Peter Richardson (cricketer)
|Full name||Peter Edward Richardson|
4 July 1931 |
|Bowling style||Right arm off spin|
|Test debut (cap 382)||7 June 1956 v Australia|
|Last Test||9 July 1963 v West Indies|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 20 July 2009|
Colin Bateman, the one-time Daily Express cricket correspondent, noted, "Peter Richardson was one of cricket's great characters although you would never have guessed it watching him bat". Bateman added "yet off the field he was a one-man entertainment show, particularly when the troops were stuck in some up-country billet in India. His sense of humour and sharp mind enlivened many a dull official function to the delight of his team-mates. His love of a prank continued after his playing days with outrageous letters from fictitious Colonel Blimps to The Daily Telegraph."
Life and career
A left-handed opening batsman, Richardson played as an amateur for Worcestershire and was a near-instant success on his arrival as a regular in the side in 1952. Four years later, he had a similarly quick impact in his first Test series, the 1956 Ashes series, scoring 81 and 73 in his first match, and following it up with 104 at Old Trafford in a match famous for Jim Laker's 19 wickets. He went on to score 491 Test runs that year, the most in the world. He was first choice opener for England for a further two home series, but then had a poor series in Australia in 1958–59, when England lost the Ashes comprehensively.
Richardson's relative failure in Australia was influenced by a dispute with Worcestershire over the captaincy, which he had taken over in 1956, and his amateur status. In the summer of 1958, Richardson announced that he wanted to become a professional and to move to Kent; Worcestershire opposed the move, and Richardson was effectively barred from competitive cricket in the batsman's summer of 1959, losing his Test place too while he waited to qualify for his new county. By the time he resumed his county career in 1960, other left-handed opening batsmen, such as Geoff Pullar and Raman Subba Row, had moved ahead of him in the competition for England places.
Richardson played on for Kent until 1965, when he retired from the game. He toured Pakistan and India in 1961–62, batting mostly down the order, but played only one further Test match in England, in 1963 against the West Indies, when he made only 2 and 14 against a bowling attack spearheaded by Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith.
Richardson's two brothers also played first-class cricket. Dick Richardson was a middle-order batsman for Worcestershire and played one Test, alongside Peter Richardson, for England in 1957. The cricket writer, Colin Bateman, noted "Dick Richardson's Test career was brief but historic. When he played in the same team as his more famous brother, Peter, at Trent Bridge in 1957 against the West Indies, it was the first time... [in the 20th century] of siblings appearing in the same team for England". His other brother, Bryan, was an occasional player for Warwickshire.
Peter Richardson was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1957.
|Worcestershire County Cricket Captain