Richard Hadlee

Personal information

  • Full name: Richard John Hadlee
  • Born: July 03, 1951
  • Age: 71Years 51 days
  • Height: 6 ft 1in (185.5 cm)
  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Bowling Style: Right Arm Fast
  • Batting Style: Left Handed
  • Signature:

Richard John Hadlee is one of the players, who has taken his team to some extend. He was the pioneer for the New Zealand fast bowlers. He was the first player to reach 400 Test wickets. Also ensured that he would be remembered in New Zealand cricket history. In the 1980s, he was amongst the best four all-rounders. The rest three all-rounders were Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, and Ian Botham.

As a Bowling all-rounder, he took a total of 431 wickets in only 86 Test matches. At that time, he was the first bowler to reach 400 wickets, with an average of 22.29. Not only this, he had scored 3124 Test runs with an average of 27.16. He had two centuries and fifteen half centuries.

First Breakthrough:

There were a few years of inconsistency, but he had the perfect breakthrough against India in 1976. He took a total of 11 wickets in a game, which led New Zealand to a victory. After that, he had a remarkable career.

Vs England:

In 1978, Kiwis had a problem facing England. They were unable to win in the last 48 games vs. England. Then the miracle happened when Richard Hardlee gave a stunning performance.

He took 6 wickets and gave only 26 runs. England had to chase 137 runs, and they ended up scoring only 64 runs. 

Vs. West Indies:

At that time, West Indies were unbeatable. But Hardlee shocked everyone by taking 11 wickets in the first test, and New Zealand won the first test match by 1 wicket. The shock was not over. In the second test match, he scored a hundred when his team needed him. After that, New Zealand kept a record. They were unbeaten for straight 12 years.

After this event, in the 1980 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was named a ‘Member of the Order of the British Empire’.

The Journey To Become Number 1 ICC Test Bowling Ranking 

In 1983, New Zealand won their first test match on English soil. Though, they lost the series. In the return series, Hadlee stunned everyone by taking 8 wickets and scoring 99 runs. These efforts made him the number 1 ICC Test Bowler. He was there for four years.  

Australian Soil:

In 1985/86, he had done a tremendous job. In the first test, he took 9 wickets for 52 and scored 54 runs. Following that, he took 6 and 7 wickets in the second test. In the third test, he took a total of 11 wickets, and this was the first victory in Australian Soil by the kiwis. He took 33 wickets in 3 test matches, his personal haul. 


In 1987, New Zealand went to Sri Lanka for a three-match test series. In the first game, Hardlee scored 151 runs, and he was not out. He saved New Zealand from losing the game. But a bomb blast incident occurred near the New Zealand hotel, so the series had to be canceled.

Notable Performances:

Richard Hardlee Notable Performances

There were so many great performances Hadlee showed us. 

  • In 1986, He made a 10-wicket haul and scored a beautiful 68 runs vs. England.
  • In 1987/88, he made another 10-wicket haul vs. Australia. 
  • In 1988, he made the record of highest wicket-taker and crossed Ian Botham in that event.
  • In 1989/90, he took the wicket of Sanjay Manjrekar and became the first player to take 400 test wickets.

County Performance:

Richard Hardlee County Performance

He was very focused on his test career, and there were injuries. And that led him to play three full seasons for Nottinghamshire.

Here is a table of Hadlee’s bowling stats for the three full seasons.


Records And Awards:

  • The first player to take 100 wickets and 1000 runs in ODI’s. 
  • He has taken only 25 matches for a five-wicket haul, the second fastest.
  • He is the first player to take a total of 36 five-wickets hauls in Test cricket.
  • 1985, Gabba, his bowling figure was 15/123.
  • His highest score is 151*.
  • In the 20th century, the 9/52 against Australia was the best bowling figure.

Batting Career:

Batting Career

Check out the stats. He was one of the finest bowling all-rounders. 

Format MatInnsNORunsHSAveBFSR100s50s6s
List A317271565251100*24.371160

Bowling Career:

Bowling Career

Check out Hadlee’s Excellent bowling stats.

List A3171618885534546/126/123.1718.8335.680

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)!

There are a few questions that people tend to know. You can find these questions interesting and knowledgeable.

1. What Age Did Richard Hardlee Retire?

Ans: Sir Richard Hardlee retired from international cricket at the age of 39. He started to play international cricket in 1973. He was awarded Knighthood for the service he has given to the game. He is well-known for his fast bowling, and his name is among the world’s best fast bowlers. He was a new dawn for the New Zealand Test Cricket. 

2. How Fast Could Richard Hardlee Bowl?

Ans: Richard Hardlee was famous for his swing. He has taken lots of wickets with swing and pace throughout his career. In a 1979 study, he was named among the fastest bowlers. And he was in eighth place. His speed was 80.62 Mph or 129.8 Kmph. But with this speed and tremendous swing, he can take any wicket.

3. How Many Tests Did Richard Hardlee?

Ans: Richard Hardlee got his Knighthood right after he announced retirement from international cricket. He was at the top of the highest wicket-taker list for many years. After that, another brilliant all-rounder, Kapil Dev, took his place. Hardlee took a total of 431 test wickets in only 86 Tests. 

Final Words

Richard Hardlee will always be remembered in the cricket community for his excellent performances. But a fact that we might have no idea about. In 190, he built a trust for helping sportsmen and women. This organization is called The Sir Richard Hardlee Sports Trust.

To conclude, he was one of the twelve best cricketers of all time in ESPN Legends, got an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nottingham, and was on the list of ICC Cricket Hall of Frame in 2009, and there are many more awards.

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