Player: South Africa (1970)
Barry Richards played just four Test Matches before South Africa was excluded from international sporting competition in 1970.
Bowlers around the world would have been forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief because in those four Tests Richards averaged in excess of 72, including two hundreds and two fifties. Bill Lawry’s Australian side were whitewashed 4-0.
Richards made his first class debut for Natal in 1964/5 and in a career spanning 18 years also represented Hampshire, South Australia, Gloucestershire and Transvaal, treating fans all over the world to his prodigious batting.
English county cricket fans marvelled at Richards’ opening partnership with West Indian Gordon Greenidge for Hampshire; playing for South Australia he scored 325 runs in a single day against a Western Australian attack including Dennis Lillee; and in five seasons for Natal from 1971-2 he passed 1,000 runs four times, each season playing no more than 12 games.
He had one further foray into international cricket when he signed up to Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket (WSC) in 1977-78 and 1978-79 in Australia. Richards represented the World XI and scored 554 runs in five matches, including 207 versus the Australian WSC side.
Since retiring Richards has worked for both Sri Lanka and Pakistan’s Cricket Boards as a batting consultant to their Test and academy teams. In addition, he was the CEO of Queensland Cricket for nine years and coached South Australia to a Sheffield Shield Final. In 2004 he formed part of the voting panel to select the world’s best players at the first ICC awards.
County cricket fans marvelled at Richards’ opening partnership with West Indian Gordon Greenidge
Previously, Richards himself had been selected for some prestigious awards having been chosen in Don Bradman’s team of the century and nominated as one of the five South African cricketers of the century.
Richards is a familiar voice to cricket lovers, commentating for Supersport and on BBC Test Match Special during South African tours of England.
In 2007 he was universally nominated to succeed Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie as President of Hampshire, the club he served for 10 years, for a two-year term. He has also served as President of the International Players’ Association.
He was one of 55 initial inductees into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009.