Richie Richardson replaced Viv Richards as Test captain in 1991 and went on to lead the team 24 times as it reached the end of its golden era. One series defeat in four years is a fine record, but that Australian triumph in the Caribbean in 1994/95 was the first loss suffered by West Indies since 1980 and was significant as a changing of the guard.
Few cricketers are defined by their clothing or equipment, but show a maroon wide-brimmed hat to a cricket fan of the late 1980s or early 1990s and they would think of only one man: a player who helped embody the confidence of West Indian cricket along with his fellow Antiguan and near namesake Richards.
Richardson’s panache and destructive strokeplay against fast bowling further developed his style, but there was substance, too. He struck nine of his 16 Test centuries against Australia, with two coming in consecutive Tests that were the difference between the teams in 1990/91.
An average of 33.4 in ODIs didn’t do Richardson’s talents in the shorter form justice, but his final ODI innings was an example of what his team would miss without him. Unbeaten on 49 in a low-scoring 1996 World Cup semi-final against Australia, a collapse at the other end left the skipper stranded.
This resilience, authority and calmness as a leader was evident in subsequent coach and match referee roles - the man in the maroon hat continues to leave a mark on the game.