happened on March 7th and you would have to see it to believe it. He looks 50, or better. The Master Blaster is in England, adding muscle to Test Match Special's coverage of the series.

You would think he lived life on a cross-trainer but he doesn't, just keeps an eye on himself. Standing on the square before play the other day, we pushed him to say how he thought he would cope if he strapped them on now for a hit against England. He rocked back and laughed. Teeth are perfect. Nose ever more Roman, set beneath those killer eyes. We tried again; he relented. "Thirty maybe, or even 50." Said without a hint of malice to the modern game but with a great dollop of the old defiance. Of course, 50! I cannot be beaten. Why not more? Maybe more. Such unconditional self-belief. The court of King Viv is barely less absorbing now than it was then.

He started Test cricket in 1974 and finished in 1991, playing many of the most remarkable innings of the age. He is a shoo-in for just about everybody's all-time team - five-day and one-day. Had there been an IPL auction sometime then, the bids would have bust the bank: in modern speak, imagine the "maximums" and imagine the brand! At The Oval in the heat-strewn glory of 1976, when he made 291, John Snow bowled a short ball. Jim Laker, in his yeoman Yorkshire drawl, described it thus: "Not really a bouncer from John Snow, more a long hop, and suffice to say, Viv Richards simply crucified it."

The summer of '76, Viv's Kingdom of Days. Eight months around the world that year brought him 1710 runs at an average of 90. John Arlott wrote, "He exerted a headlong mastery even more considerable than Don Bradman at the same age." The bats were balsa wood compared to now, and the boundaries bigger. His leg-side play became legend but it was the power of the riposte, the sense of vengeance for a people suppressed that rang out. Unsurprisingly Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" is a favourite.

Richards' presence at the wicket was almost frightening. No, not almost, it was frightening. Opponents looked upon him with awe and he upon them with scorn. The eye of a hawk, the speed to strike of a snake, the pride of a lion. Wherever he went, he could part the sea. In that time, only Seve Ballesteros had such aura. They were cut from the same cloth, playing their games with a similarly irresistible mix of brooding venom and unbridled joy.

After dazzling Taunton, Richards moved briefly to Wales to light up Glamorgan days. On strike to Malcolm Marshall in a county match in Swansea, something disturbed him. He pulled away with a regal sense of theatre and then walked - if we can call it that with Viv - down the pitch, past Marshall, past the umpire and towards the many steep and famous steps that brought pain or pleasure to the climb of returning batsmen. Suddenly, in no man's land, he stopped. "Hey you, you, yes you," he shouted with withering accusation to an alarmed spectator above the sightscreen, who was idly thumbing the pages of the Daily Telegraph. "You got David Gower at slip, Robin Smith in the gully, Malcolm Marshall is bowling to Vivian Richards, and you reading the effing newspaper!"

He played the greatest county innings we ever saw, again for Glamorgan, oddly enough, at the old Southampton ground in 1990. On a flat deck we set Glamorgan 364 on the last afternoon and had them quickly five down for not many.

Viv blocked in disgust at the ruin around him. Until the last over before tea, when he followed through on one of those forward defensives and hit the thing into Northlands Road. That shut us up at tea time. After that, it was carnage. We came to the last over of the game, Glamorgan seven down, needing 14 to win, Viv 150 not out and on strike once again to the best bowler on the planet, Malcolm Marshall.

He whipped off his gloves, shook a few hands and said, "Great declaration, man. Let's go have a beer." Yes sir, of course, sir. Ye gods! There can never have been so destructive a batsman and so dominant a personality

We placed every man on the boundary. "Give him the single, Macko, you can bowl at Metson and then knock over Dennis and Watkin to win us the game, easy," said the Hampshire captain. Off stump, good-length ball. Four, before either fielder at extra cover or deep point had broken stride. "Er, a single, Marshy boy, bowl at Metson, knock him over, then Dennis and Watkin etc" Bouncer. Six, lost ball over the flats at midwicket. I kid you not.

Four to win, four balls left. "Macko! Give him a damn single, bowl at Metson, then Dennis and Watkin, then we win, get it?!" Attempted yorker, gun barrel straight. Drilled wide of mid-on, like a shell from a gun. Four. Game over. He whipped off his gloves, shook a few hands and said, "Great declaration, man. Let's go have a beer." Yes sir, of course, sir. Ye gods! There can never have been so destructive a batsman and so dominant a personality.

Briefly, the captaincy of West Indies gave him gip. Clive Lloyd rode roughshod over all-comers for so long that the act was hard to follow. Moreover, big names had hung up boots and young faces kowtowed. In 1988, England won all three preamble one-day games and this on the back of West Indies failing to win any of the previous four Test series under Richards' command. The smile had turned scowl. Not for long, though. Not only did West Indies tear England apart and win 4-0, they crushed the notion of leadership - a supposed British specialty - watching in glee as Mike Gatting, John Emburey, Chris Cowdrey and Graham Gooch all had a crack and failed. Viv silenced everybody with that one.

Back to pitchside at Trent Bridge. Is there a secret, Viv? "Keep it simple, stay still, watch the ball. These fellas these days, they want to over-complicate this thing which is batting. Come forward, come at the face of the man against you and spring back if you must, to show him who's boss. Be the boss, man, because if you don't think you are, no one else will, true huh true." And off he goes upright, strong and defiant, to Aggers and Co in the commentary box. Emperors, kings, they always have the last word.

Mark Nicholas, the former Hampshire captain, presents the cricket on Channel 9 in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Engle on June 3, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Numbers are meant for mathematicians. Greatness supersedes the collection of numbers - and Viv was beyond the accumulation of numeric data. What he did do was to pulverize the opposition and wrest control, thereby demoralizing them and making it easier for his fellow batsmen to follow in his wake - an attribute some of the so called modern greats are unable to do as they bat in a bubble oblivious to the demands of the team and solely focused on the next personal number to attain

  • harshthakor on June 2, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    What is important to note is that Viv batted at one down unlike Kallis,Tendulkar or Lara.It is Dravid and Ponting who batted one down and performed heroically.After Bradman ,Viv was the best one down batsman.In Viv's era at one down his greatest competitor was Ian Chappell,the best batsman of his time in a crisis.In the one day game Viv was the best batsman of all time.

    Overall,in pure test match cricket Sobers and Lara may edge Sir Viv because of their performances under pressure and ability to make the mammoth scores.However in combined cricket Viv was the best West Indian batsman of all and the golden question is whether he would have scored 100 centuries in the modern era.I may have backed him too.The man was simply such a genius and had the great player's ability to rise to the occassion.

  • harshthakor on June 2, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    @Maui3 -I feel your comments are unfair about King Viv.In this era with the flat tracks and weaker bowling attacks Viv would have devoured the opposition and averaged around 57 runs.There are so many more games today that Viv may have conquered all the batting records like Tendulkar.Both Lara and Tendulkar did not posess Viv's match-winning ability and ability to dominate great pace bowling.Be it Ponting,Kallis,Tendulkar or Lara they have not equaled Viv's achievements from 1976-81.Imagine Viv played Imran and Lillee like spinners.

    I agree that Viv was not fully tested in a crisis and in that light Lara and Tendulkar have performed better.Kallis is the best batsman to bat for your life but not a great match-winner like Ponting.As a player against genuine pace bowling Ponting compares best with Viv,closely followed by Inzamam ulHaq.Ponting also batted at one down that is significant.

    Ultimately it is wrong to compare and each era has it's own champions .Don't forget Rahul Dravid.

  • DEV_ME on June 2, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @Mark Nicholas: A good read, I fancy the subtlety of the writing and the folklore like presentation. I hope the other writers in Cricinfo read this article and learn; about how to make a simple easy to read article enjoyable with out histrionics, politics, malice, sensationalism. @Maui3: Do you have to drag comparisons in ? Everybody enjoys a good display of game, it doesnt matter if it is Sachin or Sehwag etc., But mind you, the era to which players like Viv, Gavaskar, Zaheer Abbas, GR Vishy, etc. belong to, was the time when bouncers were free for breakfast, lunch and dinner; there were no helmets, arm guards, thigh guards etc.; bowlers like lillee, botham, Sarfraz, Andy, Malcolm, Garner, Thompson, Snow, and many more, were at their peak; this was the time, when ppl would love to seee blood on pitch - literally. So put your comparisons to rest and pay your respects - solemnly - to the Viv the King; a package like him will never be.

  • george204 on June 2, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    I remember that game in 1990, but with the greatest respect, I think your recollection is a little awry: as I remember it, Metson was actually on strike for the last over & took a single off the first or second ball to give the king the strike before the 4/6/4 finish. It was a great innings form Richards though, on that we are most definitely agreed!

  • Maui3 on June 2, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    I followed Richards career very closely from his 3 and 4 on debut, followed by 192 not out in next test at age ~21. And every time I read an article his aura seems to get bigger. Which is fine, Viv was the best of the era, but what gets misrepresented is how great the current batsman are. Sachin would 'easily' be better that Viv. Ponting and Lara are at Par. And if you look at pure effictiveness, Kallis isn't far behind. Viv's success has a lot to do with the fast bowlers he played with. Richard had a lousy last couple of year, which not many talk about. Richards was great, but dont lose out on enjoying the Sehwags, Kallis, Tendulkar and Pieterson in the process.

  • robert-winworld-cricket-fan on June 1, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    VIV - skillful brutality personified never duplicated before or since - why do men have to get old - what a shame!!!

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 1, 2012, 22:53 GMT

    Some players one never forgets. Never could. Viv Richards tops that list. But I have to ask whether if he were playing in this era what the remarks of some people would be. The 'Ego'? Never thinks of anyone but himself? Too arrogant for words? Only cares about himself? Seen these remarks somewhere else perhaps about a contemporary player ??

  • gothetaniwha on June 1, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    gotta agree rather watch IVA Riichards bat any day , He would walk out rolling his arms bat in hand , chewing gum , no helmet ,that swagger ,yeah the bowlers knew who was boss , I,m sure that 189 no v England in 1983 with todays heavy bats and small boundries ,power plays he would have got 250 plus .

  • mamboman on June 1, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    The greatest, simply the greatest. How small these Tendulkars and Dravids look next to him - both as cricketers and as men.

  • Engle on June 3, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Numbers are meant for mathematicians. Greatness supersedes the collection of numbers - and Viv was beyond the accumulation of numeric data. What he did do was to pulverize the opposition and wrest control, thereby demoralizing them and making it easier for his fellow batsmen to follow in his wake - an attribute some of the so called modern greats are unable to do as they bat in a bubble oblivious to the demands of the team and solely focused on the next personal number to attain

  • harshthakor on June 2, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    What is important to note is that Viv batted at one down unlike Kallis,Tendulkar or Lara.It is Dravid and Ponting who batted one down and performed heroically.After Bradman ,Viv was the best one down batsman.In Viv's era at one down his greatest competitor was Ian Chappell,the best batsman of his time in a crisis.In the one day game Viv was the best batsman of all time.

    Overall,in pure test match cricket Sobers and Lara may edge Sir Viv because of their performances under pressure and ability to make the mammoth scores.However in combined cricket Viv was the best West Indian batsman of all and the golden question is whether he would have scored 100 centuries in the modern era.I may have backed him too.The man was simply such a genius and had the great player's ability to rise to the occassion.

  • harshthakor on June 2, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    @Maui3 -I feel your comments are unfair about King Viv.In this era with the flat tracks and weaker bowling attacks Viv would have devoured the opposition and averaged around 57 runs.There are so many more games today that Viv may have conquered all the batting records like Tendulkar.Both Lara and Tendulkar did not posess Viv's match-winning ability and ability to dominate great pace bowling.Be it Ponting,Kallis,Tendulkar or Lara they have not equaled Viv's achievements from 1976-81.Imagine Viv played Imran and Lillee like spinners.

    I agree that Viv was not fully tested in a crisis and in that light Lara and Tendulkar have performed better.Kallis is the best batsman to bat for your life but not a great match-winner like Ponting.As a player against genuine pace bowling Ponting compares best with Viv,closely followed by Inzamam ulHaq.Ponting also batted at one down that is significant.

    Ultimately it is wrong to compare and each era has it's own champions .Don't forget Rahul Dravid.

  • DEV_ME on June 2, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @Mark Nicholas: A good read, I fancy the subtlety of the writing and the folklore like presentation. I hope the other writers in Cricinfo read this article and learn; about how to make a simple easy to read article enjoyable with out histrionics, politics, malice, sensationalism. @Maui3: Do you have to drag comparisons in ? Everybody enjoys a good display of game, it doesnt matter if it is Sachin or Sehwag etc., But mind you, the era to which players like Viv, Gavaskar, Zaheer Abbas, GR Vishy, etc. belong to, was the time when bouncers were free for breakfast, lunch and dinner; there were no helmets, arm guards, thigh guards etc.; bowlers like lillee, botham, Sarfraz, Andy, Malcolm, Garner, Thompson, Snow, and many more, were at their peak; this was the time, when ppl would love to seee blood on pitch - literally. So put your comparisons to rest and pay your respects - solemnly - to the Viv the King; a package like him will never be.

  • george204 on June 2, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    I remember that game in 1990, but with the greatest respect, I think your recollection is a little awry: as I remember it, Metson was actually on strike for the last over & took a single off the first or second ball to give the king the strike before the 4/6/4 finish. It was a great innings form Richards though, on that we are most definitely agreed!

  • Maui3 on June 2, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    I followed Richards career very closely from his 3 and 4 on debut, followed by 192 not out in next test at age ~21. And every time I read an article his aura seems to get bigger. Which is fine, Viv was the best of the era, but what gets misrepresented is how great the current batsman are. Sachin would 'easily' be better that Viv. Ponting and Lara are at Par. And if you look at pure effictiveness, Kallis isn't far behind. Viv's success has a lot to do with the fast bowlers he played with. Richard had a lousy last couple of year, which not many talk about. Richards was great, but dont lose out on enjoying the Sehwags, Kallis, Tendulkar and Pieterson in the process.

  • robert-winworld-cricket-fan on June 1, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    VIV - skillful brutality personified never duplicated before or since - why do men have to get old - what a shame!!!

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 1, 2012, 22:53 GMT

    Some players one never forgets. Never could. Viv Richards tops that list. But I have to ask whether if he were playing in this era what the remarks of some people would be. The 'Ego'? Never thinks of anyone but himself? Too arrogant for words? Only cares about himself? Seen these remarks somewhere else perhaps about a contemporary player ??

  • gothetaniwha on June 1, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    gotta agree rather watch IVA Riichards bat any day , He would walk out rolling his arms bat in hand , chewing gum , no helmet ,that swagger ,yeah the bowlers knew who was boss , I,m sure that 189 no v England in 1983 with todays heavy bats and small boundries ,power plays he would have got 250 plus .

  • mamboman on June 1, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    The greatest, simply the greatest. How small these Tendulkars and Dravids look next to him - both as cricketers and as men.

  • nlambda on June 1, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    People talk about Miandad, Saeed Anwar, Afridi being the greatest batsmen of all time, but I have to say Richards was a cut above them.

  • ksinha2000 on June 1, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Where is the hook shot gone now a days ?

  • AncientAstronaut on June 1, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Just saw Fire in Babylon, and I've become an even bigger fan of Viv Richards. I had heard and read about his exploits, but the documentary highlighted his invincible aura and charisma. Bradman and Tendulkar may have better all round figures, but they don't come anywhere close to this man when it comes to sheer personality. Along with Warne, he's a man you'd want in any team anywhere.

  • on June 1, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    The personification of grace and menace combined...interesting read.

  • Meety on June 1, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    @gregt123 - well said mate. I agree 100% with your sentiments!

  • voyager on June 1, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    One of the very few men on whom arrogance look good.

  • rajnish.sinha on June 1, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    14 runs off 3 balls of malcolm marshall in a must win game. well!! i wonder if gayle or a sehwag would be able to average 14 against marshall overall and more than 5 if you exclude mishits, and edges that will come out of frustration. lets face it guys, viv is the best batsman the world has seen since he made his debut followed by tendulkar and lara. why bring averages into play

  • Fieldsight on June 1, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Can there be ever, ever, any bold cricketer than Viv Richards? Bradman and Tendulkar evoked a response of admiration, Wes Hall , Jeff Thompson, Adam Gilchrist,Sanath Jaysuria, Afridi, generated awe in their days, but Viv constantly blasted away any ball, specially the good ball, at a time boundary ropes were placed much wider. ] In December 2002, he was chosen by Wisden as the greatest ODI batsman of all time, as well as the third greatest Test batsman of all time, after Sir Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar. Viv does not have as many records as most of the accomplished cricketers (Bradman, Tendulkar...) But, hitting the ball, and constantly.. no one ever did that.

    There is one and only one Master blaster

  • JG2704 on June 1, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Regardless of how you compare Viv to todays players or yesterdays players the guy had such an aura about him. He could face one of the fastest/most hostile bowlers in the world or come in when the side had lost one or 2 wickets in the 1st couple of overs and he'd swagger to the wicket , helmetless and chewing gum as though he didn't have a care in the world. As a Somerset fan I got to see him a few times but unfortunately they were on occasions he did not perform. However I have 2 items which I cherish now. A poster (not in the best of condition) of Viv and a Wisden when Eng toured WI with Both and Viv sat on a beach - both signed in person - the latter signed by Both also.

  • harshthakor on June 1, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    I can never forget Viv's 153 not out at Melbourne in 1979-80 when he tore Lillee and Thomson to the shreds.His best exhibition sin orthodox test cricket was his 145 at Lords in 1980, 74 at Adelaide in 1979-80,56 ball hundred at Antigua in 1986 ,and 108 not out at Delhi in 1987-88.In the last mentioned game he proved he could be an outstanding match-winner in runchases unlike Tendulkar.It is unfair that Viv's packer stats are not added where he had a phenomenal aggregate.Viv's greatest challenger in his era was the indomitable Barry Richards,whose career was sadly curtailed to only 4 International tests because of apartheid policies of South Africa in that era.A competition between Viv and Barry would have been cricket's ultimate contest.I can't forget Barry's 207 and century in the 1978 supertest final and above all he topped the Packer batting averages.

    If he wished Viv could have broken all the batting records.He was also a great skipper who never lost a test series.

  • harshthakor on June 1, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    Viv Richards is simply the greatest batsman of modern times.No batsmen ever could change the complexion of a a game to such an extent and he was the ultimate match-winner.He is the greatest player of pace bowling in the history of the game as he proved in Packer cricket in 1977-78.From 1976-81 he was the best batsman after Bradman tearing the best bowling attacks like a tiger tearing it's prey.Imagine he averaged 88.62 in the first year in Packer Cricket and 100 runs for the world 11.His best innings were his 189 at Old Trafford in 1984 and 153 not out at Melbourne in 1979-80 v.Australia and his 170 in the World Series supertest in 1977-78.In the modern era he would have averaged over 56 runs and possibly outscored Tendulkar and Lara.

    Viv Richards reminded me of a great emperor annexing territory after territory while batting.When walking to the crease he exuded the aura of a great king.Arguably the best cricketer of his era and only behind Bradman,Warne,Hobbs and Sobers.

  • Urajapakse on June 1, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Very well written Mark. thank you for the up-date. if cricket have had a god, then it is nobody but ISSAC VIVIAN ALEXSANDAR RICHARDS.

    I was not very lucky to see him often on the crease, but I did see him in Sri Lanka, when he visited here as a manager.

    Very PROUD FELLA.(kidding) my all time favorite by miles. Wish you all the luck, where is the JUNIOR IVA, BY THE WAY. Can he play cricket. Do not worry, 60 is not a big age, you can still play for WI.

  • Drew2 on June 1, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    @sdhar Viv was very weak against spin??? Check your history. He averaged 50 against an Indian side with the best spinners in their history. Sorry but Sachin Tendulkar is a step down from the great Viv.

  • ImpartialObserver on June 1, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    I'm an Indian fan, but if you like Cricket and don't like Viv, then you are fit for the padded cell. Well you might not be accepted even there. I mean, the man is like God. He had an aura about him when he walked out. I'd gone so mad about him that I simply used to try batting like him. Forget batting, I even used to try and walk like him to the crease (no aura though!). Viv is Viv. At least for his sake Windies cricket must come out of these dark periods and produce one more Viv so that the current crop of viewers can understand the sheer thrill of watching the front-foot plonked forward and the ball dispatched anywhere from third man to long-leg. In fact I started liking Sachin since he used to play like this during his early days.

  • Longmemory on June 1, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    I think the author meant the first test of that 1976 series, at Trent Bridge, in which Viv got 232 runs in the first innings with 4 sixes - and in which John Snow did play. That was some of the most murderous batting ever - more so because of Tony Greig (the England captain) and his infamous comment before the series began about intending to make the Windies "grovel."

  • Balumekka on June 1, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    Truly the best batsman all time!

  • smastersau on June 1, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    2. People point to Vivs pebchant for playing across the line, i think the challenge to whip the fastest bowlers in the world thru midwicket and square was too great to pass up, never seen anyone else do that consistently. Finally i will say we will never see another like Viv, what truly stands out in my mind is watching a man eager to get at Lillee and Thomson, no helmet, the WACA at it's most evil period in time, but coming at them. Hooking and pulling with ease, picking which side of a fielder to smash the ball past. Lillee and Thommo intimidated everyone else to a man bar one. Thanks for the memories Sir Viv P.S. Any bowlers who still have nightmares, take comfort the bats of today weren't around then, yikes Sehwag, Gayle, PLEASE

  • smastersau on June 1, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    1.Pointless exercise trying to compare what is incomparable. Sir VIV is that far ahead of any contemporary batsman, (many would say better than all and you wouldn't get any argument from me), to be even comparing the likes of Gayle and Sehwag makes me chuckle. Some might try to point at averages, mere folly as a set of numbers in cricket records and archives never took precedence over entertainment for the masses. If the team was safe, entertainment was the priority, numerous occasions throwing wicket away in the pursuit of giving the fans what they wanted, Viv on the march. Also the seasons played in WSC are not included in official stats, off top of my head three odd years averaging 80ish in the supertests, the toughest cricket ever played. Any in doubt still, download some of Viv's innings from youtube and remind yourself. As for presence on the field, Viv demoralised teams. When needed Viv was as technically correct and sound as Tendulkar at his best.

  • aus_trad on June 1, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    Viv Richards is the greatest batsman I have seen (my memory goes back to 1970-71: I can't really say I saw Sobers, Pollock, or Barry Richards). An absolute giant of the modern era (or any other). But...I really tire of the creeping revisionism I see here and there that suggests that Richards - or anyone else - might have been as great as Bradman. Richards averaged 90 in 1976, but his career average was a tick over 50. Bradman's was literally twice that (less a handful of runs). As for equipment, certainly, Richards would have been even more effective with today's bats, etc; but Bradman would have done better with the equipment in Richards' era (and Richards didn't have to play on uncovered pitches!). Yes, I know there are factors which work in the other direction (over rates, fielding standards, etc), but please, let's keep things in perspective. Richard's was one of the half dozen greatest batsmen of all time; Bradman was incomparably above Richards, and everyone else.

  • whoster on June 1, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    Excellent article that sums up the magic of the Great Man. No other batsman could play the shots Viv played, and with such elegance and power. History will remember Sir Don as the greatest, and you really cannot argue against the stats. Even so, I don't think any batsman in history was ever more feared than King Viv. In an era where T20 and ODI's play such a big part in the calendar, to still hold the record for the fastest Test Century 26 years on, and made at the age of 34, is one instance of what a genius he was. His average of just over 50 would've been far better if he'd retained the appetite for runs he had earlier in his career. Viv was a showman and entertainer, and he offered the audience things they'd never see with other batsmen. An absolute hero and legend, especially as he helped give Somerset our golden years!

  • Meety on June 1, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    @Deepanjan Datta -well said my friend. I am sick to death of people having to bag a great to make their favourits "appear" better. Sir Viv does NOT need those type of comments. == == == There is no comparing the style of Sir Viv to any other batsmen in history, (use to think Richie Richardson was as close as it got). There was a a precedence of sorts to Sir Viv, about 100+ years ago Gilbert Jessop would strike fear into bowlers hearts, although his stats don't come close to Sir Viv (different era). Greatness in terms of batting can encompass all sorts of facets, I remember a woefully out of form (was a relief),Sir Viv in Oz in the mid 80s. 4th Test @ MCG - Craig Mac on debut had ripped thru the WI middle order. I mistakenly thought he'll pick up Sir Viv as well & we'll be set for a win. I think Craig Mac almost bowled him once or twice, Sir Viv looked finally fallible, 200 runs later he did get out. WIndies got 400 & the match was drawn. His 200+ was amazing & disheartening all in one!

  • Meety on June 1, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    @KiwiRocker - here you go again, bagging great players to unsuccessfully prove a point. "...Then There is Lara who was brilliant but lacked consistency..." - this very website did an article that PROVED Lara to be one of the most CONSISTANT batsmen of all time! Statistically, allowing for bowling strength & pitch conditions - Bradman still rates far & away the GREATEST batsmen of all time. Sir Viv does NOT need poor comments like yours to be held on the highest mantle of people's memories, his feats stand on their own merit WITHOUT needing to detract from other greats. "Flat track bullies like Sehwag..." if India's pitches are so "easy" to bat on, why doesn't all the great batsmen's averages climb up when playing there? They don't because, it requires a specific skillset, BTW in 15 tests Sir Viv's ave v India in India was "only"45. Sir Viv is one of the BEST memories I have in cricket, BUT I certainly (& probably others too), don't need comments like yours detracting from other greats!

  • Paulk on May 31, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    My personal favorite batsmen in the last 40 years (since the late 70s) are Viv Richards and Adam Gilchrist in that order. No one else could make me drop everything else to watch them bat as these two.

  • on May 31, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    He was a test player. I think test cricket is cricket. Those who compare him with Sehwag or Gayle is absolutely absurd. These two Genltemen are flat track bullies and nothing else.

  • bobletham on May 31, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    At The Oval in the heat-strewn glory of 1976, when he made 291, John Snow bowled a short ball. Jim Laker, in his yeoman Yorkshire drawl, described it thus: "Not really a bouncer from John Snow, more a long hop, and suffice to say, Viv Richards simply crucified it."

    Unfortunately John Snow did not play in the Fifth Test at the Oval in 1976 when Richards made 291.

  • batmannrobin on May 31, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    @KiwiRocker- u really r jealous of Sachin n Sehwag right :0..Trying to belittle them always. Viv s ofcourse the gr8test destructive batsman ever. But he had holding,marshal,garner,Roberts,Ambrose,Walsh in his team. Sachin n Sehwag at best had Zaheer . Sachin's 200 came against Steyn who went for 88 in that match . Anwar scored against Prasad n Kuruvilla who? on a flat pitch with a runner for 3/4 of the innings. Viv's 181 was scored against SL when they were the kenya of that time on a flat Karachi pitch. the article is abt Viv n let us just try to enjoy that..No use trying to belitte the gr8s that Sachin n Sehwag r !!!!

  • on May 31, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    brillant writing. thanks for that i didn't know the west indies were capable of loosing at cricket til i was 17. it's never been the same actually until a coupledays ago i didnt even know a team name west indies were playing cricket in england

  • Sam_k14 on May 31, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Why are there Indian fans attempt to compare Sir Viv with Sehwag and Sachin. It is an INSULT. No doubt Sehwag and Sachin are great players but they dont even come close to Viv. I find these ludicrous comparisons hilarious. Get real folks. India has not produced any player like Vivian Richatrds and they are unlikely to do so either!

  • KingOwl on May 31, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    Sehwag and Gayle - nah. Sehwag does not have the same presence, nor the talent. Gayle has the presence but not the same level of talent.

  • on May 31, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    There is none before and will be none after like the Master Blaster. Did it all with no helmet, smaller bats and long boundaries. Simply the best hand to eye coordination there was. Long live the Emperor...

  • on May 31, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    In an all time XI IVA Richards is always the first name of the sheet for me. Also unsurprising that at the mention of "the best ever" (which in my opinion he was) that others are mentioned by a number of people. IVAR vs SRT... no contest for me, Sir Vivian Richards every single time.

  • RohanMarkJay on May 31, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    Viv captained the last truly great West Indian side. Under Richie richardson WI was hanging on to the number one position by their fingertips they were eventually toppled by Mark Taylor's Australians in the caribbean in 1995. It was the end of an era, from 1950 - 1995 for 45 long years west indies were one of the best teams in the world and one of its most popular with neutral cricket fans. From 1980 to 1990 they were without question the best cricket team in the world bar none in ALL conditions. An awesome side the likes of which we will never see again. Viv was just one of so many great cricketers from the West Indies between 1950 to 1995.

  • on May 31, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    dont compare players like sachin, lara or shewag with great viv richards. Cricket, played without a helmet is a whole other game. yes he was not very good against spin, but i don't know if today's batsmen without helmets would have lasted till spinners came to bowl. Shewag is one for sure to be carried off the field if he batted without a helmet facing six bouncers per over. please don't compare modern greats to the legend. viv is the king no doubt.

  • Rally_Windies on May 31, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    of all the batsmen today, Sehwag and Gayle have his attitude .....(almost) ...

    though this kind of attitude seems to be in disfavour with the WI selectors and Board these days .......

    the WICB seems to prefer, good little yes men with smiles on their faces who lose with decorum - "like a sir" ..

    Gone are the days where the WI players behave "like a boss" .....

    the coach and ceo are the bosses now.... they lead from the back... not the front..

  • on May 31, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    KING RICHARDS !! "Be the boss, man, because if you don't think you are, no one else will, true huh true."

  • Nibsy on May 31, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    I remember seeing Sir Viv in action and he was box office. Those that criticise Sehwag are jealous that they have not got destructive batters in their sides. Sehwag's 319, 309, 201 and 219 ODI are amazing feats. If it is so easy to bat on the sub continent why hasn't anyone else achieved this. you must remember Sir Viv had the best bowlers in his team, Sehwag does not.

  • on May 31, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    great article guy the best there is and will alway be no one can walk into a bowler an hit the ball back over the shoulder of the bowler like the great master sir vivian richards

  • sdhar on May 31, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    WHILE IT IS AN INDISPUTABLE FACT THAT SIR VIV WAS A DESTRUCTIVE BATSMAN AND NEEDS TO BE RATED AMONGST THE BEST BATSMEN OF ALL TIME, IT MUST BE MENTIONED THAT HE WAS VERY WEAK AGAINST SPIN. THE CRITICISM OF SACHIN TENDULKAR MUST BE SEEN THROUGH THIS PRISM. ABDUL QADIR USED TO GET HIM OUT EASILY. THE AUSTRALIANS USED TO WIN TESTS IN SYDNEY BECAUSE OF THIS FACT AFTER BEING TRAMPLED OVER IN THE REST OF THE TESTS. [ MURRAY BENNET, BOB HOLLAND, ALLAN BORDER]. EVEN NARENDRA HIRWANI GOT THE BETTER OF HIM. GREAT HE WAS BUT WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE GREATS LIKE TENDULKAR, KALLIS, SEHWAG, LARA AND OTHERS.

  • on May 31, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    @KiwiRocker - Even as an Indian, I have utmost respect and awe for Viv Richards. His SR/ Avg (90+, 47+) would keep elite company even today. Without doubt he's the most destructive and proud man to wield the willow ever. However, to recognize greatness is to also not belittle other greats. Bradman's consistency or Tendulkar's longevity is a study in excellence too. Every greatness doesn't follow the same path. This article is about Viv, let's stick to that. And Viv's 189 is undoubtedly one of the great ODI innings, if not the greatest - but how exactly do you determine Anwar's 194 is comparable- that came on a pretty flat deck too, or Tendulkar's 200 is less worthy, given that it came against Steyn and co.? If you consider the match situation - Kapil's 175 from 17/5 or might be the one you look for, or Gibbs's 175(111) in that epic 434 run chase. ( I do agree though, Sehwag's double, Kirsten's 188 or Coventry's 194* would probably be rated lower)

  • on May 31, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Tendulkar and Bradman can keep their statistical records. Richards stands out above all others. Not even the magnetic Warne can match Viv for sheer power of personality married to raw ability.

  • doesitmatter on May 31, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    he is a hard-hitting FTB IMO except that he picked the flattest of track in each part of the world and against bad attacks like India,Aus of 80's and Eng (attack now is better) to score runs..Overrated batsman for me..Give a tough pitch or good spinner he will slog his way to get out.talk of gun chewing , swagger, african pride , not wearing helmet has masked the FTB in him...btw what is he doing in the commentary box? I thought his communication skills are very bad in some of the youtube vidoes i have seen of him...

  • on May 31, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Viv Richard's commentary on TMS (like Ian Botham's on Sky) was woeful. Why do the most exciting cricketers make such dreadful commentators?

  • on May 31, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Are we finally seeing Peter Roebuck replacement in Cricket journalism by Mark Nicholas...With no offense meant to his distinctly different style of writing...I feel eternally grateful to read through fantastic representation of tangible facts and untangible but heart warming effect words have on the readers...!!!

  • Sinhabahu on May 31, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    A sumptuous read befitting His Majesty.

  • on May 31, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    I must congratulate you on writing an absolutely magnificent article on the Greatest Batsmen of all times.........he played against the world's best fast men and that too in their pomp..........I wish he played against Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib......in a time when all four of them were in their prime.........put Warne and Murli in the mix and it would have been the absolute epitome of cricket.......personally I reckon only Ponting comes in second when it comes to playing pure pace and genuine fast bowling........and second only to the Great Viv......Lara and Tendulkar never played genuine quicks with same class and authority

  • on May 31, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Wonderful article about The Greatest Batsman ever.. so much has been said and written about Richards, but all that can't equal even one of his cover drive. Born to dominate, Richards is..

  • Fogu on May 31, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Great line about Sir Viv walking to the spectator reading the newspaper. Simply Great. He is some one you tell your grand kids about.

  • AhoBil on May 31, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    Still remember the 49.6 th ball.... like I saw it yesterday....Viv making room, beefy bowling full at his legs but Viv manages to hit it straight back for a four!

  • VivGilchrist on May 31, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    No Bouncer restrictions, thinner bats, facing Lillee, Thomo, Willis, with no helmet. Champion.

  • AhoBil on May 31, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    ...alll without a helmet !!!

  • ultrasnow on May 31, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    Only four words to say - Long Live King Richards.

  • 6pack on May 31, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Wish I had seen him bat live!.... But boy was he great to watch on TV.

  • HumungousFungus on May 31, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    A friend of mine was on the books at Glamorgan at the same time as Viv. I remember him showing me his hands after one fielding session, and they were swollen and purple with bruising. I asked him who had been batting..."Viv". I asked him how far away from the bat he'd been "40, 50, 60 metres"... Unbelievable. Viv was a massive part of my childhood and adolescence, and even when the West Indies were perpetually crushing England, it was impossible not to be captivated by this giant of the game, who stood head and shoulders even above his team mates, as great as they also were. His last ever innings for Glamorgan, to win the Sunday League in 1993, typified the man. In the face of a furious assault by the very quick Australian, Duncan Spencer, and despite early difficulties, he saw Glamorgan over the line in front of 12000 people at the tiny Canterbury ground, arriving and leaving to standing ovations. And it is worth saying one last time: He NEVER wore a helmet. He didn't need to. Legend

  • on May 31, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I was fortunate enough to see him play several times and since then nothing or nobody in the game has changed my mind in that he was the finest ever batsman of modern (post Bradman) times. He possessed an aura about him that no other player before or since had (or has) He had a 'presence' at the crease that no other cricketer (batsman) has been able to create or maintain. He may not have the best comparative stats of a batsman of his class but for me....on all tracks, in all conditions, against all attacks all over the world, and in all match situations...remember he performed when it REALLY mattered...the benchmark of a truly great player... he is and will remain easily and indisputably the greatest batsman of his and arguably of all other eras.

  • anantbio on May 31, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    VIV was a decent player, may be above average, but he is nothing compared to "GOD of Cricket", who has scored 100 hundreds with a helmet on, scored classic innings against great teams like bangladesh, Zimb and Srilanka on tough flat tracks. He still has the "selflessness" to play for team India.

  • mrhamilton on May 31, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    @kiwirocker....hard to dispute where you are coming from on Richards. I also tend to think Lara was superior to Tendulkar in every way but his consistency. That said it must have been demoralising for lara once ambrose and walsh went to be surrounded by mediocre bowlers.

  • Lagerkhan on May 31, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    John Snow didn't play in the Oval test 1976!!

  • Bang_La on May 31, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Thank you, THANK YOU, Mark! Seems no one remembers The King, but everyone is still overshadowed by The King. Long Live THE KING!

  • on May 31, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Viv was great. I have seen his batting and is a great admirer.But you dont have to belittle Sachin/ Sewag to praise him. Sachin has more centuries abroad than in India and has many centuries against Mcdermot - Hughes. Mcgrath- Gillespie, Donald - Pollackk, Wasim - Waqar and as recently as 2011 against Steyn in SA.

  • MrPontingToYou on May 31, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    @KiwiRocker... spot on, that 189 n.o, was without any doubt the greatest odi innings ever. all the other wi batsmen added up made less than 100, and if i remember correctly england were all out for 160 odd, when added up, 21 batsmen and extras made about 250 runs, and viv alone scored an unbeaten 189... those stats really put into perspective what an innings it was.

  • sharidas on May 31, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Never saw in person only saw on Video. Absolutely marvellous. I also recall my father describing a catch he took off Gavaskar in Bangalore. Yes Indeed ! One of the greats !

  • JimSmithLeeds on May 31, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Tremendous article on probably the best pound for pound cricketer there has ever been. The way he strode to the wicket, full of swagger and chewing his gum, you could see the bowlers shrink in fear and the crowd rise with excitement. He was proud of where he came from and played for his people. If the current team had the same kind of fight and pride, we would not see the sad capitulations all too common these days. Viv, and that great team of the 70's and 80's, should be enough to make anyone following in their footsteps play for their lives.

  • MrPontingToYou on May 31, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    pad viv up, and send him in at 3......

  • itisme on May 31, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    Thank you Mr Nicholas. There is one and only one worthy to be called King in cricket and that is undoubtedly King Richards. This is indisputable. I have seen some of his innings. I cannot compare anyone with him.

  • KiwiRocker- on May 31, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    Scoring a double century in ODI's has become a bit of joke now a days...Flat track bullies like Sehwag on 65M Indian flat as pancake pitches are scoring double centuries...If one wants to see a real ODI innings then please watch 189 by King Richards against England...It is an example of how to shell shock he opposition...and if not then try his 181 against SL in Karachi..It is another great example of power hitting...I rate 189 by King Richards as the BEST ever ODI innings to date and only other innings closer to that was Saeed Anwar's 194 against India as it was scored against an arch rival on their home ground in front of their own crowd..Sehwag's 219 and Tendulya worthless 200 are not even worth a mention in the same breath!

  • Indiaforever on May 31, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    I was not bron in his era and so hasnt seen him play ever , but after reading this and watching 'fire in Babylon' I think I have to buy his autobiography to learn a lot more about him. He is no doubt one of the greatest batsmen ever!!

  • KiwiRocker- on May 31, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    My eyes light up when I see an article written about Sir Viv Richards. There is only one real King and it is Sir Viv Richards! There is a debate as to who is the best batsman of all time..Australians obviously think it is Bradman who never played in modern times, and was hardly tested against the best! Then there is Tendulya, the most over rated batsman of all times who averages a mere 34 in fourth innings of a test match and had a very poor record against likes of McGrath, Waqar, Wasim and Donald..and in more recent times against James Anderson and co..Then There is Lara who was brilliant but lacked consistency but King over shadows all of them as he had a swagger! Who else can bat without helmat against Imran Khan, Lilliee, Thomas and Hedlee etc...No one dares to dispute the swagger of King..Viv Richards was the best batsman to play ODI cricket. I rate Viv Richards, Sobers and Imran Khan greatest cricketers ever as they also won as captains something Lara, tendulya never did!

  • on May 31, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Cricket! Prose and Poetry! Rhythm and rhyme! Give me Viv, anytime! Great article, Mark!

  • on May 31, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Nice article, but just one problem. John Snow did not play at the Oval when King Viv made 291...

  • on May 31, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    That's Vivian Richards for you! For me the best batsman ever.The only guy who comes close to him in today's set of cricketers only IF HE USES HIS BRAINS WHEN HE'S BATTING is Virender Sehwag!

  • Kamran_Pakistan on May 31, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Wow wow wow, it's hard to write about Viv. but the way Mark has portrayed this sporting character, one can really have the feel what thunderous chills Viv. sent down the oppositions' spines. Now that's what you call confidence-backed aggression which is really missing in modern day cricket. Players these days take one catch and start swearing at the opposition while Viv. did clearly send down the message, "Make your game speak and speak with intimidating dominance". Who would not want to be a batsman who can really have such a high level of confidence that the opposition knew what kind of an unkind treatment they were to witness and yet there was hardly any escape. It's easy to find many fiercely dominating fast bowlers like Malcolm Marshal, Michael Holding, Dennis Lille, Waqar Younis etc but it's hard in case of batsmen where if any name comes to mind that had sheer confidence and aggression, that is of Sir Viv. Richards, what an awesome cricketer.

  • on May 31, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    The world would see many more geniuses and willow wielders but there would be only one VIV and that VIV is genuinely separate and genuinely has no parallel either in the game of cricket or in life. Exclusively yours VIV.

    People might think this is foolish adulation but having seen the man i carry no illusion

  • on May 31, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    @KeshavSeshadri85 Mark Nicholas himself was the captain of the Hampshire team in that match

  • on May 31, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    As with all truly great sportsmen, Ali, Ballesteros, Matthews... the legend grows as time goes on.

  • Doogius on May 31, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @Cpt. When Tendulkar was in his prime, bowlers worried about their figures. When Viv was in his prime, bowlers worried about their reputations. He destroyed quality fast bowling without a helmet. Everyone has an opinion but Viv at his best was truly, truly devastating..

  • Trebla on May 31, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    A good article, thank you for writing it. You captured the essence of the excitement that surrounded Viv every time he played. I especially liked the stories of him batting late in his career, and the century for Glamorgan to win the game was new to me. Compared to most of the cricket articles these days this is exceptional. Mr Nicholas I think your pen is mightier than your microphone.

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 31, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    A good player was Richards ! never seen him during his heyday but heard about his heroics. Can't believe he doesn't want to do anything to help WI today. The WI ship is sinking and the WICB is hopelessly calming the passengers (the fans).

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on May 31, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    People talk about fast bowlers being intimidating but there has never been a more intimdating sight for bowlers than the great Sir Viv walking to the wicket. Moved like a boxer with that gum being chewed and it just told everyone ... The Boss is here. Count myself lucky to have seen some of the greatest ever live (Lillee, Warne, Tendulkar, Lara, the great Windies fast men) but in terms of batsmen Viv was the man. And there is no doubt he is STILL probably a better batsmen than the current Windies top 3.

  • on May 31, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Undoubtedly..Undisputed...King of Cricket no one came close to him till now and this may continue....some have better strike rate in some format but no one is so destructive..so calculated and so accurate as Viv....You are Mohammad Ali of Cricket....

  • on May 31, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    great article and so true .i dnt know about great bradman much but can easily say by far the best batsman since eighties.we salute u king the way u batted

  • on May 31, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    King Viv, the man the thunderbolt.

    And you Mr Nicholas what a lovely article...

  • on May 31, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    ggr888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

  • on May 31, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Great article Mark. Growing up in the era of Gavaskar, Chappell and Richards, while we were spoilt for choice, I have to say Viv was the Dominator. I can close my eyes and picture him, chewing gum and looking nonchalant, almost bored. For my money, the best ever (but of course I did not see Sir Don).

  • yasserrizwan on May 31, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    A cricketer, who changed the way cricket is played. He played it with a purpose, to avenge the wrongdoings done to his men/women. And he did it in splendid fashion, with Bat in hand and grin on face, chewing gum. What a player. Real king of cricket. Sunny G & Sir Viv were finest exponents of art of batting, a legacy which was carried forward ably by Rahul Dravid, Sachin & Jaques Kallis i feel. Sir Viv's innings in 1979 WC final stands out, one best till date. Long live the king.

  • on May 31, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Viv needs no introduction...wish someone can talk to all those bowlers who played against him n share how they felt....!

  • svrfremont on May 31, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    I have never seen a better batsman the Viv. There is only one King in cricket and that happens to be Viv. No body is even close. I still remember the Final in 1979 World Cup Viv scored a fantastic hundred. I also remember hearing the commentary on ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corp.) at the fag end of a day in test match in Perth when light wasn't very good. Richards took on one of the greatest bowlers of all time Lillee and Thomo. He took it to them. Just amazing ... I was lucky to be alive during the Viv Richards era. Kudos to you king.

    I think this was an amazing article and bought back my memories.

  • on May 31, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    The Boom Boom of the Boom Boom!

  • salarian12000 on May 31, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    wow. That was a wonderful description. Whenever I open youtube, I always see atleast one of the many glorious innings of King Viv. Somebody please help me to meet him. It is the dream of my life to have a coffee with the King.

  • AzyS on May 31, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    great article mate .. just like ur commentary.. simply mindblasting...

  • Meety on May 31, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    One of my abiding memories of Sir Viv, is that the bat always looked too small when he was in his stance. He seemed all shoulders! If in the 3rd test there is a rained out day or the match finishes early, they should get Swanny to have a bowl to him in the nets - they'd have to make sure there are plenty of spare balls (no dissrespect meant for Swan).

  • tappee74 on May 31, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    I saw him bat along side Richardson at Bourda in 1985.Richards made 50+and Richardson 180+.Few batsmen have the charisma like the great Richie Richardson.He is a stroke maker,clean and pure.Richards in my opinion is the best slugger the game has seen.

  • on May 31, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    viv richards what a legend easily top 5 batsmen of all time, when u rate him with what he did between 1975 to 1980 dominated england in 76, showed he was the best in world series cricket, beat england off his own bat in the world cup final came out to australia after world series in 79/80 and dominated i rate him above the don

  • Rahul_78 on May 31, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    Bravo Mr.Nicholas! What an article! Someone could please clone the king and unleash him against the Narayans and Malingas of today's world to show 'How it is done'!

  • KeshavSeshadri85 on May 31, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Great article, particularly the description of the county game and the quotes from the Hampshire captain.

  • Nadeem1976 on May 31, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    Viv richards even at the age of 60 can score minimum 60 runs against this 30 average par english attack. Whole world is not able to handle this par bowling attack but Viv in his prime would score the fastest double hundred against these so called #1 team bowlers.

    Viv was king and will remain king of cricket for long long time. He was terminator , warrior and his highness the king of destruction.

    He was not black bradman because he was better than Bradman.

  • on May 31, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    I bet if a fast bowler even today challenges this guy, Viv would be off the blocks to face him without a helmet!! And he'd do better then Kirk Edwards & Co. I'm sure!

  • bookie7600 on May 31, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    MAAAN ! What an article. Such swagger would be looked down upon nowadays but then there is no Viv around nowadays!

  • vineetkarthi on May 31, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    The Biggest and Best Brand the Game has seen. Enduring Inspiration.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • vineetkarthi on May 31, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    The Biggest and Best Brand the Game has seen. Enduring Inspiration.

  • bookie7600 on May 31, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    MAAAN ! What an article. Such swagger would be looked down upon nowadays but then there is no Viv around nowadays!

  • on May 31, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    I bet if a fast bowler even today challenges this guy, Viv would be off the blocks to face him without a helmet!! And he'd do better then Kirk Edwards & Co. I'm sure!

  • Nadeem1976 on May 31, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    Viv richards even at the age of 60 can score minimum 60 runs against this 30 average par english attack. Whole world is not able to handle this par bowling attack but Viv in his prime would score the fastest double hundred against these so called #1 team bowlers.

    Viv was king and will remain king of cricket for long long time. He was terminator , warrior and his highness the king of destruction.

    He was not black bradman because he was better than Bradman.

  • KeshavSeshadri85 on May 31, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Great article, particularly the description of the county game and the quotes from the Hampshire captain.

  • Rahul_78 on May 31, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    Bravo Mr.Nicholas! What an article! Someone could please clone the king and unleash him against the Narayans and Malingas of today's world to show 'How it is done'!

  • on May 31, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    viv richards what a legend easily top 5 batsmen of all time, when u rate him with what he did between 1975 to 1980 dominated england in 76, showed he was the best in world series cricket, beat england off his own bat in the world cup final came out to australia after world series in 79/80 and dominated i rate him above the don

  • tappee74 on May 31, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    I saw him bat along side Richardson at Bourda in 1985.Richards made 50+and Richardson 180+.Few batsmen have the charisma like the great Richie Richardson.He is a stroke maker,clean and pure.Richards in my opinion is the best slugger the game has seen.

  • Meety on May 31, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    One of my abiding memories of Sir Viv, is that the bat always looked too small when he was in his stance. He seemed all shoulders! If in the 3rd test there is a rained out day or the match finishes early, they should get Swanny to have a bowl to him in the nets - they'd have to make sure there are plenty of spare balls (no dissrespect meant for Swan).

  • AzyS on May 31, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    great article mate .. just like ur commentary.. simply mindblasting...