Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, by and large, known as Sir Viv Richards, was a former West Indies cricketer. He is considered to be one of the most appreciated and respected batsmen of cricket history. Sir Viv Richards’ batting prowess had no bounds as he was voted among top five cricketers of the century in the year 2000 by a council of more than 100 H experts. In the year 2002, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack acclaimed Sir Viv Richards for his smashing unbeaten 189 runs against England in 1984. In a press release ‘Wisden's Top ODI performances,’ it was declared as the best performance in One Day International Cricket.
In December 2002, Viv Richards again captured everyone’s attention by securing the loftiest position as One Day International (ODI) batsman and in addition to that he was also given homage of third place as Test Cricket batsman after Sir Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards was born on 7th March1952 at St. John’s, Antigua. His father, Malcolm Richards, was posted as the assistant governor of the prison and his mother, Gretel Richards, was leaning in more at home. Sir Vivian Richards’ father was also a cricketer. He had represented team Antigua and the Leeward Islands. It was a treat for young Vivian Richards to see his father playing and it inspired him so much that he started playing as soon as he started walking.
In Antigua; He had an awesome childhood as he was grown up in a family with three other brothers. His family raised him in a religious environment and with great moral values. Sir Viv Richards began his schooling in St. John’s Boys School and shifted to the Antigua Grammar School later. Here he was appreciated and supported for his cricket abilities by both his sports teacher and school principal. He left school when he was 18 years old and played for St. John’s Cricket Club. During this period, he also did a part-time job at the D’Arcy’s Bar to endow his cricketing expenses. With his formidable talent, he soon got an opportunity to play for Rising Sun Cricket Club.
He played there for three years, in which he amassed huge runs and got noticed by promoter Len Creed, who was the Vice Chairman of Somerset Cricket Club, one of the best country teams in England. In 1974, Len Creed made Richards play for the Lansdown Cricket Club. Very soon everyone got familiar with his rare talent as he became the highest average player at the end of the series. Within no time he was offered to play for the Somerset Cricket Club and he signed two contracts with the club immediately. In his first match for Somerset, he was acknowledged with The Man of the Match designation for his tumultuous winning performance.
That was the first huge winning step of Richards’ cricket career. Sir Vivian Richards was married to Miriam and has two children with her, daughter Matara, who is 34 and lives in Canada and son Mali, who is two years younger. He also has a third daughter, Masaba, born in 1984 (with Indian actor
), who is a fashion designer. He didn’t last that long in his marriage about which he said that he was so indulged into his cricket career that he could not give enough time to his family and that was the cornerstone for the failure of his marriage. Sir Vivian Richards is also a godfather to Ian Botham’s son, Liam, and he has been a mentor to him over the past few years.
About a year after from playing cricket for a local team, Richards was all set to play his first Test cricket for the West Indies national team at the mere age of 22 against India on 22 November 1974 in Bangalore. In his second test match in New Delhi, he scored 192 runs which made him the apple of everyone’s eye. In 1975, with the help of smashing performance by Sir Richards, West Indies won the inaugural Cricket World Cup finals which are the most memorable feat of his career according to him. In 1979, the West Indies team again won the World Cup and Richards’ century in the finals at Lord's stadium had a great contribution in that triumph.
Another phase of Sir Richards’ career started in the year 1984 when he became the captain of West Indies Cricket Team. He captained his team from the year 1984 to 1991 and team played 50 test matches out of which they won 27 matches, 15 matches were drawn and lost eight matches. Sir Richards’s captaincy has a distinct place as he has been the only West Indies captain who never faced failure in a Test Series. He played his last Test Cricket match on 8 August 1991 that was against England. It is only because his firm will and outstanding performances that even today he is one of the legendary batsmen ever. After his astonishing cricket career, Sir Vivian Richards made several appearances on BBC’s Test Match Special (TMS).
He was also featured in ‘Fire in Babylon,’ a documentary movie, in 2010 in which he shared his experiences about his life and cricket career. In the year 2013, Sir Richards guided the Delhi Daredevils team as their mentor during Indian Premier League. Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards is indeed the nonpareil cricketer, concurrently he is also a great human being. According to him, the most important value is respect for all human beings without discrimination because when we bleed; we bleed the same coloured blood. He has undeniably carved his name in the cricket history with his charismatic prowess and principles that he had all along his life.