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Home > Sports News > Cricket News > Article > After Sir Frank its Sir Viv

After Sir Frank, it’s Sir Viv

Updated on: 25 June,2024 07:48 PM IST  |  Antigua
Dr. Nilesh Mehta | sports@mid-day.com

Sir Vivian Richards’ currency note in Antigua and other honours for iconic sportspersons

After Sir Frank, it’s Sir Viv

Sir Viv Richards with the T20 World Cup recently. Pic/Getty Images

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Countries love their athletes and have varying ways of appreciating their contribution to their sport. Two athletes from competing nations—Australia and India—have the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, or the country will shower the athlete with a unique high-ranking recognition—Sachin Tendulkar—Bharat Ratna.  


However, only a handful of athletes worldwide have been honoured by getting recognised on the currency note of their country.  One recent example is Sir Vivian Richards of Antigua. Richards has been widely recognised as one of the most destructive batsmen ever. His photograph of playing a hook shot, one of his trademark strokes, has been included as Sir I.V.A “Viv” Richards - The Master Blaster” on a Two Dollar currency bill by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. On the other side of the currency bill are the names of the islands where the currency is in use - Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Christopher & Nevis, Montserrat, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent  & The Grenadines, and Grenada. 



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Other athletes from different countries have been immortalised to honour their contributions.  Sir Frank Worrell, known for his exemplary leadership and sportsmanship, was the first full-time black captain of the West Indies cricket team. His influence extended beyond the cricket field, fostering a sense of pride and unity among Caribbean people during the 1950s and 1960s. Several Caribbean nations have featured his image on their currency to honour his legacy, celebrating his contributions to cricket and society.   Their inclusion on currency bills is a testament to their status as national icons and their role in inspiring future generations of cricketers.

The two dollar note which has Sir Viv Richards on it. Pic/Dr Nilesh Mehta 

While not featuring sports heroes on currency bills, India honours them through prestigious awards like the Bharat Ratna. Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest cricketers in history, received the Bharat Ratna in 2014, making him the first sportsperson to receive India's highest civilian award. Tendulkar's exceptional career and influence on cricket and Indian society are celebrated and revered through this honour, demonstrating the nation's deep respect and admiration for its sports icons and the profound impact they have on the nation's collective consciousness.

Other examples of athletes their nations have recognised include Pelé of Brazil for his football stardom, Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand for his conquest of Mt Everest in 1953, and Liberia’s football star George Weah.  

These examples illustrate how countries honour their sports heroes by featuring them in currency or through prestigious awards. Such gestures of admiration and appreciation celebrate the athletes' achievements and inspire future generations to pursue excellence and contribute to their nation's legacy.

Dr Nilesh Mehta is a Chicago-based surgeon

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