The Third Test between England and West Indies beginning today at the Emirates Old Trafford will be the last for the Wisden Trophy confirmed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday, July 23.
Next when both the Men’s team meet for a Test series they will compete for a new Richards-Botham Trophy.
The proposed Richards-Botham Trophy Test series between England and West Indies seeks to honour the two legends – Sir Viv Richards and Sir Ian Botham- whose rivalries on the field and the friendship off the field symbolises the close relationship and mutual respect between the two sides.
“The title honors Sir Vivian Richards, one of cricket’s greatest batsmen who scored more than 8,500 runs in a 121-Test career, and Sir Ian Botham, the legendary all-rounder who scored more than 5,000 runs and took 383 wickets in 102 Tests.
“Fierce competitors on the pitch, the pair developed a great friendship off it which still endures, and the new trophy is a fitting way to celebrate the warm relationship between the nations and to honour the gladiatorial spirit of contests past and present,”said ECB in an official release.
‘A huge honour’
Speaking on the occasion, Sir Viv Richards termed the announcement “a huge honor” for himself and his friend Ian and expressed his delight on recognition of achievements as a cricketer
“This is a huge honour for my good friend Ian and myself.
“I am delighted to know that the game that I have shown my love for since a little boy is naming such a prestigious award in recognition of what I managed to achieve as a cricketer,” Sir Richards was quoted in the official release.
Sir Viv Richards, who averaged 62.36 against England across his career with eight hundreds, feels that the honour bestowed upon him and his friend says about their relationship off the field.
“To have this trophy – West Indies vs England – named in honour of our work on the cricket field is great. What I think is also remarkable is that it says a lot about our relationship off the field as well.
“We were competitors on the field, but we showed we were brothers off the field. I’m proud to have my name on one side of the trophy with him on the other side,” the West Indies great said.
Sir Ian Botham also recalled the fierce competition with his “great friend” Sir Richards and pointed out the playing West Indies was one the toughest tests in cricket.
“Viv was the finest batsman I ever played against,” Sir Botham was quoted in the official release.
“He’s a great friend but we’ve always been competitive, not least when we were on the cricket field, and there was no one else’s wicket I would treasure more.
“Playing the West Indies was always one of the toughest tests in cricket, and it’s an honour for this trophy to bear our names. I hope future series will be just as exciting as the one we’ve all been enjoying this summer.”
Perfect inspirations for future
ECB Chairman Colin Graves on the occasion reminisced the magical moments produced by both the teams over the years and expressed his gratitude towards the West Indies team for travelling to the England during the pandemic.
“England and the West Indies have produced many magic cricketing moments over the years, and this series has been no different even though it’s been played in very different circumstances.
“We remain very grateful for West Indies travelling here to play this series, and it’s fitting that we’ve got such an exciting final Test in store as the teams compete for the Wisden Trophy for the final time,” Graves said.
He further believed that the two greats were a perfect inspiration for those who compete the Richards-Botham Trophy in years to come.
“Both we and Cricket West Indies felt that the time was right to honour two of our greatest modern players.
“Sir Vivian and Sir Ian were fierce competitors on the pitch but great friends off it, exemplifying the spirit of the contests between our two cricketing nations and providing perfect inspiration for those who compete for the Richards-Botham Trophy in years to come,”ECB chairman said.
The Wisden Trophy, which was introduced in 1963 to commemorate the hundredth edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, will now be retired and will be displayed at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Museum at Lord’s where it has traditionally been kept.
West Indies are currently defending the Wisden Trophy, with the 2020 series evenly poised 1-1. West Indies have won the Trophy most with 14 titles in the Trophies history of over five decades.