Viv Richards is an Antiguan retired cricketer, who represented the West Indies at Test and international levels. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.
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.
Richards was voted one of the five Cricketers of the Century by a 100-member panel of experts in 2000, along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Shane Warne.
He is also the mentor of T20 team Quetta Gladiators in Pakistan Super League.
In one-day cricket, Richards was judged by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack to have played the best One Day International (ODI) innings of all time.
His consistent batting ability resulted in him becoming the first cricketer in ODI history to achieve 20 Man of the Match awards.
Overall, Richards scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23, including 24 centuries. As a captain, he won 27 of 50 Test matches and lost only 8.
He also scored nearly 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals and more than 36,000 in first-class cricket. Knighted for his contributions to cricket, today Richards is an occasional cricket commentator and team mentor.
In 2009, Richards was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
- Full name: Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, KNH, OBE
- Profession: Former Antiguan cricketer
- Born: 7 March 1952 (age 68 years), Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
- Height: 1.78 m
- Spouse: Miriam Richards
- Children: Masaba Gupta, Mali Richards, Matara Richards
- Nicknames: Viv, Master Blaster
- Movies: Fire In Babylon
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About Viv Richards
Richards was born to Malcolm and Gretel Richards in St. John’s, Antigua, then part of the British Leeward Islands.
He attended St. John’s Boys Primary School and then Antigua Grammar Secondary School on a scholarship.
Richards discovered cricket at a young age. His brothers, Mervyn and Donald, both played the game, representing Antigua as amateurs, and they encouraged him to play.
The young Viv initially practised with his father and Pat Evanson, a neighbour and family friend, who had captained the Antigua side.
Richards left school aged 18, and worked at D’Arcy’s Bar and Restaurant in St. John’s. He joined St. John’s Cricket Club and the owner of the restaurant where he worked, D’Arcy Williams, provided him with new whites, gloves, pads and a bat.
After a few seasons with St. John’s C.C., he joined Rising Sun Cricket Club, where he remained until his departure to play abroad.
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.