Mark Richardson (cricketer)
|Full name||Mark Hunter Richardson|
11 June 1971 |
Hastings, New Zealand
|Bowling style||Slow left arm orthodox|
|Test debut (cap 210)||12 September 2000 v Zimbabwe|
|Last Test||30 November 2004 v Australia|
|ODI debut (cap 125)||11 January 2002 v Australia|
|Last ODI||19 January 2002 v South Africa|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 29 April 2009|
Mark Hunter Richardson (born 11 June, 1971) is a former New Zealand cricketer. He was a left-handed opening batsman. He represented New Zealand in 38 Tests from 2000 to 2004. During his cricketing career he played for Auckland, Buckinghamshire and Otago. His nickname, "Rigor", is short for Rigor mortis, given to him because he moved like a dead man. He was also known as "snail man" due to his slow running. Although his team mates called him this in playful tones, he told 3 News he had had a "guts full" of it.
Richardson began his career as a left-arm spinner, batting at number 10. As his bowling ability declined, he worked on developing his batting, to the point where he was selected as an opening batsman for New Zealand, at age 29. His dour (he described the range of shots he played as "the straight drive, the forward defensive and 27 variations on the leave") approach to batting provided vital stability to New Zealand's batting order, at a time when they were notorious for collapses.
Richardson scored 2776 Test runs at an average of 44.77, including four centuries and 19 fifties. His sole Test wicket came in a match against Pakistan in 2001, dismissing Mohammad Yousuf, then known as Yousuf Youhana, caught and bowled for 203.
In addition to his slow running, Richardson was also noted for developing (in conjunction with the Beige Brigade) a tradition to challenge the slowest runner of the opposing side to a running race at the conclusion of each tour. In his first race he beat Australia's Darren Lehmann. He has since raced Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, South Africa's Neil McKenzie and England's Ashley Giles, only beating Kaneria. The Beige Brigade also supplied Richardson with a long-sleeved and hooded running suit in the New Zealand teams 1980s beige and brown colours.
Richardson was the fieldsman who caught Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne on 99, the closest the Australian came to a century in test cricket.
He retired from all forms of cricket in December 2004, saying he could not sustain the intensity needed to compete at international level. He noted that he finished with "a Test bowling average that is better than Sir Richard Hadlee's (22.29), and a 50-50 record in the end-of-series running race." He scored 9,994 first-class runs during his career, which he noted was "only different from Donald Bradman's Test batting average by a decimal point" (Bradman finished his career with an average of 99.94).
Richardson also played for Dunedin Metropolitan in the Hawke Cup.
Richardson is a currently a cricket commentator for SKY Sports. He also co-hosts Prime show The Crowd Goes Wild with Andrew Mulligan, hosts The Block NZ (where his twin son and daughter played a cameo role as judges for a playhouse), and is a breakfast radio announcer for The Morning Sound.