Former South African Test batsman Barry Richards, one of the all-time great batsmen in the history of cricket, has revealed that he feels bitter at the lack of recognition for the efforts of South African cricketers pre-1991.
Speaking to Netwerk24 after he had been named in the all-time top Test team by England legend Graham Gooch, 73-year-old Richards said that it ‘hurts to think that influential people in the game like Gooch, Dennis Lillee and Donald Bradman rate you so highly, but the governing body in your own country, Cricket South Africa, pretend that you don’t exist.
‘Cricket South Africa are the only guys who give no recognition for what we achieved on the cricket field. They view us as pale, male and stale,’ added Richards.
Richards told the news network that he had never been invited by CSA to attend any of its seminars, workshops or functions, highlighting the fact that the organisation only seems to acknowledge records and achievements that have occurred from the 1991-92 season after apartheid had been officially written off South Africa’s law books.
‘Yes, it bitters me … especially coming from people at the helm of CSA who don’t even know the difference between the handle and toe of the bat,’ said the cricketing legend, whose Test career was reduced to just four Test matches due to sporting isolation.
My best Test XI, by Graham Gooch
Barry Richards (South Africa)
Geoffrey Boycott (England)
Sir Viv Richards (West Indies)
Sachin Tendulkar (India)
Allan Border (Australia)
Sir Ian Botham (England)
Alan Knott (England – wicketkeeper)
Shane Warne (Australia)
Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
Malcolm Marshall (West Indies)
Dennis Lillee (Australia)