|Full Name||Sir Richard Benjamin Richardson|
|Date of Birth||January 12, 1962|
|Role||Batsman / Elite Panel of ICC Referees|
Richie Richardson is a former West Indies cricketer and captain. He was born on 12th January 1962 at Five Islands Village at Antigua and Barbuda.
He was an explosive right-handed batsman, and also a capable right-arm medium pace bowler. He was widely recognised by his wide-brimmed maroon sun hat that he wore instead of a helmet while batting.
A destructive batsman, he was particularly impressive at hard pitches where he could throw the bat through the line with abandon, carving the ball square. He also loved to hook short-pitched balls, something which batsmen are often told not to do, but Richardson managed to make the most of it as the ball more often than not, crossed the fence.
He played for the Ottos Comprehensive School, where his role was to play as a number four defensive batsman. His talent was spotted by a coach named Guy Yearwood, who became an integral part of Richardson’s early development.
He further tightened his defence while adding stroke play to his batting. Soon his transformation into an attacking became more and more evident as he started crossing the fences on a regular basis.
He started his career as an opening batsman for the Leeward Islands team in 1982. He made an instant impact as he racked up a number of impressive performances.
After a stand-out performance in domestic cricket, he caught the eye of the national selectors. He was selected as a backup opener to Greenidge and Haynes. He had a disappointing debut as he failed to rack up the runs, on 24th November 1983 against India at Mumbai.
To add up to it, his luggage was stolen and had to travel the entire tour with very few clothes as the management did nothing about it.
His ODI debut was comparatively a lot better as he helped West Indies win the match against India on 17th December 1983 with a solid 46 off 57 balls.
He took his time to settle into the Windies squad as he hit an unbeaten 131 against Australia in his fourth Test. He followed it up with a 154 on his home ground of St. John’s.
Rise to Glory
Richardson came into the spotlight in India’s tour of West Indies in 1988-1989. He scored an impressive 194 at Georgetown in the first Test, a gritty innings of 99 at Port-of-Spain, where he played with a fractured finger and a very bad pitch. He also added a 156 at Kingston in the final Test.
Amazing performances in the England tour of 1991, saw him further appointed captain of the squad.
He took over the reins from the charismatic Sir Viv Richards, under whom the West Indians had never lost a series. Moreover, the curious pun in their names and both hailing from Antigua didn’t ease the burden at all.
As a captain, Richardson had a completely different approach from Sir Viv Richards who was volatile and explosive in word and deed, while Richardson was a calm, composed, genteel captain.
He did not have the best of starts as captain as the World Cup campaign in Australia in 1992 was very ordinary. However, in his captaincy West Indies boasted the bowling attack of Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, while Brian Lara emerged as world-class batsman.
In his four years of captaincy, he only lost one series; that against Australia in 1995.
Richardson retired after the 1996 World Cup campaign, where they progressed to the semi-final but lost to Australia.
Since retirement, Richardson has had a plethora of options as he played bass guitar in the reggae band Big Bad Dread and The Bald Head, alongside Curtly Ambrose.
In January 2011, Richardson was appointed the manager of the West Indies team and was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation by the Antiguan Government in 2014.
He was appointed to the Elite Panel of Match Referees by the ICC in 2015.