An imperiously powerful batsman from the moment he arrived at the crease, Vivian Richards was a prolific run-scorer for the West Indies at Test level with 8,540 runs from the 121 matches he played. He made 24 Test centuries during his career at an impressive average of 50.23 and he also became the first West Indian cricketer to make 100 first-class hundreds - a feat he achieved during the 1988-89 season.
Richards, who was known as ‘King Viv’ for much of his career, will mainly be remembered for the explosive manner and style of his batting rather than for its end result. As a batsman, he always looked to dominate the bowling and his aggressive approach often appeared arrogant to the onlooker. His lightning-fast reflexes and brute force made up for his unconventional technique and for many years he held the record for most sixes hit at Test level, with 84.
Sometimes criticised for his penchant to favour the leg-side, Richards had a brilliant eye for the ball and he was a consummate hooker and puller. He could be devastating in one-day matches and, in 1984, he destroyed the England bowling at Old Trafford with a brilliant 189 not out - his highest-ever score in limited-over internationals.
But he could be just as authoritative in Test cricket. In 1986, he bludgeoned a sensational 110 against England in Antigua, reaching his 100 off only 56 balls - then the fastest ever century in Test cricket. In 1976, he created a world record of 1,710 Test runs in a single calendar year, including 829 runs at an average of 118.42 in the four-match series away to England. It was a record he held for 30 years until Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf overtook him in 2006.
Richards, from Antigua, took over as captain of the West Indies from Clive Lloyd in 1980 and he proceeded to lead a strong side through their most successful era at Test level. He captained them to 27 wins in 50 Tests between 1980 and 1991, while also maintaining his reputation as the world's best batsman over the same period.
In England, he played county cricket for Somerset between 1974 and 1986 and helped them to their first major domestic trophies: the Gillette Cup and the Sunday League title - both in 1979. He then finished his county career with a spell at Glamorgan between 1990 and 1993, ending in style as the Welsh side won the 1993 Sunday League.