Viv Richards Biography

(Antiguan Retired Cricketer Regarded as One of the Greatest Batsmen of All Time)

Birthday: March 7, 1952 (Pisces)

Born In: St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda St. John's, British Leeward Islands

Viv Richards is an Antiguan retired cricketer who played for the West Indies national team. In his international playing career, he played 121 Test matches scoring 8,540 runs and 187 ODIs scoring 6,721 runs. As part of the team, he played a crucial role in West Indies winning the World cup in both 1975 and 1979. He also successfully captained the team between 1984 and 1991 and has the distinction of being the only West Indian captain who never lost a test series. A destructive batsman, he destroyed the opposition’s bowling attack completely and played fearlessly without a helmet throughout his career. Some of the records that he set during his playing career stand even today. Viv Richards is considered one of the greatest batsmen of all time and has received numerous honours including being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire and Knight of the Order of the National Hero. He was also inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Post retirement, he sometimes works as a cricket commentator and is also the team mentor of Pakistan Super League’s team Quetta Gladiators.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards

Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Miriam Richards

father: Malcolm

mother: Gretel Richards

siblings: David Richards, Donald, Mervyn

children: Mali Richards, Masaba Gupta, Matara Richards

Born Country: Antigua And Barbuda

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Childhood & Early Life

Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards was born on 7th March 1952 in St. John's, Antigua. His family included his parents Malcolm and Gretel Richards and three brothers Donald, Mervyn and David Richards (no brother named David)1. His father was a leading fast bowler of Antigua while two of his brothers too played cricket and represented Antigua as amateurs.

For his education, he went to St. John's Boys Primary School and later attended Antigua Grammar Secondary School on a scholarship. Thereafter, he left school and joined St. John's Cricket Club. Earlier, he practised cricket with his father and Pat Evanson who had formerly captained the Antiguan team.

While playing at St. John’s CC, Viv Richards worked at D'Arcy's Bar and Restaurant to support himself financially. The owner backed his cricket aspirations and gifted him cricket gears and other accessories when he joined the club.

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After St. John's CC, Viv Richards joined the Rising Sun Cricket Club and played three seasons with it.

In 1972, he made his first-class competitive cricket debut playing for the Combined Leeward and Windward Islands against Jamaica.

His performance at the club and the Antiguan Cricket team attracted the attention of Len Creed, Vice Chairman at Somerset C.C., one of the best county teams in England. In 1973, Richards shifted to the United Kingdoms and Creed helped him get a contract with Lansdown C.C. During his time there, he also served as an assistant groundsman to meet his expenses.

Viv Richards made his Lansdown debut as part of the second XI and was soon elevated to the first team. As the first season concluded, Richards emerged as the topper in the batting average list.

His impressive game brought him a two-year contract with county side Somerset. He ended up playing for the side from 1974 to 1986. In his debut match for Somerset against Glamorgan, he gave a match winning performance and was awarded Man of the Match.

Viv Richards made his Test match debut for the West Indian national cricket team in 1974 playing against India in Bangalore; however, he gave a disappointing first performance. The second test match of the series in New Delhi was where he emerged as a strong player and scored an unbeaten 192. West Indies won the match by an innings and 17 runs.

His ODI debut was against Sri Lanka in the 1975 inaugural Cricket World Cup tournament. In the final, he played a crucial role in West Indies win over Australia by pulling off three superb run outs.

1976 turned out to be one of the best years for him as he ended up scoring 1710 runs in 11 test matches with an average of 90. This included seven centuries and his career-best 291 runs against England.

His score of 1710 stood as a the world record for most Test runs by a batsman in a single year for three decades until it was finally broken by Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf who scored 1,788 runs in 2006.

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In 1979, West Indies once again lifted the World Cup and Viv Richards yet again played a key role in it. This time, playing against England, he scored 138 from 157 balls which included 11 fours and 3 sixes. He won the Man of the Match title for his performance.

In 1984, Viv Richards was named the captain of the West Indies cricket team. In this role, he continued to lead his team till 1991. During this time, he captained his team in 50 test matches and won 27 of them. Till date, he remains the only West Indian captain who never lost a test series.

All these years, Viv Richards continued to play county cricket for Somerset. In 1983, the team claimed the Natwest Trophy defeating Kent County. However he was not able to devote much time to it due to his international games. In 1986, therefore, his contract was not renewed for the following season.

Thereafter, he played one season for Rishton CC in Lancashire League and later joined Glamorgan County CC in 1990. In 1993, he helped the latter win the AXA Sunday League.

He played his last international ODI and Test match against England in May and August 1991 respectively. His career statistic includes playing 121 test matches with 8,540 runs (24 centuries/45 half-centuries) and 187 ODIs with 6,721 runs (11 centuries/45 half-centuries). As a bowler, he claimed 32 wickets in test matches and 118 in ODIs.

During his career, he set many records, some of which still stand today. His 106 run partnership with Michael Holding(1984, vs England) is the highest ever 10th wicket partnership in ODI history. His individual score of 189 not out (1984, vs England) is the highest individual ODI score when batting at number 4 position.

His other records that were later equalled/surpassed include scoring fastest 1,000 ODI runs (in 21 innings) and fastest century in Test history (in 56 balls).

He also became the first player to score a fifty (also a century) and to take a five-wicket haul in the same ODI.

Post retirement from cricket, he became a commentator on BBC's Test Match Special.

He published two autobiographies – Hitting Across the Line (1991) and Sir Vivian: The Definitive Autobiography (2000, with Bob Harris).

In 2013, he became the mentor of IPL team Delhi Daredevils. Since 2016, he is the mentor and batting coach of PSL team Quetta Gladiators.

Awards & Achievements

In 1994, Viv Richards was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to cricket.

In 2000, Wisden included him in its list of five Cricketers of the Century and in 2002 named him the greatest ODI batsman and the third greatest Test batsman of all time.

In 2006, he was appointed the Knight of the Order of the National Hero (KNH) by Antigua and Barbuda.

In 2007, a stadium in Antigua was named after him. In 2010 (2009)1, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Family & Personal Life

Viv Richards is married to Miriam and the two have a son Mali and a daughter Matara.

For a short period of time, he was also in relationship with Indian actress Neena Gupta and has a daughter Masaba with her.

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