Sir Richard is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading fast bowlers and allrounders in the game of cricket. He held the world record for most test wickets in 1988 when he beat Ian Botham’s previous record of 373 wickets. In 1990 he became the first bowler in test history to capture 400 test wickets. When he retired from test cricket in 1990 he had taken 431 test wickets an average of 22.29 and scored over 3000 runs at an average of 27.
Sir Richard played test cricket for New Zealand for 18 years and had a first class career spanning 20 years. In first class cricket he captured 1490 wickets at an average 18.11 and scored over 12,000 runs averaging 31. On 102 occasions he took five or more wickets in an innings. He played for Canterbury, Tasmania and Nottinghamshire.
With cricket in his blood he is the 4th son of Walter Hadlee who captained New Zealand in the 1940’s and one of five boys, three of whom played cricket for New Zealand.
His achievements are endless. He held three bowling world records for the most test wickets, the most five wickets in an innings and the most ten wickets in a match.
He was named New Zealand Sportsman of the Year in 1980 and 1986. In 1987 he was named Sportsperson of the Decade and the last 25 years (jointly held with athlete John Walker). In 2002 he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He was knighted for services to cricket in 1990 while still playing the game. His life in cricket has been immense as a player, level 3 coach, manager of NZA teams, national selector and an NZC board member.
Sir Richard (Paddles to his team mates) is respected throughout the world for his cricketing abilities and his tremendous dedication to the game. He set and achieved his goals throughout his career. He has overcome various health issues including open heart surgery in 1991, a hip and knee replacement in 2011 and in 2018 he was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer that required surgery and six months of chemotherapy.
Sir Richard is a witty, sincere, motivational and after dinner speaker and above all, extremely professional.