Thursday, 21 January 2010

Ssssh - it's you know who

It was common knowledge throughout the cricketing world that sledging Vivian Richards was on the whole counter-productive. Younger county pros coming up against the great man for the first time were instructed, in no uncertain terms, to button it when he arrived at the crease.

Unfortunately, skippers could do nothing about the crowd winding him up, as a terrific interview in the new Wisden Cricketer reveals:

Did anyone dislike your famous leisurely walk to the crease?
VR: 'There were crowds who wanted to test me, especially in a hostile environment like Yorkshire. 'Hurry up' they'd say. That's why, when you look at the records and you see Vivian Richards' record against Yorkshire, I think I could be high up where averages and runs are concerned. Sometimes you get crowds who give you that opportunity to hate everyone. My beef was with them. And the guys who were representing them on the field were going to suffer. That was a simple, plain fact.'

It didn't help England much either:
'You had guys who didn't believe in the black man. If you feel you are superior to me, you should be knocking me over every goddamn time. There were a few assholes out there. All these factors were motivation for how my innings would go'.

And we all know how most of his innings went. That's why he's the King, my friends...


Mark said...

Talking of sledging Viv Richards, I was trying to work out how many cricket dinners or benefit events I've attended where the guest speaker has trotted out the 'it's red and round' story in honour of the Master-Blaster.

A dozen, I'd guess - all 'naming' a different bowler!

The Old Batsman said...

Ture - that and the Lenny Pascoe one.

Tom Redfern said...

what's the lenny pascoe one?
Richards in one word: awe

The Old Batsman said...

There are a few variations, but it's along the lines of Pascoe telling Viv he'd 'smell the leather' and Viv retorting that he'd go through Len 'like a knife through butter'. Pascoe bounced him three balls in a row and the umpire told him that was enough for the over. Viv heard and called down the wicket 'no! don't stop him...' Len carried on and Viv pinged him into the stands several times, each time muttering 'butter, Lenny, butter...'

Rob said...

I wish I could have seen the World Series Cricket matches. Lille and Thomo at their best against the King would have been something to watch.

price per head services said...

of course it was common knowledge that throughout the cricketing world that sledging Vivian Richards was on the whole counter-productive, even my little brothers and sisters knew about it