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The CW50 - No.8

The Sean

Cricketer Of The Year
Apologies for the delay again, it's been a really busy week, but here we go again with your (real) choice of the number 8 cricketer of all time...


Sir Viv Richards | Cricket Players and Officials | Cricinfo.com
Nominated by 82% of voters - highest ranking no.3

Brutal, dominant, arrogant, masterful - Viv Richards was all of these things and so much more. In an era of so many truly great batsmen - the likes of Gavaskar, Chappell, Border and Miandad were in their pomp during Viv's career - it says something about the man they called the Master Blaster that he is almost without exception acknowledged as the best. His pure numbers, outstanding as they are, don't necessarily outstrip his contemporaries, but the sheer havoc he wreaked over bowling attacks worldwide for nearly two decades speaks volumes for his extraordinary power to utterly demoralise an entire opposition team off his own bat and turn a cricket match on its head in a matter of hours. When Viv was on song he was quite simply unstoppable - both with the bat and in the field. One of the most outstanding all-round fieldsmen of all time, he is surely one of a very small group of players who have turned the course of a major match (the 1975 World Cup Final against Australia) purely through his fielding alone. When he was selected by Wisden as one of the Five Cricketers of the 20th Century, there were few dissenting voices.

Richards announced himself to the world in 1976 with his then-record year of 1,710 runs at an average of 90, including two magnificent double centuries in England, which invited comparisons with Bradman. From the end of that tour he was by common consent the world's best batsman, and was rarely if ever considered otherwise for the next decade or more. In his first season of World Series Cricket, Richards made 862 runs in six "Tests" while over four series against Australia, England and Pakistan between 1979-81 he averaged 77. As the 1980s wore on he rarely scored in such consistently heavy quantities, but rather seemed to save himself for producing his best on the big occasion or when his team needed it the most, which only added to his mystique of greatness. In addition to his Test exploits, Viv can also claim to be arguably the greatest of all one-day batsman - and was indeed rated so by Wisden. Possibly his finest ever innings actually came in a one-day international against England in 1984 when he scored 189* out of a team total of 272. Richard's extraordinary eye gave him the ability to hammer straight balls through mid wicket and hook even the fastest of bouncers imperiously over the boundary - Somerset team mate Vic Marks warmly recalls willing opposition bowlers to bounce Richards just so he could watch the majesty of his hooking. A showman and entertainer to the end, not to mention one of the very greatest batsmen in the history of the game, Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards takes his worthy place in our all time top 10.

Number 7 on our list will follow later today, as I try to make up for some lost time over the past couple of days...

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
That now leaves Grace, Bradman, Sobers, Tendulkar, Warne, Hobbs, Imran Khan.
I had Richards 4th but I wouldn't argue about the order once you get past Bradman, Sobers and Grace.


International Captain
should be top 5 tbh.
yeah. should be top 5. can accept bradman, sobers, hobbs and grace above viv. but imran, sachin and warne themselves would agree richards was a marginally, but definitely, superior cricketer :(
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International Coach
should be top 5 tbh.
Was 7th, 7th, 13th and missing on the 4 lists submitted on The Sean's profile. I personally marked him down below Tendulkar on the basis that he didn't have to face the best attack of his time. Bradman, Sobers, Tendulkar, Warne, Imran, Grace (who I've underestimated by the looks of things) and Hobbs isn't a bad pack to trail.


Cricketer Of The Year
I had Sir Viv at number seven, and his place on the CW list inside the top ten but further back than his ESPN place at number three is reasonable in my view.


Hack, tbh. Wasn't even in my 25.


Nah, dav's big Uncle Isaac was the glaring omission from my list along with DKL. Problem with tossing it off in about ten mins is the occasional oversight.


Hall of Fame Member
Just a point on his record - his numbers are actually pretty impressive relative to his contemporaries if you exclude the very end of his career. Adds 2-3 runs to his career average IIRC, which brings that sort of thing within a reasonable margin for subjective preference.

Pretty nicely placed IMO, could have been slightly higher but I think the bottom half of the top 10 is fair.


Global Moderator
On one hand I think he's about 3 spots too low, on the other, can see the argument for people like Marshall to have been above him. That probably means he's found about right spot. Amazing player - I rate him on ability above all pure batsmen other than Bradman and Hobbs, but that's obviously not the sole consideration when compiling such a list.

A unique player - they broke the mold when they made him. :notworthy: