By Neto Baptiste
Successful former West Indies cricket captain, Sir Vivian Richards, has paid homage to a number of individuals whom he said played pivotal roles and paved the way for what has been a successful international career.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show,Sir Viv named Patrick “Sheepie” Evanson, a former national cricketer and neighbour, as the individual to have given him his first bat.
“When you have someone like Pat Evanson, better known as Sheepie, whom I think was captain of the Antigua and Barbuda team at the time living next door, and plus, Mervyn [brother] and myself used to play under the Evanson’s gallery because there was a little space there where you could drive the ball in the road. They would all come home with information because him and my dad would engage a lot, because my dad also was a representative of the Antigua and Barbuda cricket team, so there was quite a whole lot of knowledge coming from the left side of the fence and the right side of the fence,” he said.
Sir Viv, who amassed 8540 runs in 121 Tests at an average of 50.23, went on to acknowledge other influential figures throughout his career, adding that even in the prime of his career he would still lean on their knowledge of the game.
“Not just Leo Gore,but also Kenrick Isaacwho was pretty instrumental in me going to St. John’s, and I became a member of the St. John’s Cricket Club and Mr. Lake from Rising Sun, so there was a whole lot of people, but these are people you could go to for information,” he said.
“When I used to come back from England, I used to go to these guys and still engage in terms of where I am at, and they would be quite interested to know how I am doing and stuff like that, so these are people you could have put your trust in,” the former player added.
Sir Viv was voted one of the five Cricketers of the Century by a 100-member panel of experts in 2000, along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Shane Warne.
As a captain, he won 27 of 50 Test matches and lost only eight. He also scored nearly 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals and more than 36,000 in first-class cricket.