Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards turned 70th on Monday, March 7th, and wishes have been pouring in large numbers on social media for the iconic cricketer.
Viv Richards was born on March 7 1952 in Antigua, and went on to become the most devastating, fear-inducing batsman of his time. Period. Dominating on the big front foot, Richards also had a stylish flick on the leg side.
The lanky right-hander scored 8540 runs in 121 Tests at an average of 50, and 6721 ODI runs in 187 ODIs at 47. He slammed a total of 35 international centuries and 90 half-centuries. Staggeringly, overall in 507 first-class games, he notched up 114 hundreds! A part-time off-spinner, Richards added 150 international wickets to his record.
With Viv Richards, it was his swagger that always stood out, something people to date talk about while reminiscing his batting. The intimidating strut towards the middle, arms moving slowly, and chewing the gum summed up his style.
Among all the wishes on Viv Richards’ 70th birthday, one also came from Joy Bhattacharjya, a renowned figure who is a quizzer, writer and sports producer. Joy is the former Team Director of the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Joy recalled an interesting story told to him by a couple of others about when Viv Richards toured India in 1974. On his Facebook post, Joy Bhattacharjya wrote this story that highlighted Viv Richards’ much-talked-about swagger and confidence.
When a painfully shy Viv Richards was thrust before the media at the Cuttack stadium
“It was 1974, and a young West Indian team under Clive Lloyd was touring India. No Sobers or Kanhai, but a trio of talented young kids – Andy Roberts, Gordon Greenidge and Vivian Richards. One of their tour matches was against East Zone, and after East Zone were shot for 145, the West Indies went in and scored 347 for 7. Their top scorer was Viv Richards who got 77 before being deceived by Doshi,” Joy wrote.
“Now, in the East Zone team was a promising opening bowler, who was spoken of very highly and regarded as an India prospect in the Calcutta Maidan. He had also got a couple of wickets in the innings. When a painfully shy Viv Richards was thrust before the media at the Cuttack stadium, after a few questions about his innings and his stay in India, one of the reporters asked him about the new Bengal fast bowler. Viv, nervous as he was, thought for a bit and then blurted out that his flight was very good.
“Flight, for a fast bowler! Two years later, that poor man was fighting for his place in first division cricket, and in a few years was regarded as one of the better rubber ball ‘para’ cricketers in South Calcutta.