Sir Richard Benjamin Richardson is a retired West Indies cricketer and a former captain of the West Indian cricket team. He was a flamboyant batsman and superb player of fast bowling.
He played for the West Indies between 1983 – 1996 following in the fotsteps of the great Viv Richards. Richie was what the layman would considered ‘laid back’ genteel and gentle, unfailingly courteous, and modest. He stood for sportsmanship in an age where such values were beginning to disappear, and deserved better than the shabby underhand powerbrokering that eventually saw him dethroned as captian. Like Richards, he also declined to wear a helmet, and his wide-brimmed maroon sunhat became a trademark. He was a destructively brilliant batsman, particularly on hard pitches where he could throw the bat through the line with abandon, carving the ball square. He hooked willingly too, usually up, frequently for six. Criticism was usually directed at his lack of concentration, but he was capable of that: his 69 grafted out over four hours on a vile pitch at Edgbaston in 1995 was a masterly exhibition of bad-wicket play. He reserved his finest innings for the Australians: only Sachin Tendulkar and Jack Hobbs have bettered his nine centuries against them. The finest was at Georgetown in March 1991, when he blasted 182, including 106 in the final session of the first day.
After his retirement from international cricket, Richie became the first high-profile signing by the English all-star club cricket team Lashings World XI, and is the current captain of the team. Since 2001 he has also played bass guitar in reggae band Big Bad Dread and The Baldhead, alongside Curtly Ambrose and the band has released several albums. In January 2011, Richardson was appointed the West Indies’ team manager for a period of two years, and was knighted on 28 February 2014.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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