By Neto Baptiste
A move to have the name of iconic former West Indies captain and batsman Sir Vivian Richards placed on the new trophy that will be contested for in future series between England and the West Indies, was not a difficult sell.
This is according to Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, who said that although there were a few other names suggested by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Sir Viv was overwhelmingly given the nod.
“There were a few other names put forward on the England side but the Sir Viv Richards name was the first and only name I put forward from this side knowing there was going to be, possibly, one or two dissenting voices. But I have to say that it has gone very well and it has been absolutely welcomed by everybody I have encountered,” he said.
Sir Viv joins England cricket legend, Sir Ian Botham, as the other former player honoured by having his named placed on the prize. The two teams will battle for the Sir Richards-Sir Botham Trophy in future series.
Skerritt said he thought it fitting that the new accolade carried the name of one of the most successful captains and batsman in the history of West Indies cricket.
“Let me just take this opportunity while I can to say how proud I was to be in a position to recommend Sir Vivian Richards for the recent honour that has been bestowed on him of having his name become the future trophy to be battled between England and the West Indies in terms of the Richards-Botham Trophy. I told Sir Viv Richards himself that people like him have the absolute right to say anything they want about West Indies cricket, whether I agree with it or not. They have earned the right on the field and therefore, we should not be battling with them in court or anywhere else,” he said.
Botham and Richards have been involved in many epic matches between the two teams, but are also close friends, dating back to their time when they played side-by-side in Somerset in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Wisden Trophy, first introduced in 1963 to commemorate the 100th edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac, will now be retired and will be on display at Lord’s MCC Museum.