Coinciding with ‘s return to the subcontinent, footage has emerged of West Indian great Viv Richards again condemning n cricketers for racism and double standards.
Richards said that even in the rough and tumble of international sport, some vehicles for provocations were not acceptable: race and religion, for two. “The Aussies can be very, very rude,” he said. “I have no regrets in saying this: there are times they overstep boundaries.”
Richards was speaking at a media and marketing seminar in Goa, in the west of India, in April. It was soon after a fascinating and sometimes aggravated visit to India by for a series won 2-1 by the home team.
Richards widened his critique. “One of the things that hurts me more than anything else, especially with the introduction of the IPL, [is that] a lot of these guys are coming to this part of the world to earn a living,” he said. “If there’s one advice I would give to those guys, [it’s] never try and curse the hand that feeds you.”
Richards said he would support yellow and red cards in cricket for certain offences.
Richards often has made clear his disgust at the attitude of and England towards the West Indies in his time, which he felt was white supremacy manifest. It burns within him still. Speaking in Goa, he even said that his then unorthodox preparedness to hit across the line was born partly of a determination not to be told by the English what to do, as his Caribbean forbears were. In Goa, this was well-received.
He again told of the shock of his teammates when they arrived in England in 1977 and heard England captain Tony Greig say on television that England would make the West Indies “grovel”.
“The meeting is over,” declared captain Clive Lloyd. No more motivation would be needed. But Richards gives Greig credit for getting down on his knees at the end of the series, recognising the West Indies mastery and his own tactlessness.
Evidently, not every aspect of n culture offended Richards. He also told of a moment after scoring a century at Perth’s Gloucester Park during World Series Cricket when he was approached by “this wonderful creature, dressed in her birthday suit”, asking him to autograph her chest. Richards said he was usually slapdash about his autograph. “But for the very first time in my signing career,” he said, “I dotted my ‘i’s.”