Over-50s World Cup Ambassador - Dave Richardson

The Over-50s World Cup in South Africa have announced six former greats of the game who will serve as the tournament’s ambassadors.

Mike Proctor, Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards, Omar Henry, Peter Kirsten and Dave Richardson will not be playing, but will be in attendance at the various functions, watching games and following the progress of all the teams closely.

Few people have reached both the playing and administrative heights that Richardson has. These days he is best known for his role as CEO of the ICC, a position he held from 2012 until 2019, but he also enjoyed a distinguished playing career that included 42 Tests and 122 ODIs for the Proteas when they re-entered the international fold in the 1990s.

He made his first-class debut in the 1977/78 season and became the country’s first-choice ’keeper in 1986. Like so many of his contemporaries, Richardson was unable to show his skills on the international stage until South Africa’s readmission in 1992. CricInfo described Richardson as “a wicketkeeper from the unobtrusive school, who did his job immaculately and without fanfare”.

His replacement, Mark Boucher, held a mortgage on the South African keeping position for more than a decade, and Quinton de Kock has had it for much of the time since, meaning that South Africa have really only had three long-term glove-men in the last 30-odd years.

After his playing career came to an end, Richardson’s training as a lawyer helped his transition into administration. He was appointed as the ICC’s first general manager in 2002 and chief executive officer in 2012. His time with the ICC obviously saw a lot of changes, from the rise of 20/20 cricket and television technology to match-fixing scandals, several World Cups and the spread of cricket globally.

Richardson has recently taken on a consulting role with Cricket South Africa and will advise on the country’s domestic structure.

By Jim Morrison