There is no sporting figure who so impacted on my life, and, I dare say the lives of millions like me, as Sir Ivan Vivian Alexander Richards, the legendary batsman and West Indies cricket captain from the island of Antigua. It is not just his exploits with the bat, but the confidence he exuded, the challenge to unbridled authority that he represented.
To borrow the words of the immortal C.L.R. James, he seemed to go “beyond the boundary”, literally and figuratively. For centuries, British colonialism had lorded it over the Caribbean people. Nonentities in British society were sent out to the colonies, boosted by royal titles, to become rulers in the region, accountable only to the crown and the British Foreign Office. British institutions and even sporting traditions were cloned in our society. Significantly, the Caribbean became one of the few parts of the British Empire to adopt both cricket (men) and netball (women) as national sports.