London: West Indies batting great Viv Richards’ son has been offered a contract with County side Middlesex, and it could be the start of his England career.
Mali Richards, an 18-year-old allrounder, was offered a summer contract by Middlesex, whose home ground is Lord’s. He is eligible for England because he was born at Taunton, Somerset, where his father was playing.
Richards junior has played in the Caribbean for Antigua, his father’s home island, but was educated in England and starts a degree at Cardiff University next year.
“We haven’t actually seen him play but he’s got a good record in junior cricket and has been recommended to us,” Middlesex coach John Emburey said.
“I gather that as a batsman he plays a few shots and bowls medium-quick seamers. This arrangement should suit us all. Mali can get some cricket next summer before he starts university and we can have a close look at him before deciding whether we want to take things further.”
Emburey said he had “no idea” about Mali’s international prospects, but added he was coping well being the son of Viv.
“Mali has to try to create his own identity. But Viv certainly doesn’t put him under any pressure. He’s more than happy to support and encourage yet stresses that Mali is his own man and makes his own decisions.”