|Nick Name:||Viv, Master Blaster, Smokin Joe, Smokey, King Viv, The Emperor|
|Height:||178 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||March 7, 1952|
|Country:||Antigua And Barbuda|
|Height:||178 cm (5' 11'')|
He led his West Indies team to the first Cricket World Cup final.
Richards made his first-class debut in January 1972 when he was 19. He took part in a non-competition match, representing the Leeward Islands against the Windwards: Richards made 20 and 26. His competitive debut followed a few days later. Playing in the domestic West Indian Shell Shield for the Combined Leeward and Windward Islands in Kingston, Jamaica versus Jamaica, he scored 15 and 32, top-scoring in the second innings in a heavy defeat for his side.
By the time Richards was 22, he had played matches in the Antigua, Leeward Islands and Combined Islands tournaments. In 1973, his abilities were noticed by Len Creed, Vice Chairman at Somerset, who was in Antigua at the time as part of a West Country touring side.
Richards relocated to the United Kingdom, where Creed arranged for him to play league cricket for Lansdown C.C. in Bath. He made his Lansdown debut, as part of the second XI, at Weston-super-Mare on 26 April 1973. Richards was also employed by the club as assistant groundsman to head groundsman, John Heyward, to allow him some financial independence until his career was established. After his debut he was promoted to the first team where he was introduced to the Lansdown all-rounder "Shandy" Perera from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Richards cites Perera as a major influence on his cricket development especially with regards to post-game analysis. He finished his first season at Lansdown top of the batting averages and shortly afterwards was offered a two-year contract with county side Somerset.
Richards then moved to Taunton in 1974 in preparation for his professional debut with Somerset CCC where he was assigned living accommodation by the club; a flat-share with two other county players: Ian Botham and Dennis Breakwell. On 27 April 1974 Richards made his Benson & Hedges Cup debut for Somerset against Glamorgan in Swansea; after the game Somerset skipper Brian Close arranged a player's ovation for Richards in recognition of his playing and contribution to the victory. Richards was awarded Man of the Match.
Richards made his Test match debut for the West Indian cricket team in 1974 against India in Bangalore. He made an unbeaten 192 in the second Test of the same series in New Delhi. The West Indies saw him as a strong opener and he kept his profile up in the early years of his promising career.
In 1975 Richards helped the West Indies to win the inaugural Cricket World Cup final, a feat he later described as the most memorable of his career. He starred in the field, running out Alan Turner, Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell. The West Indies were again able to win the following World Cup in 1979, thanks to a Richards century in the final at Lord's, and Richards believes that on both occasions, despite internal island divisions, the Caribbean came together. He was until 2005 the only man to score a century and take 5 wickets in the same one-day international, against New Zealand at Dunedin in 1986–87. He rescued his side from a perilous position at Old Trafford in 1984 and, in partnership with Michael Holding, smashed 189 to win the game off his own bat.
1976 was perhaps Richards' finest year: he scored 1710 runs, at an astonishing average of 90.00, with seven centuries in 11 Tests. This achievement is all the more remarkable considering he missed the second Test at Lord's after contracting glandular fever; yet he returned to score his career-best 291 at the Oval later in the summer. This tally stood as the world record for most Test runs by a batsman in a single calendar year for 30 years until broken by Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan on 30 November 2006.
Richards had a long and successful career in the County Championship in England, playing for many years for Somerset. In 1983, the team won the NatWest Trophy, with Richards and close friend Ian Botham having a playful slugging match in the final few overs.
Richards refused a "blank-cheque" offer to play for a rebel West Indies squad in South Africa during the Apartheid era in 1983, and again in 1984.
However, despite his totemic presence at Somerset, over time his performances declined as he devoted most of his time to international cricket. The county finished bottom of the County Championship in 1985, and next to bottom in 1986. New team captain Peter Roebuck became the centre of a major controversy when he was instrumental in the county's decision not to renew the contracts of Richards and compatriot Joel Garner for the 1987 season, whose runs and wickets had brought the county much success in the previous eight years. Somerset proposed to replace the pair with New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe. Consequently, Ian Botham refused a new contract with Somerset in protest at the way his friends Richards and Garner had been treated and he promptly joined Worcestershire. After many years of bitterness over the event and the eventual removal of Roebuck from the club, Richards was eventually honoured with the naming of a set of entrance gates and a stand after him at the County Ground, Taunton.
Richards captained the West Indies in 50 Test matches from 1984 to 1991. He is the only West Indies captain never to lose a Test series, and it is said that his fierce will to win contributed to this achievement. His captaincy was, however, not without controversy: one incident was his aggressive, "finger-flapping" appeal leading to the incorrect dismissal of England batsman Rob Bailey in the Barbados Test in 1990, which was described by Wisden as "at best undignified and unsightly. At worst, it was calculated gamesmanship". This behaviour would nowadays be penalised according to Section 2.5. of the Rules of Conduct of the ICC Code of Conduct.
In 1991, Richards published his autobiography entitled Hitting Across the Line. In the book, Richards describes how his whole life revolved around sports, cricket in particular. Of special interest is his technique, expressed by the title of the book. To hit across the line of the ball is considered taboo, and dangerously risky. However, Richards' explanation of the conditions in which he played cricket in Antigua as a child, explains how this technique came to be.
After his sacking from Somerset, Richards spent the 1987 season in the Lancashire League playing as Rishton CC's professional, in preparation for the West Indies tour the following season. Richards returned to county cricket for the 1990 season towards the end of his career to play for Glamorgan, helping them to win the AXA Sunday League in 1993.
In 1994, Richards was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to cricket. In 1999, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation (KCN) by his native country Antigua and Barbuda. In 2006, he was upgraded to Antigua and Barbuda highest award, Knight of the Order of the National Hero (KNH).
He was chosen as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1977. In 2000, Richards was named by a 100-member panel of experts one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century. He received 25 votes, behind Sir Donald Bradman (100 votes), Sir Garfield Sobers (90 votes), Sir Jack Hobbs (30 votes) and Shane Warne (27 votes).
In 2000, Richards was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, coming fifth behind Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Shane Warne in the poll of 100 international cricket experts appointed by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.
He was voted the greatest cricketer since 1970 in a poll, ahead of Ian Botham and Shane Warne. That poll saw both Botham and Warne vote for Richards, and in the opinions of both, Richards is the greatest batsman they ever saw. In 2006, in a study done by a team of ESPN's Cricinfo magazine, Richards was again chosen the greatest ODI Batsman ever. Former cricketer Derek Pringle also rates Richards to be the best batsman ever in the history of Limited Overs Cricket.
The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua, is named in his honour. It was built for use in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The ground has hosted three Test matches, as well as a number of One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals.
Richards is a commentator on BBC's Test Match Special (TMS). He was featured in the 2010 documentary movie Fire in Babylon and spoke about his experiences playing for the West Indies. He joined the Delhi Daredevils as their mentor in The Indian Premier League in 2013, and also mentored the Quetta Gladiators in the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Pakistan Super League.
Viv married Miriam Richards, and he has three children. Viv's son Mali also played first-class cricket.
Currently, Viv Richards is 70 years, 8 months and 26 days old. Viv Richards will celebrate 71st birthday on a Tuesday 7th of March 2023. Below we countdown to Viv Richards upcoming birthday.
Sir Viv Richards, ‘The Master Blaster’ Turned 65 Today. Happy Birthday, Viv. Thanks For All The Joy.
by Anura Guruge What a MAN! Because of Viv, I still remember that glorious, Sun-soaked Summer of 1976. I was at Lord's for the 1979 World Cup and saw him bat with Collis King. Saw him, live, quite a bit in Somerset, Hampshire and at Lord's. Happy Birthday Viv. Related Posts: ++++ Check Category ‘Events’ for other related posts >>>>…
Happy 60th Birthday Sir Viv Richards! Ten classic photos of the Windies legend
Click the arrows to scroll through some of West Indies cricket hero Viv Richard's most memorable photos on the day he turns 60!