Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, better known as Viv Richards or simply Viv has scripted pages of cricketing history with impressive records with the bat and ball. The former West Indies all-rounder and captain was chosen by Wisden as the best ODI batsman of all time and third best Test batsman of all time.
Richards was born at St John's, Antigua on 7 March 1952. After making his Test debut at the age of 22 against India in Bangalore, Richards announced his entry into international cricket by making an unbeaten 192 in New Delhi in the second Test of the same series. The following year in the inaugural Cricket World Cup in England, West Indies sent a strong squad led by captain Clive Lloyd. They had an unbeaten run to the final where they met another strong contender in Australia. The final match was a close one but in the end it was Lloyd and Richards who took the World Cup to the Caribbean.
The final saw West Indies set a huge target of 291 with Lloyd making 102 from just 85 balls. But Australia seemed well on course to get the total until some brilliant fielding from the islanders halted the Aussie progress. Richards was the star of this rout, running out three key Aussie batsmen, which all but ended Australia's hope to win their first cup. Richards later described his performance in the tournament as the best of his career.
The 1979 World Cup saw West Indies lift the trophy for the second time in a row after beating England in the final. As in the previous edition, West Indies went unbeaten in the tournament but for one game against Sri Lanka that ended without a result. The final saw Richards come to the fore with the bat scoring an unbeaten 138 which helped his side set a daunting total of 286. Richard's heroics left the English side demoralised and crumble in front of the pacy West Indian attack. Not surprisingly, Richards was awarded the 'Man of the Match' honour.
Richards continued his devastating form in the 1983 edition of the World Cup to take his team to the finals before losing to underdogs India in a low scoring game. The 1987 World Cup proved to be a disaster for the Richard's led West Indian side as they failed to go past the first round. Richards therefore hung up his boots in 1991 to leave the sport as one of the greatest cricketer ever.
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