I am going to use two 24th Novembers for this one, but with a common link. Two days ago I used the “On This Day” to highlight the debuts of two all-time greats. Today I use it to highlight the debut of one of my all-time favourite batsmen, Sir Richard Benjamin Richardson.
In the early days of overseas test coverage, watching some of Richie’s innings took my breath away, especially an amazing 182 against Australia at Guyana. I always loved the big floppy sun hat, the backlift, the drive, the cut, the hook. Richie was flamboyant. He had the look. While not quite the highest of the high in terms of a career, in his pomp he was unstoppable. Except in England where he never really hit the heights.
On this day in 1983, Richie took the field at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the first time as a West Indies test player. He didn’t get to bat until the 27th (rest day and a long Indian first innings), whereupon he made 0 (2 balls), LBW to Shvilal Yadav (who I instinctively remember when hearing either Umesh or Jayant’s name – no there is no relation). He made 26 in the second innings, falling to Ravi Shastri, but hadn’t done enough to cement his name into the West Indies team. He was dropped from the next test for Roger Harper.
Unbowed, and a couple of centuries at home later, we fast forward to 24 November 1984. Having missed out on selection for all the England matches in the fateful summer of 1984 (again Harper getting the nod most of the time), Richie returned to the West Indies team to face Australia, and promptly made a duck in his only innings at Perth (match starting on the 9th). However, at Brisbane two weeks later, on the second day of the match (the 24th), Richardson announced himself to the Aussie domestic public with a century. The Aussie players knew him well enough – he’d made a 131 in Bridgetown and a 154 in his home test in Antigua – but now the fans got to see what he was all about.
Clearly the Wisden scribe didn’t think too much of the innings. Other than being tied down by Holland, and dominated in a partnership by Clive Lloyd, it had this to say…
“Richardson, badly dropped off Hogg by Hughes at mid-off when 40, had 24 4s from the 232 balls he faced. ”
Well, that paints a picture.
24 November a debut for Richie, a first overseas ton for Richie. Much pleasure derived after that. As I said, one of Dmitri’s favourites!
Big fan here as well – he had a tough first tour in 1988 (wasn’t he eventually dropped?) but did much better second time around. His hundred at Edgbaston on a difficult wicket was a terrific innings, the kind of technical and patient innings his critics said he couldn’t play.
Today’s an important day in English Test cricket:
Beefy, Barrington and Herbert Sutcliffe were born on 24/11 (plus Fred Titmus, Roly Jenkins and Kabir Ali). Cook and Tres were born on Christmas Day (in the words of St Etienne).
He was on the 1984 tour but never got a test. He made 60-odd on the infamous Illy track as well, which was worth about 150 at Edgbaston in the 1990s. When VHS died, and I couldn’t transfer any more, one of the saddest losses was that Guyana innings against Australia. It was on Eurosport, I believe, and it was well over an hour’s highlights. I think there’s a shorter version on Youtube.
He is currently the match referee for NZ and Pakistan game.
He’s not going to see much more than rain if the forecast’s correct for the first two days (and it’s not great for days three and four either). He’s not going to see either side’s best bowler with Boult injured (knee) and Yasir Shah dropped.
NZ look to have found a Test opener in Jeet Ravel. His stance isn’t a thing of beauty (Broad senior came to mind) but he plays very straight and seems unflappable.
The ICC say they want fans from different countries to watch Tests. How is scheduling three Tests at the same time allowing that?
I know that it is a lot of fun to diss Ray Illingworth but….I don’t think any man alive knows or cares more about cricket than Ray. Until a few years ago, he was still acting as groundsman for Farsley, his local club. he is 85? He only eased up on his duties once his wife died.
There is no doubt that Steve Rouse at Edgbaston misunderstood his instructions, Rouse left a pitch amenable to Ambrose and Walsh but not so much to the English guys. And Richard Illingworth was not in the same class as Ray. He wanted some rough for the spinners but ….
As I recall , Ray has 2000 odd wickets. Can I suggest he knows the game? Richardson’s innings in that match at Edgbaston were the difference between the 2 teams. He earned my respect. They rank alongside Gooch at Headingley.
Richardson’s innings in the 95 series at Edgbaston was indeed the difference between the two teams, it was a horror of a wicket
He got 69. Think the 95 was on the better wicket in 1991.
One of my favourite things about this test was Cork’s gob at the end of Day 2. He said something like this to the press “Robin Smith fancies a ton on this wicket, and so do I as well.” I’m all for confidence, but really….