Napier (New Zealand), Feb.29 (ANI): Former South African batting great Barry Richards has many regrets when it comes to his association with the game of cricket, the biggest one of them being the lack of recognition of players who played for the country when apartheid was at its peak.
"The biggest regret for me has been the change in South Africa, where there's no recognition of any of the players who played in that era (1912 to 1970). We don't even get a number, so we're not recognised as ever having played for South Africa. There's no memorabilia, nothing to say we played Test cricket or any other cricket, for that matter. I find that sad," Richards told New Zealand's Dominion Post newspaper during an interview at the Cape Kidnappers Golf Course outside Napier.
He is sad, also, for Graeme Pollock and Mike Procter, two world-class team-mates who suffered the same way.
Post-apartheid South Africa returned to the fold in 1992.
Richards points out that current all-rounder Jacques Kallis is, officially, test player No.27. "And we started playing test cricket in 1912".
Richards went to England and Australia to show his wares; plundering 28,000 first-class runs at 54, including 80 centuries. He scored nine centuries before lunch, and 1000 runs in a season 15 times.
He played Kerry Packer's World Series cricket, also not recognised in the record books, and scored 325 in a day for South Australia against Western Australia in Perth, the world's fastest cricket pitch at that time, and against one Dennis Keith Lillee, the fastest bowler of that era.
"They played five-and-a-half hour days then. That's as well as I ever played. I was right at my peak, 25 years old, I had enough experience, and I was still young and moved well. Getting 100 in a Super Test final was as tough as it gets. I was starting to age a little bit, and I had Lillee pounding away at me, making sure he made his presence felt," Rchards said. (ANI)
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