Barry Richards - South Africa - Test Profile 1970

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 18 May 1975

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      Right Hand Bat, Right Arm Off-breaks
      Saturday, 21 July 1945
      Morningside, South Africa.
  • South Africa
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Barry RICHARDS - South Africa - Test Profile 1970

It was one of those silly cricketing riddles which turn up from time to time: Who is the greatest batsman in the world in the late 1970s. The answer: Nobody knows, but his name is Richards. One of the answers was Viv, the Master Blaster, but the other Richards had little chance to make a mark on international cricket. Barry Richards, the stylish South African who also played for many years for Hampshire (see photo above), had his Test career nipped in the bud as apartheid sucked South African sport into isolation.


Richards got just four Test matches, against Bill Lawry's 1970 Australians, before he was resrtricted to county cricket. Often he could not disguise his boredom and frustration as he had to test his class against minnows. Even in four Tests he made a mark. There was that great day in Durban where he reached 140 in only his second Test and he and Graeme Pollock pulverised the attack. He made 65 and 35 in Johannesburg and 81 and 126 in Port Elizabeth. The next two South African series, in England in 1970 and Australia in 1971-72 did not go ahead. He opened for the Rest of the World in England in 1970 with a top score of 64 at Trent Bridge.


As South Africa fought to keep international cricket going he made 180 at Durban in 1974-75 against a D.H. Robins XI which included Snow, Lever and Gleeson, and 80 a year later against an International Wanderers side which included Dennis Lillee and Derek Underwood. In World Series Cricket he made 207 in Gloucester Park, Perth for the World v Australia, adding 369 for the first wicket with Gordon Greenidge. He also made 101 not out in Sydney. (Bob Harragan)