Cricket legend Barry Richards says he is hurt by what he describes a lack of recognition for his achievements from Cricket South Africa (CSA).
The 73-year-old Richards was earlier this week honouredby former England skipper Graham Gooch, who picked him in his best-ever cricketing XI.
“Simply the most graceful and my favourite batsman of all-time,” Gooch said of Richards.
Richards told Netwerk24 he was honoured by Gooch’s comments but added: “It however hurts to think that influential people in the game like Gooch, Dennis Lillee and Donald Bradman rate you so highly, but the governing body in your own country, Cricket South Africa, pretend that you don’t exist.
“Cricket South Africa are the only guys who give no recognition for what we achieved on the cricket field. They view us as pale, male and stale,” Richards said.
CSA only take into consideration records achieved since the 1991/92 season when South Africa re-entered the international fray following apartheid.
Due to South Africa’s sporting isolation, Richards only played four Tests, scoring 508 runs at an average of 72.57.
He however had a distinguished first-class career that spanned the 1964/65-1982/83 seasons and saw him play for teams like Natal, Transvaal, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and South Australia.
In 339 First Class games, Richards scored 28 358 runs at an average of 54.74.
Richards added that he had never been invited to any CSA seminars and functions.
“Yes, it bitters me… especially coming from people at the helm of CSA who don’t even know the difference between the handle and toe of the bat.”
Gooch, who played 118 Tests for England and scored 8 900 runs, revealed a line-up with former greats that he had the privilege of playing with during his career, which spanned from 1973 to 2000.
Richards is the only South African in Gooch’s line-up.