He was a flamboyant batsman and superb player of fast bowling. He was famous for his wide-brimmed maroon hat which he wore in preference to a helmet against even the fastest bowlers. Richardson captained the West Indies in 24 Tests between 1991 when he took over from Viv Richards and 1995, winning 11, losing 6, and the rest ending in draws.
After his second season he was called up by the West Indies to tour India in the 1983-84 season. Richardson joined a successful West Indies Test team captained by Clive Lloyd batting in the middle order. His first tour started inauspiciously when Richardson lost his luggage and was left with few clothes. Veteran fast bowler Andy Roberts felt that Richardson was not getting enough practice as in the nets even bowlers were given a chance to bat ahead of him and by the time Richardson had an opportunity the main bowlers had finished. Roberts went out of his way to bowl at Richardson during the tour to make sure he had some preparation.
On 24 November 1983, Richardson debuted in the fourth match of the six-Test series, at which point the West Indies had a 2-0 lead, replacing Gus Logie who had bagged a pair in the previous Test. In his first innings Richardson too failed to score a run when was the victim of a poor umpiring decision. He was given out leg before wicket off the bowling of off-spinner Shivlal Yadav though he had hit the ball. He was more successful in the second innings, making 26 before he was bowled, and the match ended in a draw.
1985 World Cup
Australia hosted the World Championship of Cricket in February and March 1985 to commemorate the founding of Victoria. During the group stages the West Indies faced Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on a pitch with uneven bounce. Though the West Indies won the match, a delivery from Ashantha de Mel reared and hit Richardson in the face; with Larry Gomes, he was one of two West Indian batsmen to retire hurt during the game.
Late in 1991, West Indies captain Viv Richards informed the West Indies Cricket Board of his intention to relinquish the Test captaincy and retire after the 1992 World Cup. Though Richards had publicly picked Desmond Haynes as his successor, the board chose Richardson to take over the captaincy and Richards was dropped from the team. Richardson supported the board dropping his predecessor, which led to ill-feeling towards him in Antigua, the home of both men. The West Indies never lost a series under Richards’ leadership, so there was a great deal of pressure on Richardson. Under his captaincy, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh led the bowling attack and Brian Lara emerged as a world-class batsman. In the 4 years of his captaincy, the West Indies only lost one series – versus Australia in 1995 which was the West Indies’ first series defeat since 1980.
Richardson played 86 Test matches until 1995 scoring 5,949 runs and 16 centuries. He was very successful against Australia, hitting 9 centuries against them, and scored his highest score of 194 against India in Guyana in 1989. He also played 224 One Day Internationals including 3 World Cups.
Coming into the 1996 World Cup Richardson was under pressure as captain, and the tournament would prove to be his last international cricket. In the group stages the West Indies suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Kenya, prompting the Caribbean media to call for Richardson’s resignation. Despite the setback, the team progressed to the semi-final where they lost to Australia; it was his last match for the West Indies.
Reflecting on his decision to retire years later, Richardson remarked “I resigned and retired because I was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, I was burnt out and it was a struggle to continue playing cricket. Every day was stressful, everybody wanted a piece of you and I had no time for myself. I was training harder and trying hard on the field but I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I felt like I was selling myself and my fans short. They wanted me to continue, but if I had have I would have got ill so it was time to move on.”
After his retirement from international cricket, Richardson became the first high-profile signing by the English all-star club cricket team Lashings World XI, and is the current captain of the team. Since 2001 he has also played bass guitar in reggae band Big Bad Dread and The Baldhead, alongside Curtly Ambrose and the band has released several albums.
In January 2011, Richardson was appointed the West Indies’ team manager for a period of two years, and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation (KCN) by the Antiguan Barbudan government on 28 February 2014.
Richardson was appointed to the Elite Panel of Match Referees by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on 21 September 2015.
International match referee statistics
As of the 30 July 2017:
|Tests||England v Pakistan at London, 14 Jul 2016||Sri Lanka v India at Galle, 26 Jul 2017||9|
|ODIs||Zimbabwe v India at Harare, 11 Jun 2016||South Africa v Sri Lanka at Centurion, 10 Feb 2017||19|
|T20Is||Afghanitan v UAE at Fatullah, 19 Feb 2016||South Africa v Sri Lanka at Cape Town, 25 Jan 2017||18|
|Test centuries of Richie Richardson|
|131*||4||Australia||Bridgetown, Barbados||Kensington Oval||30 March 1984||Won|
|154||5||Australia||St. John’s, Antigua||Antigua Recreation Ground||7 April 1984||Won|
|138||8||Australia||Brisbane, Australia||Brisbane Cricket Ground||23 November 1984||Won|
|185||13||New Zealand||Georgetown, Guyana||Bourda||6 April 1985||Drawn|
|102||17||England||Port of Spain, Trinidad||Queen’s Park Oval||7 March 1986||Drawn|
|160||18||England||Bridgetown, Barbados||Kensington Oval||21 March 1986||Won|
|122||39||Australia||Melbourne, Australia||Melbourne Cricket Ground||24 December 1988||Won|
|106||41||Australia||Adelaide, Australia||Adelaide Oval||3 February 1989||Drawn|
|194||42||India||Georgetown, Guyana||Bourda||25 March 1989||Drawn|
|156||45||India||Kingston, Jamaica||Sabina Park||28 April 1989||Won|
|104*||53||Australia||Kingston, Jamaica||Sabina Park||1 March 1991||Drawn|
|182||54||Australia||Georgetown, Guyana||Bourda||23 March 1991||Won|
|104||61||England||Birmingham, England||Edgbaston Cricket Ground||25 July 1991||Won|
|121||62||England||London, England||Kennington Oval||8 August 1991||Lost|
|109||66||Australia||Sydney, Australia||Sydney Cricket Ground||2 January 1993||Drawn|
|100||80||Australia||Kingston, Jamaica||Sabina Park||29 April 1995||Lost|
|One Day International centuries of Richie Richardson|
|109||54||Sri Lanka||Sharjah, UAE||Sharjah Cricket Stadium||3 December 1986||Won|
|110||73||Pakistan||Karachi, Pakistan||National Stadium||30 October 1987||Won|
|108*||123||England||Kingston, Jamaica||Sabina Park||3 March 1990||Won|
|106*||138||Pakistan||Sharjah, UAE||Sharjah Cricket Stadium||17 October 1991||Won|
|122||140||Pakistan||Sharjah, UAE||Sharjah Cricket Stadium||21 October 1991||Lost|
One Day International Cricket
Man of the Match awards
|S No||Opponent||Venue||Date||Match Performance||Result|
|1||Pakistan||Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney||19 January 1984||53 (94 balls, 6×4)||West Indies won by 5 wickets.|
|2||Pakistan||Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||15 November 1985||99* (141 balls, 11×4, 1×6)||West Indies won by 7 wickets.|
|3||Pakistan||National Stadium, Karachi||30 October 1987||110 (135 balls, 8×4, 2×6)||West Indies won by 28 runs.|
|4||Pakistan||Gandhi Stadium, Jalandhar||25 October 1989||80 (116 balls, 4×4)||West Indies won by 6 wickets.|
|5||England||Sabina Park, Kingston||3 March 1990||108* (132 balls, 11×4, 3×6)||West Indies won by 3 wickets.|
|6||England||Kensington Oval, Bridgetown||3 April 1990||80 (84 balls, 8×4, 1×6)||West Indies won by 4 wickets.|
|7||Australia||Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain||10 March 1991||90 (98 balls, 14×4)||West Indies won by 7 wickets.|
|8||Pakistan||Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||17 October 1991||106* (142 balls, 10×4)||West Indies won by 1 wicket.|
|9||Pakistan||Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||21 October 1991||122 (121 balls, 7×4, 3×6)||Pakistan won by 1 run.|
|10||Australia||Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur||4 March 1996||93* (133 balls, 10×4, 1×6)||West Indies won by 4 wickets.|