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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 10:35 GMT
Cult Kiwi's final sprint
Richardson enjoys a rare win
Richardson's end-of-series races have gained cult status
New Zealand's pedestrian former opener Mark Richardson raced for the final time on Thursday before retiring his legendary lycra sprint suit.

Richardson came second to Auckland rugby star Jerome Kaino but beat John Afoa during the break in New Zealand's Twenty20 game with West Indies.

The batsman, infamous for taking on the opposition's slowest player, retired from cricket in December 2004.

His suit is being auctioned and he said: "I've just got to let it go."

Richardson, who played 38 Tests, is almost as famous for his ponderous work in the field and between the wickets as he was for an impressive Test average of 44.77.

His record in the traditional series-ending races includes narrow wins over Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria and former Australia batsman Darren Lehmann.

He was embarrassingly beaten by England's Ashley Giles at Trent Bridge in 2004.

However, the 34-year-old claims his sprinting is incompatible with his new career as a commentator.

"It's a big ask expecting people to believe what you're saying in the commentary box and then frolicking around in a skin tight suit at half-time," he pointed out.

Undeterred, the Beige Brigade supporters' club is hoping to find a new talisman.

"We have it on excellent authority that Stephen Fleming is now the slowest over 100 metres in the team," claimed co-founder Mike Lane.

"If he needs to exercise his powers of delegation then either Kyle Mills or Jeetan Patel should be groomed for the snail race sprint."

Co-founder Paul Ford said another option would be to have a swimming race.

"From all accounts Daniel Vettori is the New Zealand team's version of Eric the Eel," he said.

"It would be relatively amusing to see him don his budgie smugglers for a race against one of the West Indians. Food for thought perhaps."

Richardson v Lehmann charity race
30 Nov 04 |  Photo Galleries
West Indies in New Zealand 2006
13 Aug 05 |  Future tour dates


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