You may ask yourself ‘what is unique about Antigua and Barbuda?’ The answer is the easy-going, English-speaking people who are some of the friendliest you will find, who have a reputation for humour, hospitality and a no-problem attitude.
The destination is also home to some of the most talented, creative, innovative and forward-thinking Antiguans and Barbudans. In the various fields of sports, music and entertainment, politics, and education to name a few, these outstanding persons have made significant contributions to the nation and have risen and continue to raise the profile of Antigua and Barbuda.
Sir Anderson Montgomery Everton “Andy” Roberts
Born in Urlings Village, Roberts was the first player born in Antigua to represent West Indies at cricket. Renowned for his formidable bowling style, Roberts quickly introduced himself on the world stage of cricket, with a style that was designed to lull batsmen into a false sense of security then devastate them with his accurate, pacey delivery.
A fast bowler, Roberts twice took a 7-wicket haul in test matches during his illustrious career. He paved the way for fellow Antiguans such as Richie Richardson, Curtly Ambrose and Sir Viv Richards to integrate into the West Indies side and he was part of one of the all-time great bowling attacks which helped secure the first two Cricket World cups in 1975 and ’79.
Since his retirement from the game Roberts has helped with the administrative side of the game in Antigua namely helping develop the standard of pitches into the international quality they bestow today.
Sir Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose
Standing at 6’7″, the imposing figure of Curtly Ambrose made him one of the most recognized and feared fast paced bowlers of his generation. Ambrose grew up with a love of basketball, which given his height is understandable, and didn’t get started with cricket until a relatively late age. It is a good job he did choose to swap the court for the crease, however, as he debuted for the West Indies in 1988 and by 1992 was chosen as one of the Windies Cricketers of the year.
Ambrose enjoyed a brief spell playing for Northamptonshire, where he maintained impressive performances; including taking a wicket with the first ball he ever bowled for the club! A prolific career saw him take over 400 international wickets in just 98 Tests, with figures like this it is little wonder he was consistently top of the ICC rankings as the world’s best bowler.
Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards
Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Sir Viv was a dominant batsman for the West Indies during his glittering 17-year international career. Richards made his test debut in 1974, against India in Bangalore and never looked back! Richards’ international career went from strength to strength, scoring an incredible 8,540 runs in 121 Tests, he also captained the side to an impressive 27 Test victories from 50 Tests.
Revered by the worlds greatest players Richards was also regarded as probably the finest ODI batsman of all time, which only highlights his adaptability and class in the game. Fortunately he brought his aggressive yet majestic batting style to England and played county cricket for Somerset and briefly for Glamorgan. Richards lists one of his finest achievements in the game as winning the inaugural Cricket World cup in 1975, interestingly he also made the fastest Test century of all time, off just 56 balls, against England right here in Antigua during the 1986 tour.
Sir Richard Benjamin Richardson
The energetic Richie Richardson was another flamboyant batter (and bowler) who played for the West Indies; in fact he controversially succeeded Richards in the captaincy in 1991. Richardson was known for his exuberant style and refused to wear a helmet at the crease, instead opting for that iconic wide-brimmed maroon hat. Richardson made his test debut for the Windies back in 1983 and played for 12 glorious years.
Once he rested his bat from the international scene Richardson came to ply his trade in England and in 2009 signed for Thames Ditton Cricket club. Away from cricket Richardson enjoys playing bass guitar and has released several albums with his spirited band, which includes former teammate Curtly Ambrose.