8th April 1995: A simple Richie Richardson act that became symbolic with decline of West Indies cricket
Such was their ability that they won every Test series between 1980 to 1995. But whatever goes up, comes down as well and same happened with West Indies.Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 08:27 IST
The West Indies team of the past had everything. They had unbelievable batsmen, they were home to frightening pacers and were led by legendary players. But the one thing that kept them apart from the rest was their inimitable style. Their magnificent, unnerving aura. Many teams thought themselves as second best even before walking out in the middle to face them.
Such was their ability that they won every Test series between 1980 to 1995. But whatever goes up, comes down as well and same happened with West Indies.
On this day, 25 years ago, a simple act from their skipper showed the world things are about to shake-up in world cricket. For the first time in 78 matches, Richie Richardson wore a helmet while batting.
It would seem strange in today’s era where a batsman is well suited up, top to bottom, but in those days few players just didn’t care. India’s Sunil Gavaskar is one such example who stared back in the eyes of fiery bowlers with nothing but a blade and a cap.
Richardson wearing a helmet became significant because this, in a way, pointed towards the decline of West Indies’ swagger. It meant they were no longer invincible and Australia made the most of this opportunity.
They became the first team in 15 years to win in Caribbean as they clinched the series 2-1 three weeks later after Richardson’s act. Since that fateful series, West Indies started to falter, especially away from home.
Their first series overseas finally came 14 years later when they managed to win 1-0 in England. While their performances in T20 cricket have soared, so much so they are two-time world champions, WI no longer remain a force to be reckoned with in the longest format.