May 5, 2002

Richie Richardson has decided to enter party politics

Former West Indies captain and Antiguan cricketing hero, Richie Richardson, has decided to enter party politics. The announcement came in a press release -- jointly issued by the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda (Lester Bird), and Richardson.

Richardson said that he was "proud to join the (Antigua) Labour Party team under the leadership of Lester Bird. I intend to bat for the Labour Party with the same diligence and fervour with which I served the Antigua and West Indies cricket teams."

PM Bird revealed that he intends to appoint Richardson to the Senate immediately. Bird said: "Richie will be made a Senator in the Upper House within the next few days, and he will be a Labour Party candidate in the next elections."

Bird, the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) leader remarked, "I am delighted that Richie has joined our team and I look forward to the contribution I know he can make to our work for the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Just as he has filled us with joy on the cricket field, I expect to see him make us proud in the cause of our country's development."

The release however, did not give a clue as to which constituency the former West Indies batsman will be contesting. PM Bird however conceded that "Certain procedures have to be satisfied within the Labour Party before a decision is made on a constituency for Richie. An announcement will be made when consultations have been held and the procedures met."

Richardson becomes the latest ex-West Indies player to aspire to high office in the land of his birth. Other past West Indies players who have gone on to such high office include current WICB president, Rev. Wes Hall who was a senator then a parliamentary representative for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Desmond Haynes, a current Barbados Labour Party (BLP) senator and the late Roy Fredericks who served as Minister of Sports in his native Guyana.