In cricket, a player's bowling average is the number of runs they have conceded per wicket taken. The lower the bowling average is, the better the bowler is performing, it is one of a number of statistics used to compare bowlers used alongside the economy rate and the strike rate to judge the overall performance of a bowler. When a bowler has taken only a small number of wickets, their bowling average can be artificially high or low, unstable, with further wickets taken or runs conceded resulting in large changes to their bowling average. Due to this, qualification restrictions are applied when determining which players have the best bowling averages. After applying these criteria, George Lohmann holds the record for the lowest average in Test cricket, having claimed 112 wickets at an average of 10.75 runs per wicket. A cricketer's bowling average is calculated by dividing the numbers of runs they have conceded by the number of wickets they have taken; the number of runs conceded by a bowler is determined as the total number of runs that the opposing side have scored while the bowler was bowling, excluding any byes, leg byes, or penalty runs.
The bowler receives credit for any wickets taken during their bowling that are either bowled, hit wicket, leg before wicket or stumped. B o w l i n g a v e r a g e = R u n s c o n c e d e d W i c k e t s t a k e n A number of flaws have been identified for the statistic, most notable among these the fact that a bowler who has taken no wickets can not have a bowling average, as dividing by zero does not give a result; the effect of this is that the bowling average can not distinguish between a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one run, a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one hundred runs. The bowling average does not tend to give a true reflection of the bowler's ability when the number of wickets they have taken is small in comparison to the number of runs they have conceded. In his paper proposing an alternative method of judging batsmen and bowlers, Paul van Staden gives an example of this: Suppose a bowler has bowled a total of 80 balls, conceded 60 runs and has taken only 2 wickets so that..
30. If the bowler takes a wicket with the next ball bowled 20. Due to this, when establishing records for bowling averages, qualification criteria are set. For Test cricket, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack sets this as 75 wickets, while ESPNcricinfo requires 2,000 deliveries. Similar restrictions are set for one-day cricket. A number of factors other than purely the ability level of the bowler have an effect on a player's bowling average. Most significant among these are the different eras; the bowling average tables in Test and first-class cricket are headed by players who competed in the nineteenth century, a period when pitches were uncovered and some were so badly looked after that they had rocks on them. The bowlers competing in the Howa Bowl, a competition played in South African during the apartheid-era, restricted to non-white players, during which time, according to Vincent Barnes: "Most of the wickets we played on were underprepared. For me, as a bowler, it was great." Other factors which provided an advantage to bowlers in that era was the lack of significant safety equipment.
Other variations are caused by frequent matches against stronger or weaker opposition, changes in the laws of cricket and the length of matches. Due to the varying qualifying restrictions placed on the records by different statisticians, the record for the lowest career bowling average can be different from publication to publication. In Test cricket, George Lohmann is listed as having the superior average by each of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive. Though all three use different restrictions, Lohmann's average of 10.75 is considered the best. If no qualification criteria were applied at all, three players—Wilf Barber, A. N. Hornby and Bruce Murray—would tie for the best average, all having claimed just one wicket in Test matches, without conceding any runs, thus averaging zero. ESPNcricinfo list Betty Wilson as having the best Women's Test cricket average with 11.80, while CricketArchive accept Mary Spear's average of 5.78. In One Day Internationals, the varying criteria set by ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive result in different players being listed as holding the record.
ESPNcricinfo has the stricter restriction, requiring 1,000 deliveries: by this measure, Joel Garner is the record-holder, having claimed his wickets at an average of 18.84. By CricketArchive's more relaxed requirement of 400 deliveries, John Snow leads the way, with an average of 16.57. In women's One Day International cricket, Caroline Barrs tops the CricketArchive list with an average of 9.52, but by ESPNcricinfo's stricter guidelines, the record is instead held by Gill Smith's 12.53. The record is again split for the two websites for Twenty20 International cricket. George O'Brien's average of 8.20 holds the record using those criteri
England cricket team
The England cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, having been governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end of 1996. England, as a founding nation, is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International status; until the 1990s, Scottish and Irish players played for England as those countries were not yet ICC members in their own right. England and Australia were the first teams to play a Test match, these two countries together with South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference on 15 June 1909. England and Australia played the first ODI on 5 January 1971. England's first T20I was played on 13 June 2005, once more against Australia; as of 12 March 2019, England has played 1010 Test matches, winning 365 and losing 300. The team has won The Ashes on 32 occasions. England has played 726 ODIs, winning 362, its record in major ODI tournaments includes finishing as runners-up in three Cricket World Cups, in two ICC Champions Trophys.
England has played 108 T20Is, winning 53. They won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010, were runners-up in 2016; as of 12 March 2019, England are ranked fifth in Tests, first in ODIs and third in T20Is by the ICC. Though the team and coaching staff faced heavy criticism after their Group Stage exit in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, it has since adopted a more aggressive and modern playing style in ODI cricket, under the leadership of captain Eoin Morgan and head coach Trevor Bayliss; the first recorded incidence of a team with a claim to represent England comes from 9 July 1739 when an "All-England" team, which consisted of 11 gentlemen from any part of England exclusive of Kent, played against "the Unconquerable County" of Kent and lost by a margin of "very few notches". Such matches were repeated on numerous occasions for the best part of a century. In 1846 William Clarke formed the All-England Eleven; this team competed against a United All-England Eleven with annual matches occurring between 1847 and 1856.
These matches were arguably the most important contest of the English season if judged by the quality of the players. The first overseas tour occurred in September 1859 with England touring North America; this team had six players from the All-England Eleven, six from the United All-England Eleven and was captained by George Parr. With the outbreak of the American Civil War, attention turned elsewhere. English tourists visited Australia in 1861–62 with this first tour organised as a commercial venture by Messrs Spiers and Pond, restaurateurs of Melbourne. Most matches played during tours prior to 1877 were "against odds", with the opposing team fielding more than 11 players to make for a more contest; this first Australian tour were against odds of at least 18/11. The tour was so successful that George Parr led a second tour in 1863–64. James Lillywhite led a subsequent England team which sailed on the P&O steamship Poonah on 21 September 1876, they played a combined Australian XI, for once on terms of 11 a side.
The match, starting on 15 March 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground came to be regarded as the inaugural Test match. The combined Australian XI won this Test match by 45 runs with Charles Bannerman of Australia scoring the first Test century. At the time, the match was promoted as James Lillywhite's XI v Combined Victoria and New South Wales; the teams played a return match on the same ground at Easter, 1877, when Lillywhite's team avenged their loss with a victory by four wickets. The first Test match on English soil occurred in 1880 with England victorious. G. Grace included in the team. England lost their first home series 1–0 in 1882 with The Sporting Times printing an obituary on English cricket: In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R. I. P. N. B. – The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. As a result of this loss the tour of 1882–83 was dubbed by England captain Ivo Bligh as "the quest to regain the ashes".
England with a mixture of amateurs and professionals won the series 2–1. Bligh was presented with an urn that contained some ashes, which have variously been said to be of a bail, ball or a woman's veil and so The Ashes was born. A fourth match was played which Australia won by 4 wickets but the match was not considered part of the Ashes series. England dominated many of these early contests with England winning the Ashes series 10 times between 1884 and 1898. During this period England played their first Test match against South Africa in 1889 at Port Elizabeth. England won the 1890 Ashes Series 2–0, with the third match of the series being the first Test match to be abandoned. England lost 2 -- 1 in the 1891 -- 92 series. England again won the 1894 -- 95 series. In 1895 -- 96 England played Test South Africa; the 1899 Ashes series was the first tour where the MCC and the counties appointed a selection committee. There were three active players: Lord Hawke, W. G. Grace and Herbert Bainbridge, the captain of Warwickshire.
Prior to this, England teams for home Tests had been chosen by the club on whose ground the match was to be played. England lost the 1899 Ashes series 1–0, with WG Grace making his final Test appearance in the first match of the series; the start of the
A delivery or ball in cricket is a single action of bowling a cricket ball toward the batsman. During play of the game, a member of the fielding team is designated as the bowler, bowls deliveries toward the batsman. Six legal balls in a row constitutes an over, after which a different member of the fielding side takes over the role of bowler for the next over; the bowler delivers the ball from his or her end of the pitch toward the batsman standing at the opposite wicket at the other end of the pitch. Bowlers can be either right-handed; this approach to their delivery, in addition to their decision of bowling around the wicket or over the wicket, is knowledge of which the umpire and the batsman are to be made aware. Deliveries can be made by spin bowlers. Fast bowlers tend to make the ball either move off the pitch or move through the air, while spinners make the ball "turn" either toward a right-handed batsman or away from him; the ball can bounce at different distances from the batsman, this is called the length of the delivery.
It can range from a bouncer to a yorker. There are many different types of delivery; these deliveries vary by: technique, the hand the bowler bowls with, use of the fingers, use of the seam, how the ball is positioned in the hand, where the ball is pitched on the wicket, the speed of the ball, the tactical intent of the bowler. Leg spin deliveries and mirror equivalents for left arm unorthodox spin: Leg break Googly Topspinner Flipper Slider Flicker ball Off spin deliveries and mirror equivalents for left arm orthodox spin: Off break Doosra Arm ball Topspinner Carrom ball Teesra Fast bowling deliveries: Bouncer Inswinger Reverse swing Leg cutter Off cutter Outswinger Yorker Beamer Knuckleball Slower ball The variations in different types of delivery, as well as variations caused by directing the ball with differing line and length, are key weapons in a bowler's arsenal. Throughout an over, the bowler will choose a sequence of deliveries designed to attack the batsman's concentration and technique, in an effort to get him out.
The bowler varies the amount of loop and pace imparted to various deliveries to try to cause the batsman to misjudge and make a mistake. As the crease has a width, the bowler can change the angle from which he delivers to the batsman in an attempt to induce a misjudgement; the bowler decides what type of delivery to bowl next, without consultation or informing any other member of his team. Sometimes, the team captain will offer advice or issue a direct order regarding what deliveries to bowl, based on his observations of the batsman and the strategic state of the game. Another player who offers advice to the bowler is the wicket-keeper, since he has a unique view of the batsman and may be able to spot weaknesses of technique. Another piece of information important for the bowlers to consider prior to their deliveries is the state of pitch; the pitch is a natural ground and its state is subjected to variation over the course of the cricket, some of which are multi-day events such as test matches.
Spinners find an old pitch, one, used, more suitable to their deliveries rather than a fresh pitch, one that hasn't come under use as much such as a pitch at the start of the match. While a bowler, with the use of variations in his/her delivery aims to target the concentration of batsmen as well as their skill and technique of batting, anticipation of the delivery is crucial for the batsman, as emphasised by Jodi Richardson. Richardson reveals the world class batsman's dilemma while facing fast bowlers, stating that the time between the batsmen's anticipation of the trajectory of the ball and positioning themselves for the appropriate shot can be twice as long as the interval between the ball leaving the bowler's hand and reaching the batsman's crease. Side by side, Richardson alludes to the research undertaken by Dr. Sean Müller in Australia, funded by Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence; the results of the research demonstrated the importance of anticipation of the delivery for batsmen in cricket.
They revealed that experienced batsmen possessed a unique ability which enabled them to adjust their feet as well as their positioning on the crease accordingly based upon their reading of the body language and movements enacted by the bowler prior to the release of the ball. This foresight that batsmen use while on the crease is referred to as'advance information' by Richardson. Moreover, Müller's research outlined that the presence of this'advance information' was not as evident among the lesser skilled batsmen in comparison to the experienced ones. Underarm or lob bowling was the original cricket delivery style,but had died out before the 20th century, although it was used until 1910 by George Simpson-Hayward, remained a legal delivery type. On 1 February 1981, when Australia was playing New Zealand in a One Day International cricket match, New Zealand needed six runs to tie the match from the final ball. Greg Chappell, the Australian captain, ordered the bowler to bowl underarm, rolling the ball along the ground to prevent the Number 10 New Zealand batsman any chance of hitting a six from the last ball to tie the match.
After the game, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rob Muldoon, described it as "the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket." At the time, underarm deliveries were legal, but as a direct result of the incident, underarm bowling was banned in limi
Barbados Cricket Buckle
The Barbados Cricket Buckle is a repoussé engraving on a belt buckle of a slave playing cricket in Barbados circa 1780–1810. It is believed to be the only known image of a slave playing cricket and the oldest known image depicting cricket outside the British Isles."That the belt buckle depicts the slave, unmistakably in bondage, with bat in hand, suggests that the creator must have detected in their cricketing endeavours the germ of the quest for self-expression, if not liberation." Professor Clem Seecharan, Muscular Education. The Buckle was found in a gravel spit in the River Tweed in 1979 and depicts a “well-muscled mulatto the offspring of a white overseer and a black slave mother” at the wicket being bowled out, he has a navy slave chain collar around his neck. To his left a wattle and daub slave hut can be seen and to the right a cane crushing windmill by a Roystonea oleracea cabbage palm tree; the engraving is believed to be portraiture. Metallurgical analysis of the Buckle by Oxford University placed its manufacture in the "early Victorian period or before".
The earliest dated reference to cricket in Barbados is 1806 however cricket had been played in “all the West Indian islands from a quite early time”. Freed slaves played cricket from the mid-18th century and there are reports of plantation owners encouraging slaves to play cricket. Barbados suffered a huge hurricane in October 1780 which obliterated most palms and slave huts; the Buckle engraving predates that event. However the three stumps indicate a date after 1777. Analysis by Oxford University revealed the Buckle to be made of “navy brass” British troops were, for the most part responsible for exporting cricket out of the UK and around the Empire. According to Bowen: “ Recreation had to be found for troops and sailors. Early references to cricket matches in the press in Barbados were specific to the British military who “played at cricket as a principle stress relieving activity – one that allowed them to ‘play being at home’ whilst being away from home.”The location of the Buckle in the River Tweed suggested that it may have been owned and commissioned by a member of the Hotham family whose estate was upstream.
Notably William Hotham, the first baron, stationed in Barbados 1779–1780. The Hothams were noted cricketers known as “the lucky hits of Westminster”. In 1838 James Kelly noted the significance of “mutual confidence and familiarity” between sailors and slaves. So much so that “In the presence of the sailor the Negro feels a man.” There has been much debate about the origins of cricket in the West Indies and the role that cricket has played in subjugation and emancipation. In his book 40 Million Dollar Slaves, William C. Rhoden recognised that: “In play the slave could become master. Athletic competition or a mere athletic feat... cutting cane....was a free space where bodies bound and scarred by chains could soar.” Although focused on US slaves, Rhoden's comments are apposite for the experience of slaves in all nations. In the first chapter of his book "Muscular Learning", Professor Clem Seecharan reflects at some length on the importance of the Barbados Cricket Buckle recognising that its depiction on a Barbados postage stamp on the 60th anniversary of West Indies cricket was appropriate given cricket's role as a “political instrument” from slavery through emancipation to independence.
Although references to slavery and cricket are rare they do exist. In reference to a diary entry by Jamaican slave owner Thistlewood that cricket was played in June 1778, Professor R Burton was prompted to wonder if the slaves tasked to retrieve the ball when it went beyond the boundary were becoming drawn into the game; this was echoed by Seecharan who notes that in Barbados, cricket was played in clearings in cane fields and slaves were tasked with retrieving the ball and throwing it back into play and points out that “there are accounts of planters too encouraging slaves to play cricket.” This encounter of slaves with cricket is supported by former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in his extensive History of West Indies Cricket, writing that: “the young sons of the slaves were required to bowl at the young sons of the slave owners or to the army officers” adding “of course the sons of the slaves practised batting in their spare time.” The engraving on the Barbados Buckle depicts the point when slaves moved not within the boundary but to the batting crease itself.
The point when they became, as C. L. R. James put it in Beyond a Boundary, “that genus Britannicus, a fine batsman.” Although the Buckle batsman is depicted as being clean bowled Seecharan highlights the Buckle slave's role as batsman. The Buckle has been featured on coins and cricket trophies; the Central Bank of Barbados authorised the Royal Mint to strike a limited number of proof coins to mark the discovery of the Barbadian Buckle. The coins were minted at the Royal Mint in London; the reverse of the coin bears a representation of the Barbados Cricket Buckle. A surrounding inscription reads “International Cricket Buckle”; the obverse features the Barbados’ Coat of Arms. The central element of this official emblem is a shield supported by a pelican. Two Pride of Barbados flowers and one of the island's Bearded Fig Trees are depicted on the shield. Above the shield is a crest consisting of a raised forearm holding crossed sugar cane stalks above a helm
Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The island lies 11 km off the northeastern coast of Venezuela and sits on the continental shelf of South America. Though geographically part of the South American continent, from a socio-economic standpoint it is referred to as the southernmost island in the Caribbean. With an area of 4,768 km2, it is the fifth largest in the West Indies; the original name for the island in the Arawaks' language was Iëre which meant "Land of the Hummingbird". Christopher Columbus renamed it "La Isla de la Trinidad", fulfilling a vow he had made before setting out on his third voyage; this has since been shortened to Trinidad. Caribs and Arawaks lived in Trinidad long before Christopher Columbus encountered the islands on his third voyage on 31 July 1498; the island remained Spanish until 1797, but it was settled by French colonists from the French Caribbean Martinique. In 1889 the two islands became a single British Crown colony.
Trinidad and Tobago obtained self-governance in 1958 and independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Major landforms include the hills of the Northern and Southern Ranges, the Caroni and Oropouche Swamps, the Caroni and Naparima Plains. Major river systems include the Caroni and South Oropouche and Ortoire Rivers. There are many other natural landforms such as waterfalls. Trinidad has two seasons per calendar year: the dry season. El Cerro del Aripo, at 940 metres, is the highest point in Trinidad, it is part of the Aripo Massif and is located in the Northern Range on the island, northeast of the town of Arima. The demographics of Trinidad and Tobago reflect the diversity of this southern-most country in the West Indies, it is sometimes known as a "rainbow island" or more fondly "a callaloo". There is a wide range of ethnicity and culture; the variety of denominations has followed this pattern for decades: Protestant 32.1%, Roman Catholic 21.6%, Hindu 18.2%, Muslim 5%, Jehovah's Witness 1.5%, other 8.4%, none 2.2%, unspecified 11.1%.
Religion in Trinidad and Tobago consists of a diverse array of denominations including Roman Catholic, other Christian denominations and Muslim faiths. There are a minority of people who are followers of Traditional African religions, Afro-American religions, Amerindian religions, Sikhism, Chinese folk religion and Bahá'í. Catholicism constitutes the largest religious denomination of the country; as of the 2011 Trinidad and Tobago Census, the population was 35.43% East Indian, 34.22% African, 7.66% Mixed – African and East Indian, 15.16% Mixed – Other. Venezuela has had a great impact on Trinidad's culture, such as introducing the music style parang to the island. Many groups overlap. For example, a "Dougla" is a person of African and East Indian descent who may identify as being part of either group. There are multiple festivals featuring the music of the Caribbean and the steelpan, which originated in Trinidad and is the country's national instrument; these festivals include the world-renowned Carnival, J'ouvert, Panorama, the national steel pan competition.
Trinidad has many public holidays, such as Indian Arrival Day, Emancipation Day, Independence Day, Republic Day, Labour Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Phagwah, Eid al-Fitr, Corpus Christi, Good Friday, Easter Monday and Spiritual Baptist/Shouter Liberation Day. There are places that can be visited that hold cultural significance, such as Mount Saint Benedict and the Temple in the Sea. Further information: Natural history of Trinidad and Tobago The island of Trinidad has a rich biodiversity; the fauna is overwhelmingly of South American origin. There are about 100 species of mammals including the Guyanan red howler monkey, the collared peccary, the red brocket deer, the ocelot and about 70 species of bats. There are over 400 species of birds including the endemic Trinidad piping-guan. Reptiles are well represented, with about 92 recorded species including the largest species of snake in the world, the green anaconda, the spectacled caiman, one of the largest lizards in the Americas, the green iguana.
The largest of turtles nests on Trinidad's northern beaches. There are 37 recorded frog species, including the tiny El Tucuche golden tree frog, the more widespread huge cane toad. About 43 species of freshwater fishes are known including the well known guppy, it is estimated that there are at least 80,000 arthropods, at least 600 species of butterflies. The economy of Trinidad and Tobago is diversified, based to a large extent on oil, natural gas and agriculture, it is one of the leading gas-based export centres in the world, being the leading exporter of ammonia and methanol and among the top five exporters of liquefied natural gas. This has allowed Trinidad to capitalise on the biggest mineral reserves within its territories, it is an oil-rich country and stable economically. The Venezuela Tertiary Basin is a subsidence basin formed between the Caribbean and South American plates, is bounded on the north by the coast ranges of Venezuela and the Northern Range of Trinidad, bounded on the south by the Guayana Shield.
This Guayana shield supplied fine-grained clastic sediments, which with the subsidence, formed a regional negative gravity anomaly and growth faults. Oil and g
George Copeland Grant was a West Indian cricketer who captained the side through several series. He was the first player in the history of test cricket to score two unbeaten fifties in the same test match. Grant went on to be a teacher at a mission school called Adams College near Durban; this school was forcibly closed as part of Apartheid punitive education laws and Grant recorded the school's defeat in his book The Liquidation of Adams College. Adams College was recreated and it is extant. Grant was born in Port of Spain and Tobago, he was educated at Queen's Royal College in his home city before he gained a place at Christ's College, Cambridge. Grant played first class cricket for the university. In 1930 he was offered the post of captain of the West Indies national cricket team; this was an unusual appointment. More recent analysis indicates that Grant was chosen not because of his cricket ability, competent and unexceptional but because of his race. At the time it was considered essential that the team be led by a white man despite the fact that the best members of that team were black.
Selection bodies considered that if a leader was required a white man was required. The Trinidad and Tobago team included George Headley and the fast bowlers Herman Griffith and Manny Martindale; this was the real strength of the team. Grant captained the West Indies' team in the 1933, 1934-35 series. West Indies won three out of 12 Tests under his captaincy. At the same time as his cricket career Grant played soccer for the Trinidad and Tobago national team, his younger brother Rolph Grant took over the captaincy of the West Indies' side. "Jackie" had two other brothers. Rolph was not always picked for his university team and was not a first class cricketer, but he was a gifted sportsman being a national amateur footballer and being heavyweight boxing champion for his country. Pundits put Rolph's selection down to his race. George Copeland Grant was on the teaching staff of Adams College in South Africa where cricket had been introduced to the school in the 1930s. Copeland Grant raised the status of the game around Durban and made Adams the centre of this new sport.
Between 1933 and 1945 the school became one of the most important schools for black education. There was a poor patch until a new white head, Jack Grant, arrived from Trinidad in 1948, he did well, but Adams College faced major opposition from the government as the Bantu Education Act came into force. The government wanted black students to be prepared for menial jobs under white bosses and this was the opposite of what Adams was trying to achieve; the minister allowed the nearby Inanda Seminary School, for girls, to operate outside the act, but in 1956, it got to an ultimatum and the staff refused to stop teaching academic and aspirational education. The school held a service to mark the end of its operation. Grant took a leading role in this service when he paraphrased Hugh Latimer to say: "Be of good cheer, Adams College, we have these years lit a flame in South Africa as I trust will never be put out"; the school was sold to the government and the head left South Africa. The important item was the school was not able to be called "Adams".
This shocking end of a leading school was documented by George C. Grant in his book The Liquidation of Adams College. G. C. Grant died in Cambridge, England, at the age of 71. Jackie Grant at ESPNcricinfo
Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, KNH, OBE, known as Viv Richards, is an Antiguan former cricketer, who represented the West Indies at test and international levels. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Richards was voted one of the five Cricketers of the Century by a 100-member panel of experts in 2000, along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Shane Warne, he is the mentor of T20 team Quetta Gladiators in Pakistan Super League. In one-day cricket, Richards was judged by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack to have played the best One Day International innings of all time. In December 2002, he was chosen by Wisden as the greatest ODI batsman of all time, as well as the third greatest Test batsman of all time, after Sir Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar, his consistent batting ability is regarded. Overall, Richards scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23, including 24 centuries. As a captain, he won 27 of 50 Test matches and lost only 8.
He scored nearly 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals and more than 36,000 in first-class cricket. Knighted for his contributions to cricket, today Richards is an occasional cricket commentator and team mentor. Richards was born to Malcolm and Gretel Richards in St. John's, Antigua part of the British Leeward Islands, he attended St. John's Boys Primary School and Antigua Grammar Secondary School on a scholarship. Richards discovered cricket at a young age, his brothers and Donald, both played the game, representing Antigua as amateurs, they encouraged him to play. The young Viv practised with his father and Pat Evanson, a neighbour and family friend, who had captained the Antigua side. Richards left school aged 18, worked at D'Arcy's Bar and Restaurant in St. John's, he joined St. John's Cricket Club and the owner of the restaurant where he worked, D'Arcy Williams, provided him with new whites, pads and a bat. After a few seasons with St. John's C. C. he joined Rising Sun Cricket Club. Richards made his first-class debut in January 1972 when he was 19.
He took part in a non-competition match, representing the Leeward Islands against the Windwards: Richards made 20 and 26. His competitive debut followed a few days later. Playing in the domestic West Indian Shell Shield for the Combined Leeward and Windward Islands in Kingston, Jamaica versus Jamaica, he scored 15 and 32, top-scoring in the second innings in a heavy defeat for his side. By the time Richards was 22, he had played matches in the Antigua, Leeward Islands and Combined Islands tournaments. In 1973, his abilities were noticed by Len Creed, Vice Chairman at Somerset, in Antigua at the time as part of a West Country touring side. Richards relocated to the United Kingdom, where Creed arranged for him to play league cricket for Lansdown C. C. in Bath. He made his Lansdown debut, as part of the second XI, at Weston-super-Mare on 26 April 1973. Richards was employed by the club as assistant groundsman to head groundsman, John Heyward, to allow him some financial independence until his career was established.
After his debut he was promoted to the first team where he was introduced to the Lansdown all-rounder "Shandy" Perera from Ceylon. Richards cites Perera as a major influence on his cricket development with regards to post-game analysis, he finished his first season at Lansdown top of the batting averages and shortly afterwards was offered a two-year contract with county side Somerset. Richards moved to Taunton in 1974 in preparation for his professional debut with Somerset CCC where he was assigned living accommodation by the club. On 27 April 1974 Richards made his Benson & Hedges Cup debut for Somerset against Glamorgan in Swansea. Richards was awarded Man of the Match. Richards made his Test match debut for the West Indian cricket team in 1974 against India in Bangalore, he made an unbeaten 192 in the second Test of the same series in New Delhi. The West Indies saw him as a strong opener and he kept his profile up in the early years of his promising career. In 1975 Richards helped the West Indies to win the inaugural Cricket World Cup final, a feat he described as the most memorable of his career.
He starred in the field, running out Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell. The West Indies were again able to win the following World Cup in 1979, thanks to a Richards century in the final at Lord's, Richards believes that on both occasions, despite internal island divisions, the Caribbean came together, he was until 2005 the only man to score a century and take 5 wickets in the same one-day international, against New Zealand at Dunedin in 1986–87. He rescued his side from a perilous position at Old Trafford in 1984 and, in partnership with Michael Holding, smashed 189 to win the game off his own bat. 1976 was Richards' finest year: he scored 1710 runs, at an astonishing average of 90.00, with seven centuries in 11 Tests. This achievement is all the more remarkable considering he missed the second Test at Lord's after contracting glandular fever; this tally stood as the world record for most Test runs by a batsman in a single calendar year for 30 years until broken by Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan on 30 November 2006.
Richards had a long and successful career in the County Championship in England, playing for many years for Somerset. In 1983, the team won t