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Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - "Yeah Viv talk nah" - Denesh Ramdin's jibe at Viv Richards

Denesh Ramdin of West Indies celebrates
©Reuters

June 10 , 2012 - Ramdin, who had been recalled to the side, was in poor form in the series and had managed scores of 6, 43, 1 and 6 in his last four innings. Sir Viv's comment worked as motivation for the wicketkeeper-batsman as he went on to score a match-saving unbeaten century.

 

England had already won the 2012 Test series against West Indies by winning the first two games at Lord's and Nottingham. As the two teams moved to Birmingham for the third and the final Test match of the series, West Indies faced the challenge of avoiding a whitewash.

Unfortunately, play was not possible on the first two days of the match. When it began on day 3, England bowlers Graham Onions, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn made full use of the moisture in the pitch. By the end of the day, West Indies were reduced to 280/8 with wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin unbeaten on 60 with tailender Ravi Rampaul.

If England thought they would wrap up the West Indies innings quickly on day 4, they had another think coming. Ramdin added 143 with last man Tino Best as West Indies went on to post 426 on the board.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was unbeaten on 107 off 183 deliveries, batting for 289 minutes before he ran out of partners. As soon as Ramdin notched up his century, he took a piece of paper out of his pocket.

To the surprise of everyone, the paper had "Yeah Viv talk nah" written in block letters. The background to this celebration was that Viv Richards had questioned Ramdin's application, dubbing him as a totally lost guy. 

“Ramdin just looks out of sorts. When he first came into the game, I felt he was a huge prospect. For some reason, he has deteriorated in such a big way. Just the way he is walking back, he looks like a totally lost guy,” the former West Indies skipper had said.

 

 

Ramdin, who had been recalled to the side, was in poor form in the series and had managed scores of 6, 43, 1 and 6 in his four innings so far. Sir Viv's comment worked as motivation for the wicketkeeper-batsman as he went on to score a match-saving unbeaten century.

The batsman then took out another sheet of paper from his pocket which had the names of Ian Bishop, David Williams and Ramnaresh Sarwan written on it, thanking them for their role in his performance.

Ramdin was later fined 20% of his match fees by the ICC, citing that his celebration was against the spirit of the game. He duly apologized:

"Sir Viv had something in the press," Ramdin said. "I think I got a bit emotional and it came out the way it did. He is a legend of the Caribbean. I still look up to him. If I see him anywhere I will still call him out and probably have a drink with him. I can't remember the statement quite clearly, but it was a bit hurtful to me. I went to the nets, worked hard, came out and proved myself to the critics."

This is the same match in which Tino Best scored his best Test score of 95 in a crucial partnership with Ramdin. This was the highest for a number 11 batsman in Test cricket at that point. It was broken by Ashton Agar's 98 against England a year later.

After Sharon Gabriel was injured, Best was making a comeback to the West Indies side at 30. He had a batting average of 9 and the highest score of 27 before this game. The West Indian coach had told Best while training on the morning of day 4 that he was expecting at least 25 runs from him. Best did more than merely meeting expectations.

Man of the Match, Best returned to pick up the crucial wickets of Andrew Strauss and Jonny Bairstow as England were down at 221 for 5. The match was ultimately drawn with no play possible on day 5.

 

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