By Neto Baptiste
Rated as one of the top five hookers of the ball during his heyday with the senior men’s West Indies cricket team, former captain Sir Richie Richardsonhas rubbished the notion that he insisted on playing the shot even to his own demise nearing the end of his career.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Sir Richie who captained the team from 1991 to 1995, said that criticisms late in his career over his tendency to go for the shot even when it became clear it was deliberately being offered by the fielding team is nothing shot that one-sided and fallacious.
“To me, the hook-shot had been my most productive shot. It has done me a lot of proud because not many people could take on some of the fastest bowlers in the world in that manner so I felt good when I took on a fast bowler. When I hook a fast bowler in front of square, I feel like I am in charge so I have no regrets about being out a few times from playing the hook-shot because I’ve been out many other ways and that’s part of the game so I think it’s a bit of a fallacy for people to think that way,” he said.
The Antiguan, who scored 5,949 runs in 86 Tests, argued that he had been out playing many other shots throughout his career and that it didn’t seem to bother the critics as much.
“If you take away the amount of runs I scored from that shot or the amount of runs I got as a result of playing that shot, I don’t think I would have scored 2000 Test runs so you have to look at the positives. It’s safe to play a cover drive through the off side and how many times have I been out playing a cover drive or how many batsman been out playing a cover drive? Numerous times but nobody talks about that but they talk about the hook shot because it’s exciting, commentators talk about it and it’s dramatic,” Sir Richie said.
In the end, the explosive batsman said he enjoyed the many battles with fast bowlers as they tried to intimidate him with aggression.
“When you reflect on the amount of runs I scored from the hook-shot, when you reflect on the amount of fast bowlers that I demoralized and put us in a winning position because of that hook-shot and that is how I look at it so I don’t ‘look at it as how many times I got out because I know I got more runs from that shot than how many times I got out from it,” he said.Sir Richie scored 6,248 runs in 224 One Day International (ODI) matches.