Friends !! We all know that more than one great player has been born in the land of the West Indies.
Who has left a different mark in world cricket history due to his brilliant game?
But today the player we are going to talk about is a legend in itself, which cannot be compared to anyone.
Yes, friends, we are talking about one of the greatest players of this century, Sir Vivian Richards,
from whom the master blaster called the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has always been taking inspiration.
So let’s talk about the life of this great player today.
Sir Vivian Richards was born on 7 March 1952 in Saint Jones, Antigua, which was then a part of the British Leeward Islands.
His full name is Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards.
His father’s name is Malcolm Richards and mother’s name is Gretel Richards.
Malcolm Richards was also the leading fast bowler of the Antigua cricket team in his time.
Apart from this, both brothers of Vivian Richards, Donald and Mervin have also played cricket on behalf of Antigua’s team.
Richards started playing cricket from very young age.
Even when he was studying at St. John’s Boys Primary School, his mind seemed to play cricket more than study.
He later received a scholarship and came to Antigua Grammar Secondary School to pursue further studies.
By the time he reached high school, the game of cricket had become a passion for Richards
and he used to think about cricket only when he was asleep.
During this time, he often accompanied his brothers Mervyn and Donald to Antigua First Class cricket team captain Pat Evanson,
who was also his neighbor, for his cricket practice.
He also scored his first century while playing in the Inter School Cricket Tournament on behalf of Antigua Grammar Secondary School.
But at the age of 18, he quit his studies and joined the St. Johns Cricket Club with the intention of completing his cricketing passion.
Apart from this, he also started working in a restaurant to meet his everyday needs.
Meanwhile, the owner of the restaurant, impressed by Richards’ game, presented him with a set cricket kit.
After a few seasons playing for St. Johns’s Cricket Club, Richards joined the Rising Sun Cricket Club.
After performing well in club cricket, he got a chance to make his debut in first-class cricket in 1972
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playing in a Non Competition match against the Windward Islands on behalf of Leeward Islands.
He scored 20 in the first innings of that match and 26 in the second innings.
While playing First-Class cricket in 1973,
Len Creed, Vice Chairman of the County Cricket Club of Somerset, England, caught sight of Sir Vivian Richards and brought Richards to England.
Where he made Richards enter Lansdown Cricket Club.
Where he used to work as a ground man after practice to meet his own expenses.
Here he played his first match on 26 April 1973 on behalf of the Lansdown’s Junior team on the field of Western Super Mayor.
After this, he was also selected for Lansdown’s senior team.
Where he met Sandy Perera.
During this time, Sandy Pereira helped Sir Vivian Richards to improve the game.
Because of this a different change was made in Richards’ game.
Thanks to his best game, Richards ended his first season with Top Batting Average for Lansdown.
Considering his great performance, Somerset signed a two-year contract with him.
After that, in 1974 Richards came to Taunton to prepare for his debut in professional cricket.
Where he met Ian Botham, the great all-rounder of England. Who later became good friends of Sir Vivian Richards.
On 27 April 1974, Sir Vivian Richards made her debut in professional cricket, playing against Glamorgan in the Benson & Hedges Cup.
In this match, Richards not only won Somerset the best by his brilliant game but was also elected Man of the Match.
His brilliant performance in this match finally got the eye of the selectors of the West Indies National Cricket Team.
After which he was also included in the West Indies team for the Test series against India in November this year.
Thus, on 22 November 1974, Richards made his debut in international cricket while
However, he could not do anything special in his debut test and could score only 7 runs by combining both innings.
But in his second Test itself, he made the whole world aware of his ability by playing an unbeaten inning of 192 runs.
Due to his outstanding performance in Test cricket, he was also included in the ODI team playing World Cup in the year 1975.
In this way, he made his debut in ODI cricket, playing against Sri Lanka in this World Cup.
But in this World Cup, Sir Vivian Richards, according to his ability, could not contribute with the bat which people expected.
Sir Vivian Richards could only score 5 runs in the final match against Australia.
Despite this, he was a hero somewhere in this final match.
In fact, the North West Indies team, defending 291 runs, was under pressure due to Alan Turner and IAN CHAPPEL, batting in a tremendous rhythm.
But on the eve of the occasion, Richards, due to his excellent fielding, had ensured the win of the West Indies team by running out these two players as well as the best batsman like Greg Chappell.
In the end, West Indies managed to become World Champion in the first time by winning this match by 17 runs.
Then came the year 1976, which was also the most tremendous year of his Test career.
This year, he scored 1710 runs in 11 Tests with an impressive average of 90.
During this time he also scored 7 centuries, including two magnificent double centuries
In the Test series played against England in the same year, he scored 829 runs,
including brilliant innings of 291 runs played at the Oval ground.
Which is also the longest innings he has played in Test cricket.
In his Test cricket, no player was able to break the record of 1710 runs made in a calendar year for 30 years.
But in 2006, Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Yusuf was successful in breaking this record by scoring 1788 runs in a calendar year.
Wisdon Magazine, also called Cricket’s Bible, in the year 1977, also selected him as the Wisdon Cricketer of the Year.
Then came the 1979 World Cup.
Where the West Indies team managed to reach the World Cup finals for the second time in a row due to their excellent performance.
Where he was competing against the England team called the birth land of cricket.
Since the records of Vivian Richards had been much better in both Test and ODI against England earlier.
Because of this everyone had a lot of expectations from them in the final.
Vivian Richards also met the expectations of the West Indies by playing a wonderful inning of 138 not out in this very important match, living up to the expectations of the people.
In the end, West Indies created history by becoming the world champion for the second time in a row, winning this match by 92 runs
and Sir Vivian Richards was the hero of this historic victory.
In the 1983 World Cup too, he maintained his superb form and led the West Indies team to the World Cup final for the third time in a row.
Where he faced this time with the brave Alexanders of India.
Who had surprised the whole world with their game during this entire World Cup?
Even in this final match, the Indian players did not give any chance to make history this time by dismissing the in-form Vivian Richards soon.
But even after this World Cup, Vivian Richards’ bat was constantly running out.
Be it Test cricket or ODI cricket, Vivian Richards had become another name for the bowlers as well.
In the same order, he scored another record unbeaten 189 runs while batting at number four in the first ODI match played against England in 1984.
It was also the biggest innings played by any batsman in ODI cricket at that time,
which was broken in 1997 by Pakistani batsman Saeed Anwar, who scored 194 runs.
But the record of the greatest innings played by any batsman while batting at number four is still recorded in the name of Vivian Richards.
He also got the captaincy of the West Indies team in the year 1985.
Even after getting the reins of the captaincy, he did not let his performance fall and kept playing match-winning innings for his team.
In 1986, he made another new record by scoring a century in only 56 balls while batting in the fifth Test match against England.
It was also the fastest century made by any batsman at that time in Test cricket.
In 2016, New Zealand’s wicket-keeper batsman Brendon McCullum achieved this record by making a century in just 54 balls while playing against Australia.
In 1987, he scored 119 runs in the first ODI match against New Zealand.
Then in bowling too, taking 5 wickets, gave the West Indies team a 1 -0 lead in the series.
With this, he also played a unique record of taking 5 wickets in ODI cricket along with playing a century inning.
This record remained unbroken for almost 18 years,
which was finally broken by the Allrounder of England in 2005, Paul Collingwood, who scored 112 runs against Bangladesh along with 6 wickets.
Despite this, this record made by any captain is still the name of Sir Vivian Richards.
Richards was a good batsman as well as a good captain.
From 1984 to 1991, he took the reins of the West Indies team in 50 Tests.
During this period the West Indies team did not lose a single series.
Apart from this, West Indies team has won 27 out of 50 Test matches played under his captaincy.
But even his brilliant captaincy career could not stay away from controversies.
One of which was during the 1990 Barbados Test match against England.
In he was even accused of violating Sportsman’s Ship for violating the English batsman Rob Bailey for his indecent manner.
By the year 1991, Richards had reached the last stage of his career
and his performance was also constantly falling.
This great player, who broke the morale of the bowlers with his explosive game,
finally announced his retirement from all formats of cricket in the year 1991 only due to his growing age and his waning career.
With this, an era of cricket came to the end.
He last played in the fifth Test against England on the ground and in the last inning of his career, he returned to the pavilion after scoring 60 runs.
Earlier, he also played his last ODI match against England.
Talking about his cricketing career,
Apart from this, he was also a good part-time bowler.
Talking about his bowling, he has taken 32 wickets in Test matches, in which his best performance is 2 wickets for 17 runs in an innings.
At the same time, he has 118 wickets in ODI matches, in which his best performance is 6 wickets for 41 runs.
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His statistics are enough to prove how amazing a cricketer he was.
He never batted wearing a helmet in his entire cricket career.
That too in a period when the bowler could throw the bouncers 6 balls of an over.
And at that time dangerous fast bowlers like Dennis Lillee, IAN Botham, and Richard Hadlee were dominated.
Apart from this, whenever he has played a century in ODI cricket, then the West Indies team has got a win.
This too is a unique record in itself.
He was truly a legend and world cricket will miss him for a lifetime.
Talking about his personal life, he has related to Indian TV and film actress Neena Gupta from 1986 to 1989.
With he also has a daughter, Masaba Gupta, who has become a fashion designer today.
His wife’s name is Miriam, she has two sons. Of which he has a son Mali first-class cricketer.
Even after taking retirement from cricket, he is still associated with the field of cricket as a commentator.
He was also seen in the role of mentor of the Delhi Daredevils team in the 2013 IPL.
Apart from this, he has served many teams as a mentor.
In 1991, he also published an autobiography titled Hitting Across the Line.
In which he has told how his whole life has revolved around cricket.
At present, he is enjoying his retirement with the family and sometimes even appears on some TV channels as a commentator and cricket analyst.
So, friends, it was a small story of the great journey of Sir Vivian Richards, one of the great players of the world.