Sir Viv: I have no regrets over refusing blank cheque to play in Africa

1 Jan 1980: Viv Richards of the West Indies. Mandatory Credit: Adrian Murrell/Allsport UK
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By Neto Baptiste

Iconic West Indies batsman and captain, Sir Vivian Richards, said he has no regrets over refusing blank-cheque offers to play for a rebel West Indies squad in South Africa during the Apartheid era in 1983, and again in 1984.

Asked if he ever thought about what could have been had he accepted the offer, Sir Viv said he has never doubted that he made the right decision.

“No sir, that has never even come to mind and I am one of those individuals that when I make my mind up in terms of the decision making and all that, then that’s it and that, to me, was worth much more than money,” he said

Having named prominent black figures like, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Mohammed Ali as his role models, Sir Viv said that leaders must be steadfast in their decisions, pointing to the government’s decision here to take drastic action as the nation fights to eliminate the dangerous coronavirus or Covid-19 from its shores.

“Take for instance the decision made here by our leaders in locking the place down, that’s totally correct and people look at the economic side of things but if you don’t have life then you can’t work on the economics. So the most important thing is to preserve life and if we can do that in a collective way, we can achieve our goals,” he said.

The South African rebel tours were a series of seven cricket tours staged between 1982 and 1990. They were known as the rebel tours because the international cricketing bodies banned South Africa from competitive international cricket throughout this period because of apartheid.

As such the tours were organised and conducted in spite of the express disapproval of national cricket boards and governments, the International Cricket Conference and international organisations such as the United Nations. The tours were the subject of enormous contemporaneous controversy and remain a sensitive topic throughout the cricket-playing world.

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