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Sir Vivian: The Definitive Autobiography [Mass Market Paperback]

Viv Richards , Bob Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 May 2001
"Wisden Cricket Monthly" announced in May 1999 that Vivian Richards had been voted the best international cricketer of the past 25 years by his peers. Ian Botham came second and Shane Warne third. Both of them voted for Viv Richards. The most compelling and exciting batsman in the modern game, Viv Richards played for the West Indies from 1974 to 1991. He took over the captaincy from Clive Lloyd in 1985 and under his leadership West Indies became the most feared team in the world, the irresistible force of the international game. Now, seven years after his retirement from the game, Viv Richards can tell his story without fear or favour for the first time. From the early years in Antigua and as a teenager in the West Country, the story continues with the humiliation of West Indies at the hand of pace bowlers Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee and charts the successful remoulding of the West Indians into the team that dominated world cricket for nearly 20 years.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (31 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140290753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140290752
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

In the latest edition of the cricketing bible Wisden, Sir Vivian Richards was voted one of the five greatest cricketers of the 20th century. In the words of no lesser judge than Ian Botham, "There has never been a better player". Whatever the nature of any specific accolade, there can be no doubt that during a test match career running between 1974 and 1991, Viv Richards proved himself one of the most accomplished, exciting and destructive batsmen that the world stage has ever seen. This autobiography, written with journalist Bob Harris, tells the story from Viv's point of view, and is pretty much what cricket fans would expect from the man who was no stranger to controversy on a number of occasions during his playing days. Richards' career in cricket is fully covered from its inception until his failure to secure appointment as coach of the West Indies side to tour England in 2000. Playing days in England for Somerset and Glamorgan are recalled, alongside many memorable matches for the West Indies, and opinions on opponents and team-mates from around the world. Viv's great mate Botham of course features heavily, the former looking back on the special relationship they clearly had both off an on the field, where they enjoyed many a good battle. And Richards, it seems, loves nothing more than a battle. This combative nature, along with fierce determination, allied to loyalty to friends and his beloved Antigua, and the Caribbean in general, shine through as the key themes in his success. Flavoured with a sense of humour, these characteristics ensure that Viv's story is as entertaining as the batting with which he thrilled crowds around the world. --Trevor Crowe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sir Vivian Richards is the Caribbean's most charismatic sportsman. Although he retired from international cricket in 1991 he is still the scorer of the fastest test century and remains West Indies' highest-scoring test batsman.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A good solid, if unspectacular read. Better than most biographies of its type.
Richards discusses his early life in the Carribean, then moves on to talk about his test match encounters - particularly with England & Australia.
Other subjects covered includes sledging, his public speaking tours with Ian Botham, his controversial departure from Somerset, his time with Glamorgan, the approaches made to him to tour south Africa in the early 80s and the somewhat acrimonious end to his test career (I had no idea he wanted to tour Australia in 92/93!).
The section which most interested me though was the section on the Packer years. I only wish it had been more indepth. As Richards himself admits the cricket played as part of the Packer years was some of the toughest cricket ever played and the sense of challenge that Richards felt comes across loud and strong in the book.
What disappointed me a little was the lack on insight into some of his greatest innings. At no point does he attempt to discuss why he felt his test form dropped off (relatively speaking !!) during the 80s and 90s. That being said he does select what he thought was his best test innings and his decision will surprise you.
He does briefly discuss the eye problems that plagued him during the middle of his career. The cure make interesting reading as does his very frank and honest views on soft/hard drugs.
A good statistical section ends off the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for fans but somewhat anectodal. 7 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a Somerset fan, this was a book I had to read and at nearly 400 pages, you certainly get your money's worth.
Viv Richards, as readers will know, was quite simply the greatest batsman that ever lived. However, I don't think this book quite matches his achievements as a cricketer. I noticed it was co-written by Bob Harris, which in my experience, generally means you're in store for a series of tolerably written anecdotes, but not a sequential diary of events. Although that may be fine for some, I find the jumping around every five minutes a little confusing, but more importantly, you begin to lose that sense of anticipation that is so important when reading a book.
For example, early on, before he'd described how he'd broken into the Test Match arena, he'd describe events and players in a future Test Match to illustrate a particular point.
Viv doesn't hold back his thoughts in this book. If someone or something has annoyed him, he lets it out.
Anyway, if you're a fan of cricket, then you must also be a fan of the man himself, and this book paints an interesting picture of his life.
One little gripe I have about most sports autobiographies, and this book unfortunately is no exception, is that they rarely convey how magical it must feel to be playing for your country, or even your local county side. Maybe when you're the greatest player in the world, it isn't all that special, but all the same, I would have liked to have seen that described in this book.
That, however is a small gripe; the book is a good one, its certainly worth the money, and as he was one of my biggest childhood heros, gets 4 stars from me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE MAN 8 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A real gentleman, and a great account of his life, a book I could not put down and unlike lots of cricket books, not bogged down with endless stats, top marks Viv
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 14 May 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Must buy if you are his fan
Excellent read and funny too. The bit on Boycott and Thomson made me laugh so much
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chopped up, lacking in detail 6 Mar 2008
I was thinking that an autobiography on the life and times of Sir Viv Richards would be a fast paced affair detailing his triumphs as a test cricketer reliving all his great moments. However I was disapointed to find that the book did not even stick to a chronological order meaning that it became difficult to even assess the growing stature of the great mans career. Even at this the detail on the matches themselves are light in detail and I afraid to say very rarely took me to that place in his cricketing life. The book ends with a manifesto from Sir Viv on how he would change West Indies Cricket for the better. While it is clear that Viv is a very passionate and devoted person both to Cricket and his country, Antigua, I also got the sense that it was all slightly unnecessary. While an interesting read for anyone with a genuine love and interest in Cricket I would doubt it's appeal outside this bracket
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