The ECB will contest the new Richards Botham trophy when they will meet in the next test series the ECB announced on Thursday. The trophy is named in the honor of West Indies batting great Vivian Richards & celebrated England all-rounder Ian Botham who were teammates at English County Somerset before becoming opponents on the world stage.
That was introduced in 1963 to mark the centenary of the Wisden Almanack ‘cricket’s bible’, with Caribbean cricket great Learie Constantine a key mover behind its inception.
But former England Captain Mike Atherton has proposed that the teams should compete with each other for a prize named after cricketing legends as happens when Australia & India played with each other in the Allan Border Sunil Gavaskar trophy.
“This is a huge honor for my good friend Ian and myself,” said Richards, who scored more than 8,500 runs during a 121-Test career.
“I am delighted to know that the game that I have shown my love for since a little boy is naming such a prestigious award in my recognition of what I managed to achieve as a cricketer,” added the 68-year-old Antiguan.
Richards has played his best performance for team England including a majestic 291 runs at the oval in 1976 & an unbeaten century in West Indies World Cup Final win at the Lord’s three years later. “When I had the opportunity to go to England and represent Somerset, one of the first persons I met was Ian Botham, who would later become of one my best friends. “We were competitors on the field, but we showed we were brothers off the field”, said Richards.
Botham, 64, who scored more than 5,000 runs and took 383 wickets in 102 Tests, said: “Viv was the finest batsman I ever played against.
“He’s a great friend but we’ve always been competitive, not least when we were on the cricket field, and there was no one else’s wicket I would treasure more”, Botham said.
“Playing the West Indies was always one of the toughest tests in cricket, and it’s an honor for this trophy to bear our names.”
The Wisden Trophy will be ‘retired’ and displayed in the MCC Museum at Lord’s, where it has traditionally been kept.