By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies batting star and scorer of 5949 Test runs, Sir Richie Richardson, said he hated being compared to teammate and former successful captain, Sir Viv Richards.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Sir Richie said that although he aspired to be like his fellow Antiguan, he wanted to achieve greatness in his own way, style, and fashion, but that comparison to the legendary batsman was always forthcoming.
“I aspired to be like Sir Viv as a batsman; I wanted to be great like Sir Viv, but I realised that no two persons can be the same, and at the time, a lot of persons were comparing myself with Viv and I hated it, because as much as I wanted to achieve what he achieved and to be great like him, I understood that I could not be like Viv, I could not bat the way Sir Viv bat, I couldn’t field the way Sir Viv field, I couldn’t walk the way Sir Viv walked, so I had to do it my way. I can achieve greatness but it has to be done my way and because of that I was not pressured,” he said
“I also accepted that Viv was special, he was an elite athlete and not many people can be as great as him and because of that I did not allow any pressure to be on myself,” he added.
Sir Viv is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen to ever the play the game, amassing 8540 runs in 121 Tests. He scored 24 centuries and 45 half centuries. The Antiguan also scored 6721 ODI runs with 11 centuries and 45 half centuries to his name.
Sir Richie remembered his captain as one who always had a winner’s mentality and a competitive spirit.
“Sir Viv is the most competitive individual I’ve ever known, I’ve ever played with or against and any sport you play against Viv, he was highly competitive. We use to play a lot of tennis on rest days, and he hated to lose, he just wanted to win every single game. He set very high standards and he wanted everything and everyone to be of a very high standard, so if you faltered, or if you messed around, you’re going to know it. He was seriously tough and you had to be at your best at all times,” the former player said.
According to Sir Richie, Sir Viv ruled with authority during his tenure as captain.
“On the field of play you knew that he was in charge, the opposition knew that he was in charge and that’s how he played the game. He was always in charge, always in control, always dominant, always positive, always wants to win and always believes that he could win and he instilled that into you and if you can’t be like that then you’re not part of his set-up,” he said.
Sir Richie, who captained the regional squad between 1991 and 1995, also scored 6248 runs in One Day International (ODI) matches.
During his tenure as Test captain, Sir Richie led the regional squad to 11 wins, six loses, and seven draws.