1990 March 15, 2014

'Write anything bad and I'll whack you'

When Viv Richards took exception to a front-page report and marched up to the press box to have words with the journalist
38

In the last Rewind column we dealt with an incident in the 1989-90 Barbados Test. After a number of requests, this week we look at what happened when the teams travelled to Antigua for the fifth and final Test with the series still in the balance.

Tensions were high both on and off the field as the series reached a climax. England, surprise winners of the first Test and only narrowly denied victory in the third, had come back down to earth with a bump in Bridgetown. West Indies had rediscovered their swagger, and given the rumpus over Viv Richards' celebrations, which had marred the Barbados Test, his home crowd in Antigua were sure to be at their most vocal.

At the airport, Richards and fellow Antiguan Curtly Ambrose received an ecstatic welcome. Arms aloft, Richards told the crowd they were now going for the series win. A few yards away, Geoffrey Boycott, who had upset many in the Carribean with comments about the umpiring in Barbados, was jostled and had to be escorted to his car.

The match itself was an anti-climax. England appeared to lack self belief, batting poorly and bowling without any conviction. "West Indies won before tea on the fourth day," Wisden noted. "England finished bruised and deflated, harshly beaten in a series in which they had boldly made much of the running." What happened off the pitch once more dominated the headlines.

After reaching 101 for 1 in the first innings, England meekly folded to excellent fast bowling and poor shot selection. Allan Lamb, standing in for the injured Graham Gooch as England captain, was caught by Richards, who appeared to give him a fairly basic send-off. In the light of a combative series, it was a low-key incident barely worth a mention.

But the English press were on Richards' back after Barbados, and Richards was equally hostile towards them. In that hate-hate environment, all that was needed was a tiny spark to re-ignite the open antipathy. That spark came from the Daily Express reporter, James Lawton.

Unusually, because the second day was Good Friday, it was the scheduled rest day. Around lunchtime the West Indies squad assembled for a team meeting at their beach hotel.

Lawton, meanwhile, had been contacted by Charlie Sale, then the sports news editor in London. "Sale said that on a quiet news day it might be an idea to track down King Viv and ask him for an explanation for some rather extreme behaviour, which included very aggressive appeals, whipping up the island fans and the band when the West Indian pace attack launched a series of bouncers, and giving Lamb the V-sign when he was dismissed. Trying to curb my enthusiasm for the idea of disrupting the volatile island chief's day of rest, I said the chances were obviously very remote. He said, 'Give it a go, mate'."

Richards, who was staying at his home on the island, arrived and Lawton asked him if they could have a chat, specifically mentioning the Lamb send-off. According to Lawton, Richards then let rip.

"What gesture? It's none of your business. It's nobody's business. Why don't you ask players like Daffy [English allrounder Phil DeFreitas] about his gestures? "

At that, Richards went into the meeting. Lawton, perhaps unwisely, remained outside and was again targeted when Richards emerged a few minutes later. "You write anything bad about me and I'll come and whack you," Richards told him." A lot of crap is being written about me and it is time someone was sorted out. I'll start with you."

Although at least some of the incident had been witnessed, Lawton said some other journalists believed it was a private conversation which should have stayed at that. He countered that as captain of West Indies and a famous sportsman, it deserved a wider audience. He called London.

"Sale spoke with the editor of the Express, Sir Nicholas Lloyd, who said that I should write a news story for possible use on the front page and a sports column reporting both the demeanour and the behaviour of the great sportsman."

The next morning the story made the newspaper's front page. "The leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union were meeting in an attempt to pull the world back from nuclear oblivion," Lawton observed years later. "The paper front page noted this with a small headline, 'Gorby tells Bush Back Off' beneath the splash, Captain Viv Blows His Top'."

England resumed the second day on 203 for 6 but Richards did not lead his side out onto the field. According to Alan Lee in the Times the players and management did not know where he was. Desmond Haynes had to take over.

Shortly before the resumption Richards' agent in England had faxed him the front page of the Daily Express and he angrily made his way up to the press box. Lawton, who knew he had stirred up a hornet's nest, said he felt a "clammy dread" as the players came on to the field and a colleague exclaimed, "Christ, Haynes is leading the Windies ... Viv hasn't come out." He added: "Nobody needed to tell me whose footsteps were beating such a fierce tattoo on that perilous staircase."

He burst in, chillingly asking: "Where's James Lawton?" and then confronted Lawton ("He had not changed into his whites, was sweating profusely, and was speaking to me, most disconcertingly, partly in the third person") and for almost ten minutes made very clear his displeasure. If anyone thought there was a plot to deliberately rile Richards, Lawton years later said that was not the case "as was quite evident from my expression".

According to Lawton's account, published the next day and again on the front page, Richards made a number of threats to him in particular and the press corp in general.

"Vivvy leaves things to fate but I will take things into my own hands if you hurt me enough," Richards was quoted as saying. "If you were a younger man I might do something here and now. Somebody is going to get it. Anybody who gets in my way in this mood now had better watch out. I tell you, man, I am bubbling. Vivvy is angry." At that Richards left.

"He told me to stop looking at his eyes. I consider that a sort of triumph"
James Lawton

In his autobiography, Richards maintained confronting Lawton was right "but the timing was all wrong... it was a stupid thing to do, especially as I should have been leading the team out. As a result I was late and had to apologise to the board."

Richards resumed his captaincy and West Indies went on to win the Test by an innings, although he was dismissed for 1.

The distinguished journalist Matthew Engel wrote in the Guardian: "I was next to Lawton and about 12 inches from Richards while he conducted his philippic. That might suddenly have become a claim to fame if Richards, who insisted he would have hit a younger man and demanded that no one write anything, had switched his gaze inches to his left and seen this younger man scribbling on an airline ticket, the only bit of paper to hand.

"[Richards] marched into the press box, eyeballed Lawton at close quarters for fully 20 seconds and then walked out. As a stunned silence turned to nervous chatter, he suddenly returned and launched himself. If I understand the thrust of his logic, it was that if Lawton wanted to write anything he should ask Richards, but under no circumstances should he ask anything. There was an edginess to all this, and no one was entirely sure where Richards was driving."

Clive Lloyd, shortly after the face-off, had visited the press box to ask what had happened. " Viv is a winner and like all great competitors he does get very involved," he told Lawton. "At heart, he is not a vulgar man." Lloyd later said that Richards had apologised to both team and board.

At the post-match press conference, Richards was slightly more conciliatory. "Enough has been said by both sides about the incident and perhaps we are all a little guilty," he said. "I want to let sleeping dogs lie." But asked about the apology, he replied: "I don't know much about that topic. Next question please."

What happened next?

  • In 2000, Richards wrote he had no problems with Lawton. "We recently exchanged pleasantries in Langan's Brasserie in London."
  • Richards played another ten Tests over the following 16 months before retiring. He did not make a hundred in that time but bowed out with five half-centuries in England in 1991.
  • Lawton continued to write for the Daily Express until 2000 when he moved to the Independent. In 2009 he wrote that, on reflection, he realised "that a magnificent competitor was approaching the end of his powers and that this fact, along with the pressures of a job which he turned into a crusade, had brought him to a brittle edge. A little ironically, from the previous Test in Barbados, I had written about the glory of Richards' defiance of the dying of his light as the great batsman, smiting England's fastest bowler, Devon Malcolm, for a six which, astonishingly, crept over the boundary fence by the sheer force of his will."

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • FallsDown on March 19, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Another great article in an enjoyable series. To Insightful2013's comment, plenty of people are interested in this series, sir, because historical value and anecdotage are what test cricket thrive on . If you're not, just keep away...simple!

  • on March 17, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    mukesh_LOVE.cricket... stats, stats, stats. Mohammed Ali is considered by many as the greatest ever yet his stats isn't as great as many of the boxers that followed after him. I would take an inform Lara or Dravid over an inform Tendulkar, yet Tendulkar is the leading run-making batsman. My point, stats isn't always enough. If you want to talk about stats, look at the stats of the WI bowlers from the 70's, 80's early nineties. There was rarely a place to hide for the opposition. If one didn't get you, one of the other three would. McGrath and Warne share a lot wickets and rightly so because they are true greats of the game... however they are only two. WI had 4, many of which with superior strike rates. Steve Waughs Aussies against Lloyds or Richards West Indies, that would have been an epic battle with a WI victory. Many greats including Khan, Bothan, Chappell, Dev, have said the WI team of the late 70's 80's was the best side in the modern game. What say you to that?

  • Narbavi on March 17, 2014, 2:03 GMT

    Well done Cricinfo, nice to see you guys bring up these moments which happened 25 years ago.

  • MasterBlaster100 on March 16, 2014, 22:57 GMT

    No need to speculate about hayden langer. They were horribly exposed by curtly and courtney at start of their careers. They cleaned up once those guys retired but then faced Harmison in 05. In 30 mins langer got banged on the elbow hayden in the head and ponting got his cheek cut. Michael clarke gets hit so often the board of control probably wouldn't give him a licence to play. If they had to face WI at sabina park under 80s rules there would be 5 in hospital by lunch steve waugh 12 not out (couldnt hook) and warnie chain smoking in terror next man in.

    In Greenidge Haynes Richards you are talking about 3 of the best hookers ever, while Lara Lloyd and Richardson could all bat a bit too. Australia's only chance play the game at Sydney under modern rules get warne on early and hope malcolm marshalls leg cutters arent firing.

  • glance_to_leg on March 16, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    Richards was, and remains, almost godlike. The most exciting batsman to watch of all - Tendulkar, Ponting, or Kallis just look dull compared with him - and he had a presence that made even Lara look like a school boy. I still find the richness of his voice as a commentator, and his swagger entrancing and fascinating. But I also remember watching him in my teens and twenties, and thinking that he came across as something of an unpleasant bully, and he was not always blessed with the best of sportsmanship when things did not go his way. His behaviour in this incident was clearly awful, but somehow forgivable. Anger in lesser men - KP springs to mind - just comes across as borish petulance. Somehow - and this is probably unfair - it seems excusable with Sir Viv.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 16, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    @AjayB - cant agree with you there , i haven't seen the gr8 WI side but i have seen the Aussies and they were pretty damn good , and i sincerely believe Aussies have done it at a time when world cricket was much more competitive than the late 70's and early 80's when WI dominated.

    Also when you claim WI forced a rule change , another way to see that would be to ask 'will they be still that good with the flatter pitches , helmets and bouncer restriction rules ?' , i don't think they would have been

    And finally just check at the team stats - best win ratio , most consecutive test wins , most consecutive ODI wins , most no. of World cups .. Aussies are better in all that counts

  • on March 16, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    The West Indies team of the late 70's early 80's was the best team to ever play test cricket period!

  • ROXSPORT on March 16, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    @AjayB: Spot on mate, couldn't agree with you more. Especially liked the line about forcing rule changes...

  • ROXSPORT on March 16, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    ...contd... Warne too would be an automatic selection though I don't know which player to drop. Logie was a fantastic fielder, especially up-close at forward short leg; Gomes, you could rely on to hang in there with your life on the line (and could be useful with his part-time off-spin). Gilly, maybe even Healy, would be the winner head-over-heels against Dujon. Have your pick....

  • ROXSPORT on March 16, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4: Think again mate. If you were to ask anyone with a little bit of knowledge about cricket, Hayden-Langer don't stand a chance against Greenidge-Haynes, McGill wasn't even an automatic choice in the Aussie side (though I reckon, that was due to reasons other than cricket) while Marshall, Roberts, Holding, Garner & Ambrose would be automatic choices in any side. Though I agree Healy might hold his own against Jeff Dujon, I ain't so sure regarding his chances against Murray. Steve Waugh though would walk into any side for his sheer guts, probably also lead the side. Greenidge, Haynes, Richards, Lloyd, Gomes, Logie/Richardson/Bacchus, Dujon, Marshall, Roberts/Croft, Holding & Garner was a formidable outfit striking terror in every heart (just ask the England side of the 80's who were whitewashed twice in 5 Test series). The only positions which are under threat here are No.s 5, 6 & 7, where Steve Waugh, Ponting/Mark Waugh & Healy/Gilly would walk in...contd..

  • FallsDown on March 19, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Another great article in an enjoyable series. To Insightful2013's comment, plenty of people are interested in this series, sir, because historical value and anecdotage are what test cricket thrive on . If you're not, just keep away...simple!

  • on March 17, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    mukesh_LOVE.cricket... stats, stats, stats. Mohammed Ali is considered by many as the greatest ever yet his stats isn't as great as many of the boxers that followed after him. I would take an inform Lara or Dravid over an inform Tendulkar, yet Tendulkar is the leading run-making batsman. My point, stats isn't always enough. If you want to talk about stats, look at the stats of the WI bowlers from the 70's, 80's early nineties. There was rarely a place to hide for the opposition. If one didn't get you, one of the other three would. McGrath and Warne share a lot wickets and rightly so because they are true greats of the game... however they are only two. WI had 4, many of which with superior strike rates. Steve Waughs Aussies against Lloyds or Richards West Indies, that would have been an epic battle with a WI victory. Many greats including Khan, Bothan, Chappell, Dev, have said the WI team of the late 70's 80's was the best side in the modern game. What say you to that?

  • Narbavi on March 17, 2014, 2:03 GMT

    Well done Cricinfo, nice to see you guys bring up these moments which happened 25 years ago.

  • MasterBlaster100 on March 16, 2014, 22:57 GMT

    No need to speculate about hayden langer. They were horribly exposed by curtly and courtney at start of their careers. They cleaned up once those guys retired but then faced Harmison in 05. In 30 mins langer got banged on the elbow hayden in the head and ponting got his cheek cut. Michael clarke gets hit so often the board of control probably wouldn't give him a licence to play. If they had to face WI at sabina park under 80s rules there would be 5 in hospital by lunch steve waugh 12 not out (couldnt hook) and warnie chain smoking in terror next man in.

    In Greenidge Haynes Richards you are talking about 3 of the best hookers ever, while Lara Lloyd and Richardson could all bat a bit too. Australia's only chance play the game at Sydney under modern rules get warne on early and hope malcolm marshalls leg cutters arent firing.

  • glance_to_leg on March 16, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    Richards was, and remains, almost godlike. The most exciting batsman to watch of all - Tendulkar, Ponting, or Kallis just look dull compared with him - and he had a presence that made even Lara look like a school boy. I still find the richness of his voice as a commentator, and his swagger entrancing and fascinating. But I also remember watching him in my teens and twenties, and thinking that he came across as something of an unpleasant bully, and he was not always blessed with the best of sportsmanship when things did not go his way. His behaviour in this incident was clearly awful, but somehow forgivable. Anger in lesser men - KP springs to mind - just comes across as borish petulance. Somehow - and this is probably unfair - it seems excusable with Sir Viv.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 16, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    @AjayB - cant agree with you there , i haven't seen the gr8 WI side but i have seen the Aussies and they were pretty damn good , and i sincerely believe Aussies have done it at a time when world cricket was much more competitive than the late 70's and early 80's when WI dominated.

    Also when you claim WI forced a rule change , another way to see that would be to ask 'will they be still that good with the flatter pitches , helmets and bouncer restriction rules ?' , i don't think they would have been

    And finally just check at the team stats - best win ratio , most consecutive test wins , most consecutive ODI wins , most no. of World cups .. Aussies are better in all that counts

  • on March 16, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    The West Indies team of the late 70's early 80's was the best team to ever play test cricket period!

  • ROXSPORT on March 16, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    @AjayB: Spot on mate, couldn't agree with you more. Especially liked the line about forcing rule changes...

  • ROXSPORT on March 16, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    ...contd... Warne too would be an automatic selection though I don't know which player to drop. Logie was a fantastic fielder, especially up-close at forward short leg; Gomes, you could rely on to hang in there with your life on the line (and could be useful with his part-time off-spin). Gilly, maybe even Healy, would be the winner head-over-heels against Dujon. Have your pick....

  • ROXSPORT on March 16, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4: Think again mate. If you were to ask anyone with a little bit of knowledge about cricket, Hayden-Langer don't stand a chance against Greenidge-Haynes, McGill wasn't even an automatic choice in the Aussie side (though I reckon, that was due to reasons other than cricket) while Marshall, Roberts, Holding, Garner & Ambrose would be automatic choices in any side. Though I agree Healy might hold his own against Jeff Dujon, I ain't so sure regarding his chances against Murray. Steve Waugh though would walk into any side for his sheer guts, probably also lead the side. Greenidge, Haynes, Richards, Lloyd, Gomes, Logie/Richardson/Bacchus, Dujon, Marshall, Roberts/Croft, Holding & Garner was a formidable outfit striking terror in every heart (just ask the England side of the 80's who were whitewashed twice in 5 Test series). The only positions which are under threat here are No.s 5, 6 & 7, where Steve Waugh, Ponting/Mark Waugh & Healy/Gilly would walk in...contd..

  • AjayB on March 16, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    Not sure why this became a Aus vs WI but here is my perspective. The WI team of that time was feared. Aus team was respected. WI showed up and won effortlessly. Aus worked for their wins. It was a matter of shock when the WI team lost. Aus team, though at times was expected to lose. The biggest difference, WI had to rest bowlers like Roberts and Marshall because they could not find place for them in the team at times. Not so with Australia. Only McGrath and Warne were greats and others filled the gaps - did so exceptionally, but still.

    The WI team forced rule changes. Not so with Australia. WI had talent and inspired awe. Australia had lesser talent and made more out of it. Just my take on it.

  • creekeetman on March 16, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    for those comparing the great oz team to the great WI team, one thing to note is the strength of the opposition. the WI faced much stronger teams than oz, and had to deal with greats like lillee, Thompson, the chappells, boycott, willis, botham, Imran, hadlee, abbas, dev, gavaskar, and a long list of other great players. the great oz team never faced quality to that extent. but both were fantastic teams, and were a pleasure to watch.

    as for viv, Lloyd said it best.. the man is a winner and a fierce competitor.. aint nothing wrong with that.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 16, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    1 more thing,I wont discredit great WI side with statements like,'they're nowhere near the Aussies','cant even compare to Aussies'etc.Fact-only 2 sides in hist. can qual. as 'greats',no 1 else come close-these 2.But if I've to pick 1 as best-def. Aussies.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 16, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    @all-Gilly,Matty,Langer,Ponting,Shane,Macgil,Glenn,Waugh,Healy- these are a few of Aussies who would be automatic picks in the great WI sides. Apart from Viv and 2/3 of the big WI quicks cant say the same -in vice versa- though.

  • TheBigBoodha on March 16, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    A big part of the issue here is that certain people from certain regions only want to believe that players from Caucasian countries behave badly. When evidence arises to the contrary, surprise surprise, they blame the Caucasians for provoking the incident. We've seen this strange logic arise again and again in the cricket world emerging from the same part of the world. Hint, I'm not talking about the WI.

  • on March 16, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    The crux of the story is being missed in the general chatter of comments. Lawton was indulging in the usual thing British press is known for - muckraking! With the full backing of his editor. I've seen atrocious and "vulgar" behavior by English players. Can never forget Gooch's crotch shaking dance as he walked back to the pavilion during the Kanpur test in the 80s, doubtless his contribution (in his own mind!) to comedy for India's TV audience.

  • on March 16, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    First of all Tendulkar not wanting to bat cannot be compared to the antics of Richards this article described. Secondly this is the man who criticized the current Wi keeper Ramdin over his batting ( and failed to do likewise to several others on the team who were also not batting up to standard). Well we know the story ...when Ramdin held up his "talk nah Viv" sign he was roundly condemned..... other than by some of the English press Viv was not too roughly treated for his behavior in this instance... ( I won't mention the temper tantrum when he got out a few runs short of a century ....)

  • MasterBlaster100 on March 15, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    Viv won the first world cup with his fielding and the second with his batting. He would have won the 3rd too but for that catch by kapil. He got straight on the honours board in his 1st lords test and when antigua hosted their inaugral test he got a hundred there too. Compare that big match temperament to Tendulkar's record at lords and in WC finals. I know which one I would have asked to bat for my life. Sachin was genius and also had to cope with enormous pressure too, but its got to be Viv best batsman since Bradman

  • on March 15, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    electric_loco_WAP4. What are you talking about??? "...shows the true nature of the great WI team of past." Are you suggesting the Aussie in the mid 90's to 2005 were angels? You talk like Aussies have clean hands. Good grief!!! It called competition mate - we all get a little excited when there's a lot at stake! Oh and by the way, the WI team of the 70's 80's and early 90's were a stronger side than any of the Aussie sides led by Taylor and Waugh. Just keeping it real!!!

  • on March 15, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    Tutorial, who do you have in mind as an alternative leader? Whatever Sammy's limitations as a cricketer (and he isn't a test player), he's done a lot for West Indies as a captain.

    Lillian Thomson, correct, although Ambrose became very accurate, and his extra bounce made him a formidable proposition, as 400 wickets at under 21 shows. In an earlier era, Joel Garner wasn't the fastest of the Fearsome Foursome, but still took 250 wickets at under 21. And there's never been a better death bowler in limited overs. Ever.

  • on March 15, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    electric_loco_WAP4 are you crazy? Was anybody nastier than Dennis Lillee or Jeff Thompson? Body blows? Go and watch what happened to the West Indies tour in the 70s to Australia. Who were known as the worst sledgers in in cricket? Certainly not the West Indies. And furthermore, only 2 Australians from the Australian team of the 90s could get into the West Indies team of the 80s - Adam Gilchrist at wicket and Ricky Ponting for Larry Gomes. Shane Warne would have been 12th man and would not have made it into the final 11. Second to which Australians? You obviously don't know what you are talking about.

  • on March 15, 2014, 20:43 GMT

    Electric-j alternative reality??? You gotta be kidding to think that Aussie team was anyway close to windies team of yore Really cracked me up

  • Rally_Windies on March 15, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    well please whack me... Viv preferred Hooper in HIS team over Lara... to be honest Viv hated Gus Logie...

    Viv hated anything and anyone who had ties to T&T ....

    Brian Lara was selected to Play Test cricket two full years before he actually did, and Viv dropped Lara from the team ....

    to this Day Viv still hates Lara !

  • MasterBlaster100 on March 15, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    Not a leader? He never lost a series as captain. That speaks for itself. When he sent one of his team off the pitch for poor fieldjng in Aus that was not behaviour fitting his position. But confronting a cynical hack who had been put up to getting a headline...no real problem there. A wonderful player a wonderful character who took all sorts of abuse from the aussies and then gave it back to them with interest. Life not just cricket is richer for him and my only regret is my wife not agreeing to name our son Isaac Vivian Alexander..he also had a better technique than boycott and was an amazing fielder. Just ask greg thomas. Its red its round...what a star!

  • Frankie_f on March 15, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    VIV was the KING. PERIOD, No one can ever match him including Lara and Tendulkar, forget all the expert opinions, public online polls, awards of generation, century etc etc. I would pay 10 times more to play VIV RICHARDS the King than to watch a Tendulkar or Lara. He was simply awesome, a destroyer in every sense of the word. Bowlers shivered in their shoes as he walked on to the pitch with his arrogant swagger and swatted all of them like flies. And he never wore a helmet....ISSAC VIVIAN ALEXANDER RICHARDS was the BEST, the KING forever

  • tutorial on March 15, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    Clive Lloyd the greatest leader of all time would've never behave in that manner, this was a clear sign of " can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen" Richards was never a leader, very good batsman but never a leader, and this is the problem WI is facing up until today,WICB cannot differentiate a good cricketer from a leader ever since Lloyd, Carl Hopper was a leader but again WICB failed to recognize, there are leaders in and around WI cricket presently but the WICB have there blinders on.

  • on March 15, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Today's crickets don't have the passion and the self belief of yester year cricketers for sure.. Today it's all about money, money and more money. No fun no enjoyment nothing.

  • george204 on March 15, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    Actually, I'm pretty sure Lawton & Richards buried the hatchet far sooner than 2000: during the 1991 series in England (Richards' last), Lawton published an article in the Express entitled "The King & I", in which he praised Richards quite effusively and included a photo of the two men shaking hands.

  • LillianThomson on March 15, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    The notable - and sad - thing about this Test was that Ian Bishop was the leading West Indian fast bowler, with Malcolm Marshall absent and in decline and Curtly Ambrose slower than Bishop and unable to match his movement.

    It's one of the great tragedies of 1990s cricket that Ian Bishop's career was wrecked by back injuries, and that he had to remodel his action and cut down his pace.

    He ended up with 161 wickets in 43 Tests at 24.27. But he was a true great, who was robbed of the career his skill and pace deserved.

    And so were we.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 15, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Shows the true nature of the great WI team of past.Negative intimidating bowling,attacking batsmens bodies,and such takes the sheen from their great on field performances. 1 of the reasons they'll be 2nd to the great Aussies.

  • PACERONE on March 15, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    Viv knew that the English press would do or say anything to help their team and he was not going to let that happen.He had to be aggressive towards them to let them know he would not stand for their bias reporting.Even now the press makes remarks about West Indies players that they do not make against other teams that make similar mistakes.

  • on March 15, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    I fail to see what all the fuss is about...another typical story of another English media-house whingeing about losing another series. Another English journalist writes rubbish, and Viv speaks his mind, and tells said journalist to get stuffed...nothing wrong with that.

  • on March 15, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    The West Indies were part of a wider struggle of the time. I don't think Viv Richards was too keen on being 'civilised' - would that be of the Tony Greig school of cricketing pronouncements.

  • jw76 on March 15, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Richards was over the top. That was no civilised way to behave. This incident and his unpleasant, bullying behaviour on the field earlier in the series that basically provoked it ruined my admiration of him. I feel sure he was scared that West Indies were going to lose this series to England after so much success under his leadership, and was prepared to go to extreme lengths, on and off the field, to ensure this did not happen. Sadly, it worked. It is a serious blot on the career of one of the greatest cricketers who ever played.

  • u_guys_are_history on March 15, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    @Insightful : I think the only one who is ranting is you.

    "Seriously, am I missing something? Is this justification for the previous rewind? A series that no one is interested in! "

    Yes, you are missing something : common sense. This isn't an opinion piece. Speak for yourself when you say "Rewind" isn't interesting. Its one of the best columns in Cricinfo.

  • IndiaNumeroUno on March 15, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    King Viv was absolutely right. Why do the press think they can malign anybody without consequences. I hope someone did get a good hook!!

  • on March 15, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Insightful2013 - you miss the point completely.

    These pieces are what makes CricInfo so compelling - I remember seeing all this on the highlights packages and talking with my Grandad about it; Viv was my hero and I wanted to be a West Indian player - Grandad was adamant that Viv, although a great player, had no idea how it was affecting the end of his career. This brings all those conversations back.

  • vatsap on March 15, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    Fantastic as usual. You should write a book with all these stories.

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  • vatsap on March 15, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    Fantastic as usual. You should write a book with all these stories.

  • on March 15, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Insightful2013 - you miss the point completely.

    These pieces are what makes CricInfo so compelling - I remember seeing all this on the highlights packages and talking with my Grandad about it; Viv was my hero and I wanted to be a West Indian player - Grandad was adamant that Viv, although a great player, had no idea how it was affecting the end of his career. This brings all those conversations back.

  • IndiaNumeroUno on March 15, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    King Viv was absolutely right. Why do the press think they can malign anybody without consequences. I hope someone did get a good hook!!

  • u_guys_are_history on March 15, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    @Insightful : I think the only one who is ranting is you.

    "Seriously, am I missing something? Is this justification for the previous rewind? A series that no one is interested in! "

    Yes, you are missing something : common sense. This isn't an opinion piece. Speak for yourself when you say "Rewind" isn't interesting. Its one of the best columns in Cricinfo.

  • jw76 on March 15, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Richards was over the top. That was no civilised way to behave. This incident and his unpleasant, bullying behaviour on the field earlier in the series that basically provoked it ruined my admiration of him. I feel sure he was scared that West Indies were going to lose this series to England after so much success under his leadership, and was prepared to go to extreme lengths, on and off the field, to ensure this did not happen. Sadly, it worked. It is a serious blot on the career of one of the greatest cricketers who ever played.

  • on March 15, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    The West Indies were part of a wider struggle of the time. I don't think Viv Richards was too keen on being 'civilised' - would that be of the Tony Greig school of cricketing pronouncements.

  • on March 15, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    I fail to see what all the fuss is about...another typical story of another English media-house whingeing about losing another series. Another English journalist writes rubbish, and Viv speaks his mind, and tells said journalist to get stuffed...nothing wrong with that.

  • PACERONE on March 15, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    Viv knew that the English press would do or say anything to help their team and he was not going to let that happen.He had to be aggressive towards them to let them know he would not stand for their bias reporting.Even now the press makes remarks about West Indies players that they do not make against other teams that make similar mistakes.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 15, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Shows the true nature of the great WI team of past.Negative intimidating bowling,attacking batsmens bodies,and such takes the sheen from their great on field performances. 1 of the reasons they'll be 2nd to the great Aussies.

  • LillianThomson on March 15, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    The notable - and sad - thing about this Test was that Ian Bishop was the leading West Indian fast bowler, with Malcolm Marshall absent and in decline and Curtly Ambrose slower than Bishop and unable to match his movement.

    It's one of the great tragedies of 1990s cricket that Ian Bishop's career was wrecked by back injuries, and that he had to remodel his action and cut down his pace.

    He ended up with 161 wickets in 43 Tests at 24.27. But he was a true great, who was robbed of the career his skill and pace deserved.

    And so were we.