‘Grass will never grow there again, he told me’ – England bowler Malcolm recalls aftermath of claims he had formula for Sir Viv

By Sports Desk July 07, 2020
Legendary West Indian batsman Sir Vivian Richards. Legendary West Indian batsman Sir Vivian Richards.

 Former England quick, Devon Malcolm, recently recalled the result of reports he had the found the formula for legendary Windies batsman Viv Richards making their way to the ears of the batsman, during England's 1990 tour of the Caribbean. 

The Jamaica-born pace-bowler created shockwaves, at Sabina Park, after effecting the run-out of Gordon Greenidge and dismissing Richards twice in a crushing 9-wicket win for England, at the start of the series. 

The then 27-year-old bowler figured, he might be on to something, first dismissing the iconic batsman lbw and then having him clean bowled in the second innings.  A confident answer at a post match press conference had seen the young bowler dubbed 'the chemist' in the following day's reports.  With the second Test abandoned, Malcolm continued his good form in the third Test after claiming six wickets in a drawn match, which Richards missed.  But then, Richards returned for the fourth Test.

“When Vivy walked out on that field, I knew Vivy meant business,” Malcolm recalled on the Mason and Guest radio show recently.

“The very first ball I bowled to Viv Richards he put me out the park for six.  The second ball met the same fate, to be honest,” he added

“The first two he hit me for six, I thought, right, maybe a half a chance because it was the short boundary, Alex Stewart was under it and I thought straight down Alex Stewart’s throat, but they went just over his head, six, six," Malcolm said.

"As a young fast bowler, Viv Richards actually knew what the third ball was going to be.  So, I like a fool ran up and just pitched the ball up a little bit further.  It wasn’t a short ball I bowled, I pitched it up outside of off stump, a bit wide, and I tell you Viv Richards climbed into that ball so hard it hit off the cover boundary and bounced some 20 yards back on the field.  He actually said to me grass will never grow there again.  

“That over I remember he took me for about 18.  It was 18 so far and the final ball of the over, I pitched one up and Vivy just knocked it to extra cover run past me and said ‘that one should be another four man, but I hope the captain keeps you on.”

Malcolm did stay on, ending the match with disastrous figures of 0 for 142 in 33 overs, as the West Indies won the match by a crushing 164 runs and later claimed the series 2-1.  The bowler, however, has fond memories of the incident.

“That was one of the most expensive overs I have ever bowled in international cricket, but that was one of my most exciting overs because I thought I could have had Viv Richards out three times in the over.  Viv Richards wasn’t going to back down, I wasn’t going to back down.”  

 

 

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