Paper Money

Legendary cricket star honored on Caribbean note

Cricketer Sir Vivian Richards is honored for a long athletic career, with his image as a featured element on the ECCB’s $2 commemorative bank note issued Dec. 1.

Images by Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issued a polymer legal tender $2 commemorative bank note on Dec. 1 honoring the Caribbean Sultan of Swat, legendary cricketer Sir Vivian Richards, known in the sport as “The Master Blaster.”

The issue is part of the bank’s celebration of its 40th anniversary, with the theme “ECCB@40: A Year of Reflection, Celebration and Implementation.” It was printed by De La Rue in a slightly smaller size than the other Eastern Caribbean polymer notes. It is the first time that a reflective silver ink, a gold iridescent ink and a holographic blue foil have appeared together on a bank note.

The top half of the face of the vertically oriented commemorative bears an image of Richards at bat. The 71-year-old native of Antigua and Barbuda, who was on the West Indies cricket team between 1974 and 1991, is considered one the sport’s greatest batsmen (hitters) of all time. He was named as one of the five top cricketers of the 20th century.

The bottom of the face and the entire back is representative of the region’s interconnected aquatic ecosystem, with coral reefs and marine life. A reflective turtle seen on both sides changes color as the note is tilted.

After presenting Richards with  an example of the $2 note during the unveiling ceremony, ECCB Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine explained that it was the hope of the bank that by placing Sir Vivian’s image on the note, it would “deliver fresh inspiration for the people of the Caribbean, not just for cricketers, but for all youth and people around the world.” He added, “We hope we can rekindle, through this act, a consciousness about Caribbean Civilization, self-belief, a sense of purpose and fearlessness as you so ably demonstrated on the field of play.”

Minister Camillo Gonsalves, Chairman of the ECCB Monetary Council, noted it was the hope of the Central Bank to inspire all citizens of the Eastern Caribbean to “reflect on the qualities, principles and the excellence embodied in the image of Sir Viv.”

Sir Vivian Richards said that he was honored and humbled to receive such recognition, and acknowledged the role of his parents whom he said instilled in him the self-belief which enabled him to be successful.

The note was available at commercial banks across the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union from Dec. 6. Its release occurs, says the region’s The Observer, just as the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union began polling the public on replacing Queen Elizabeth on its banknotes with the ECCU logo. A final decision is expected in February.

The ECCB was created in 1983 as successor to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (1965–1983). Its members are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

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