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Viv Richards: Perfect Timing

Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards is an all-time great cricketer, one of the 20th Century's best ever. A dominant right-handed batsman from Antigua, he was known for his bravery and natural timing, and a quality everyone said about him, his aura. There was a thrill of anticipation every time he played, and simply watching him strut out to the middle like a boxer going into the ring was a form of theatre.

Sagittarius rising shows his regal air, one of life’s natural kings, and Jupiter in Pisces-Revati in the fourth makes Hamsa Yoga. A strong and stable placement lagnesh gives protection and an unshakeable faith in one’s own ability. Richards never wore a helmet on the field, even against the fiercest fast bowling, but instead trusted his skill and reflexes to avoid harm, or more often, to lash the ball to the boundary. Eighth lord Moon in auspicious Cancer-Pushya also gives courage and protection from danger. 'Auras' are more the domain of the Navamsha D9 chart, and Pisces rising here reflects his overall Jupiterian signature.

Viv Richards March 7th 1952, 02:25am, St John's, Antigua

Navamsha D9

Surprisingly, Mars is not notably prominent or well-placed by sign, though is strong by Shadbala. Despite his intimidating air, Richards was never just a slogger – his dominance came from pure technique and hand-eye coordination, which also allowed him to improvise at will. Third lord of prowess, Saturn in the tenth is also exceptionally strong and gives leadership qualities: the West Indies never lost a series under Richards’s captaincy. Also rather surprisingly, Richards’s entire career spanned Mercury and Ketu mahadashas – relatively weak grahas. Mercury's conjunction with strong Jupiter lifts it out of debilitation, but gives a softly-spoken nature and suggests one who had to work hard to maintain his concentration - he would sometimes lose interest once he got past a hundred (or two). Richards was at the peak of his powers in the late 1970s in Mercury-Sun-Moon-Mars antardashas. In Ketu mahadasha from mid-1987, his natural powers started to wane, and almost certainly his statistics would be even more impressive had his career coincided with stronger planets’ rulership. But those of us who saw him were lucky to have him.

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