Viv’s son takes up cricket commentary

September 13, 2022
Viv Richards
Viv Richards

MALI RICHARDS, son of former West Indies captain and batting legend Sir Vivian Richards, is enjoying his current stint as a cricket commentator, having opted to end his cricket career.

Mali, who has been providing radio commentary on the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) cricket competition in St Lucia, believes that his new career will suppress the pressures of following in his father's footsteps.

"Commentary almost came out of the blue. I was presented with an opportunity and I'm absolutely enjoying it. It's been a fabulous experience and I'm working with the best world-renowned commentators and it's been thoroughly enjoyable.

"I started on radio on Cricket West Indies' YouTube channel. The opportunity presented itself during the pandemic when people couldn't travel around and they were looking for voices and my name came up," added Richards.

The 38-year-old Mali stated that the career change, was despite initially wanting to play cricket like the legendary Viv, who had an outstanding career as a batsman, having amassed 8,540 runs in Test cricket from 121 matches at an average of 50.2 with 24 centuries and includes a highest score of 291.

In one-day internationals, Viv scored 6,721 runs from 187 matches at an average of 47 with 11 centuries and a highest score of 189 not out.

Mali, who was born in Somerset, England, stated that his father used to discourage his cricketing aspirations, knowing the pressure it would put him under.

"He (Vivian) always said that, 'I think it would be less pressure if you take up tennis', but, being young and full of confidence, you hear it but don't pay much attention to that. It's later on, I started to understand why he would say something like that," Mali said.

The former left-handed batsman and right-arm seamer, who has represented Antigua and Barbuda and the Leeward Islands at first class level stated that he recognised very early that a change in career path would be imminent.

"The first inkling I got of that was about 2010. I was signed at Middlesex and offered to be part of England's Under-19 squad, which I turned down because at the time that would have meant that I would have had to represent England for the rest of my career, It's only later that these things have changed.

"I played in the Leeward Islands' tournament, was the leading run-scorer and to not make the Leeward Islands team was definitely a bit of a reality check. It was at that point I thought 'maybe this isn't going to happen'," said Richards, who played 18 first class matches with 376 runs at an average of 13.92.

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