Richardson and Richards sign up

WEST Indies skipper Richie Richardson will lead the Caribbean crowd favourites in this year's Cathay Pacific/Wharf Holdings Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes.

The 31-year-old Antiguan stroke-maker, who is playing English county cricket with Yorkshire, has been named as West Indies captain for the second Hong Kong Sixes, which will be held at the Kowloon Cricket Club on October 1-2.

And his teammates will include the man he succeeded as West Indies captain just under two years ago - the legendary Viv Richards, who was such a big hit with the fans at last year's inaugural event.

Brian Catton, of tournament promoters Cricket World International Ltd, secured the dynamic duo this week and said last night: ''This will be the first time they have played in the same West Indies side since Richardson took over as captain.

''Both are flamboyant and explosive batsmen and should set the tournament alight.'' Organisers are still assembling the full West Indies squad and hope to have a stronger side than last year, when Richards and his teammates were beaten by eventual champions Pakistan.

''We are still talking to a few of the other guys but the most important thing is that we have two big names locked in,'' added Catton.

''This should make it easier to complete the line-up because the West Indies players will be keen to follow those two.'' Richards is playing his final season in English county cricket for Glamorgan before retiring from the first-class game.

The West Indies squad at last year's Sixes was led by Richards and also comprised Phil Simmons, Franklyn Stephenson, Roger Harper, Gus Logie and Jeffrey Dujon.

West Indies will be joined in the Sixes by defending champions Pakistan, last year's runners-up India, debutants South Africa, a Graham Gooch-led England, officially sanctioned sides from Australia and New Zealand, plus Hong Kong and Plate winners Sri Lanka.

The KCC will have a capacity of 4,000 fans and the event will carry prize money of HK$400,000, with HK$150,000 to the winners.

Hong Kong's selectors have named a provisional squad of 11 players, which will be cut to seven for the tournament.

The only player to miss out from last year is left-arm paceman David Crowe, who has lost his place to David Cross, who also bowls left-arm over.

The six survivors of the squad who beat Australia and Pakistan on the opening day last year - skipper Pat Fordham, Steve Atkinson, Stewart Brew, Steve Foster, Leigh Beaman and Ross Greer - are joined by Glyn Davies, David Thompson, Riaz Farcy, Cross and John Garden.