Sunday, September 12, 2004


Viv Richards

Richards was really the first true leader from the working class, the first leader to emerge from among the plebs to captain a West Indian Cricket Team conceived and shaped by the rich and powerful class, the landed class and the gentry, and the educated and the cultural elites. The master craftsman was neither schooled within the formal walls which nurtured and cultured the rich and famous, nor was he privileged to have social intercourse with the class who would control the direction of the economy on the basis of his heritage. He was nevertheless well trained in the issues that affected his people and his race; he was well prepared to represent that collective cause.

The "King" lifted West Indies cricket to a higher plane, bringing it to maturity, and establishing it at the pinnacle of international cricket. He took the institution to a third heaven, following the first elevation by George Headley in the 1930's and the revival by Lawrence Rowe in the early 1970's. Headley's genius and exploits were compared with Don Bradman, and he was often referred to as the black Bradman. Rowe's artistry and mystic earned him the title 'Lawrence of Jamaica'. Richards's genius and domination earned him the the undisputed titles 'The King'; 'De Bull' and 'The Master Blaster'

The designations are significant as each represents a stage of development of West Indies cricket, the relative position of West Indies Cricket in international cricket, and the international recognition of the institution in each period.Headley brought West Indies cricket to international recognition, but the artform was was recognised as a product of the white world, and secondary, to that established by the white world. Lawrence Rowe carved out a place in the international scheme of things for West Indies cricket by establishing the artform as a product of the Caribbean.His cricket was a product of Jamaica and the Caribbean, and was accepted as such. it was no longer a product of England or the white world,it was West Indies cricket. By the 1980's, Viv had matured with West Indies cricket. The matchles beauty, the attractiveness, the splendor and the grandeur of the artform were internationally recognised; in some cases it was coveted.

West Indies cricket was established as an institution. By then many were seeking to understand the artform and were painstakingly attempting to use its science to improve their game. To the international public therefore West Indies cricket was no longer perceived as an imitation of white orthodoxy, but as a 'master'artform and a science. These were the ideas loaded in the title of 'Master Blaster'attributed to Vivian richards. You see, Richards represented the unfolding of the boundaries of the human potential, and the unfolding of the potential of the West indian people

Peter Adrien in Cricket and Development

I like that Viv Richard is especially a West Indian Hero like no other. He Viv is indeed a pure West Indian man..he was made and finished West Indian with little evidence of influence of the Englsih in Vivi's personality and game.

But the explanation given by Adrien for Viv the Master Blaster being the embodiment of everything West Indian are kind of lame. Adrien use of Rowe is a role I would have reserved for others among them Worrel. But I guess it is the Rowe's artistry in batting that Adrien believes had no English influence at all. I guess as a man, leader and batsman Viv showed no such influence at all.

Adrien here defines Viv hero status as regards the average West Indian as being derived mostly b/c he was educated beyond barely primary school and the fact that he came from strictly working class. Well there was Sobers before Viv who qualified on those same grounds but who does not mean as much to the average West Indian or (even Black Britons)as Viv does.

I think what makes Viv our 'real' West Indian Hero like nobody else, even over those of greater talent and education before him that when he arrived he never took himself away from the average West Indian. Others once they arrived, they got the money, the fame and the respect, may have been percieved as having taken themselves away from us. Be it their choice of residence, pursuit of fancy education, their choice of wife/woman etc, most of them communicated now I am on top I am no more like you or off you.

When Viv made it he never shed any of his average West Indian self. At least that is the general Joe West Indian perception. One never felt that as a West Indian fan you were not important with Viv..that he would recognise and appreciate others more than he did us. We the West Indian ppl were never a burden for Viv..infact he seemed to immersed himself in 'us' every opportunity he got. aOthers looking in felt it as well. They knew too that he had not assimilated like it was the case for most others before him and they were grudgingly respectful of IVAR for that!
So what happen to Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Garfield Sobers? neither of them were born or raised in priviledge.
I dunno why he said Viv was the first because it can be applied to Sobers as well but I guess he does not really think much of Sobers as a leader.With respect to Worrel he can't be called uneducated but his elevation to captaincy was stalled because of the elitist/colour prejudices which existed back then.

I baffled to why Rowe is so prominent..never saw him as so prominent a figure in Windies cricket development at all.
well if not worrell what about Lloyd?
Am not sure what Lloyd's edcuational background is but when he speaks it is much more correct than say Viv or Sobers. But definitely he was a leader although many try to downplay him by saying anyone could have captained his team.I myself used to think like that until I realised that it had to take special skills to make his team more than a group of talented players.Somebody had to be responsible for holding them together in the age before coaches and things were fashionable.Lloyd I think fostered a good work ethic which made them know the importance of doing the little things right and being professional in their outlook
The writer knows very little about WI cricket.

1.Viv Richards is no more working class than Clive Lloyd.As a matter of fact Richards is of a "higher class" than Garry Sobers.

2.Richards did not lift WI cricket to a higher plane as a leader,Clive Lloyd did.

3.Lawrence Rowe led no revival.He scored a double century and single century in his debut match which was drawn.His other great series against England when he scored 3 centuries did not result in a series win.
Now here is an interesting fact.Lawrence Rowe never scored a century in a test match that the WI won.
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