Birthday special : Unknown facts about Richie Richardson

Richie Richardson, born on January 12, 1962, was the most successful and stylish West Indies batsman during the late eighties and early nineties.

In 1983, Richardson was only 21, when he was on his debut tour to India. His luggage was stolen and he lost most of his clothes in that tour. Fellow Antiguan Andy Roberts said, He travelled for two weeks with hardly any clothes, and the management did hardly anything about it.

however he didn’t for playing first 3 matches against india, Replacing Larry Gomes in the fourth Test, he finally got his Test cap in Mumbai. but Richardson was wrongly adjudged leg before wicket for a duck in his first innings against India at the Wankhede Stadium.

In an interview given to The Barbados Nation, he laughed it off, It was another one of those decisions. The ball hit the middle of the bat and I could not believe the umpire gave me (out). It took him time to settle down at number three, but on his fourth Test, against Australia at Barbados, he smacked an unbeaten 131 and bettered that with 154 on his home ground in Antigua.

In April 1989, against India, Richardson scored a 99 with a broken finger at Port of Spain against a bowling attack that comprised Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, Ravi Shastri and Narendra Hirwani. He was the top scorer and helped his side build the lead, a match which West Indies eventually won. The Antigua batsman ended the marquee series with a 156 at Kingston in the final Test.

Talking to Media, he said, ” I didn’ t think I would have played that game. Viv was captain at the time and said, Look you are in good nick. I want you to play. I said, If you want me to play, I will play. I was in a lot of pain and every time the ball hit the bat, I was in serious pain. But, I was playing for West Indies and always saw myself as a soldier. I saw the opportunity.”

Since his debut, Richie Richardson was Scored 5,949 runs in 86 Test games along with 6,248 runs in 224 One Day Internationals at an average of 33.41 . he had 16 Test centuries, 27 half centuries also he had 5 ODI centuries, 44 half centuries. His career ended with the heart-breaking semi-final loss to Australia in World Cup 1996 semi-final.

While seeing Richie Richardson bat it was nothing less than a impressive as a captain too. He took over the reins from the charismatic Sir Viv Richards in 1991, by the time he ended his leadership role, he had won 11, lost 6 with the rest ending in a draw out of 24 Test matches. Also, in his four years of captaincy, he only lost one series against Australia in 1995. Richie named as a calm and composed leader.

In his days as captain, Richardson fondly called was often criticised for several reasons, but he remains one of the most liked and respected cricketers. In a recent column by Colin Croft, the West Indian star bowler wrote: I have great respect and admiration for Sir Richie, former WI captain. Perhaps he is just too nice and decent a guy, but, believe me, he has great toughness in his belly, blazing bazookas in his very analytical brain, to shrug off all flowing blowhards. Richie Rich is as steely as they come; a silent assassin!

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