Cricket-New Richards-Botham trophy for future England-W.Indies tests

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - A new Richards-Botham trophy will be up for grabs when England and West Indies next meet in a test series as the teams pay homage to two of their greatest cricketers.

The title honours West Indies batting great Viv Richards, who scored more than 8,500 runs in a 121-test career, and England all-rounder Ian Botham, who recorded more than 5,000 runs and took 383 wickets in 102 tests appearances.

Friday's third test between England and West Indies will be the last time the teams compete for the current Wisden Trophy, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Thursday.

Richards, who averaged 62.36 against England across his career with eight hundreds, said it was an honour to share the new trophy recognition with his close friend Botham.

"I am delighted to know that the game that I have shown my love for since a little boy is naming such a prestigious award in recognition of what I managed to achieve as a cricketer," the 68-year-old Antiguan said.

"When I had the opportunity to go to England and represent Somerset, one of the first people I met was Ian Botham, who would later become of one my best friends. We are friends for life."

Botham took 61 wickets at an average of 35 against a West Indies side who dominated world cricket in the 1970s and 80s.

"Playing the West Indies was always one of the toughest tests in cricket, and it's an honour for this trophy to bear our names," Botham said.

"I hope future series will be just as exciting as the one we've all been enjoying this summer."

The Wisden trophy, introduced in 1963 to commemorate the 100th edition of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, will be put on display in the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord's.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)


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