The name is a legend. He was the last knight who fought without armor. Ask him about the new warriors and he would give you a smirk. Sir Richards belonged to an era when West Indies bowlers sent shivers up the batsmen. Some critics say that Sir Vivian Richards never faced his own fearsome bowlers. While this may be true, he still had to face pacers like Denis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. Not wearing a helmet may be illegal in today’s era, but batsmen do look ridiculous wearing them. But the legend of Vivian Richards was not built on a helmet but the power of his bat.
When Sir Richards came to the crease, the bowlers trembled in their pants. He demolished the fiercest bowlers with his bat and also with his words. He was a savage on the crease and not known for his good behavior. Many bowlers had their careers clipped by his powerful assault. His credo was simple – Live and let die. In the tour to Australia, he skinned the likes of Thompson who was said to be unplayable, especially in his home turf. The bat of Sir Richards never stopped talking and he went on a rampage for over a decade since.
In technique, Vivian Richards was essentially a front foot player. This technique required courage in the helmetless days, but the results were obvious. Front foot means aggression and by going on the front foot you make your intentions clear. You don’t let the ball bounce enough to hurt you. The front foot technique is also a great psychological factor. Sir Richards knew instinctively that the greatest fast bowler will back off if faced with a fearless batsman. Cricket, after all, is played more in the mind. Who other than Sir Richards knew this better?
On the personal front Sir Richards was as flamboyant as ever, but little is known about his personal life. According to Wikipedia “Richards and his wife Miriam have two children: Matara, who currently lives in Toronto, Canada, and Mali, who has also played first-class cricket. Richards is also godfather to Ian Botham’s son, Liam. Richards had a brief relationship with Indian actress Neena Gupta, with whom he has a daughter, fashion designer Masaba Gupta”.