By Neto Baptiste
Convinced he has found his niche as a commentator, former Leeward Islands and national cricketer Mali Richards is looking to make a name for himself on the regional and international scenes.
Fresh off the Sri Lanka tour of the West Indies, which was centralised here in Antigua, Mali was an instant hit with listeners during both the ODI and Test series, many tagging his delivery and knowledge of the game as a refreshing addition to what was considered as generally under par commentary.
The Antiguan said he was grateful for the opportunity he was given.
“Definitely, I think to get this opportunity and for it to go so well — because I don’t think it could have gone any better for the first time. There are obviously a lot of things I can learn because I definitely want to stay in this arena for a little while and really learn broadcasting and understand different things before I even try to really say I want to be on TV. I just want to keep learning and hopefully as we go along I get better and get better opportunity as well,” he said.
Richards is hoping that his exploits in the recent series will propel him to higher heights by opening up other opportunities.
“We’re looking to get the right representation and hopefully get involved with a lot of leagues around the world, like the CPL, and hopefully contribute to [for example] Sportsmax; so I am just looking to get myself out there in terms of commentary. I made inquiries at first but it didn’t really happen. It looked like a possibility that I could have been on board during the Super 50, but that didn’t happen. For whatever reason, the opportunity arose in the ODIs against Sri Lanka,” he said.
Mali, the son of former West Indies captain and legendary batsman Sir Vivian Richards, believes that having been surrounded by cricket for his entire life, having played for Middlesex County Cricket Club and also for Oxford UCCE and the Gloucestershire second 11 in England, where he was born, has prepared him for the new-found role.
“Looking back on this now, I am realising that everything that I’ve gone through has prepared me for this. Watching all those games over the years, being fascinated with different players from around the world has actually prepared me very well for an opportunity like commentary,” he said.
“Obviously, I want to get better; I want to learn by doing my research even more, get better notes and things like that, but jumping into this is just basically off of my cricket education around the world, and playing in Australia, playing in England with players you consider stars and legends now,” he added.
The commentary, which was brought by rights holder Vibes Radio out of Dominica, was heard in Barbados and ten other stations across the region along with the CWI Youtube channel.