Home > News >

Viv Richards feels Twenty20 has given cricket a new lease of life

Viv Richards feels Twenty20 has given cricket a new lease of life

IANS

Mumbai: May 8, 2013

West Indies bating great, Sir Viv Richards had once feared that Test cricket will die down a slow death due to low turnout of fans but the advent of Twenty20 format has instilled a fresh lease of life into the game.

“At one point, I felt that Test cricket was dying a death all around the world and especially in India. India was one of the front-runners where attendance at Test matches was the most you could find in the world. And that started to go down at a real pace,” said Richards.

“Ever since T20 cricket, it may be a shorter version of the game, but the name doesn’t spell differently, it is still cricket. It has given cricket such a new lease of life. There are folks who like Test matches and there are folks, the new clientele, who obviously like T20 cricket, which I think is a great advantage for the game with the kind of followers,” the legendary Antiguan said at an event here to felicitate the coaches from Mumbai.

The most destructive batsman of his era, Richards said Test cricket will always remain the “universe” to him and to understand the game and its beauty, the younger generation should go through the rigours of longer format.

“All the administrators and governing bodies now realise that there should be a common understanding for an avenue for which they need the greatest format of the game if you need to understand the game itself, which is Test match cricket. You can’t change that. Test match cricket, that is the universe in my opinion.

“The youngsters should understand the game at its fullest in terms of Test matches. When they are successful at that, then there is an avenue also where everyone can represent at IPL, the Big Bashes around the world and I guess you would have a magnificent combination,” said the 61-year-old, who is presently the Delhi Daredevils advisor-cum-ambassador.

Richards said he loves Indian vice captain Virat Kohli‘s aggression on the field and what many people perceive as arrogance is actually his confidence.

“I have always felt what you see as arrogance, I see it as confidence. Virat Kohli has an aggression that regardless of whoever I am going to face, I will have the time over there. It is important to stamp your presence as early as possible, if you want a start,” he said.

West Indies were considered as one of the strongest teams in 1970s and Richards said it was the tour to Australia that determined them to win games.

“Growing up, my father used to tell me cricket is a gentleman’s game but I soon found out that in Australia it wasn’t. We were beaten 5-1. We were called all sorts of names. And it was there and then that Clive Lloyd decided enough is enough. We have to take these guys on. If we could get a few guys who could give us a start then we would see what they would be like.”

“We found those guys in 1975 and never looked back. It was amazing the same guys who were calling us names were running and looking for a place to hide. It was a pleasurable series that we had against Australians. We had Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall and that just changed the whole aspect of the game,” he added.

Richards, who never wore a helmet in his entire 17-year-long career despite playing in an era when fast bowlers loved to bowl bouncers to unsettle batsmen, said he didn’t have anything against the protective gear but felt the cap was the biggest honour bestowed upon a player.

“It wasn’t anything against the helmet. I have always felt that when you are given a cap with the emblem to represent your country, you wear it on top of your head.Anyone would like to represent their country whether a batsman or a bowler and as a little boy I was given that opportunity to represent my country.”

“At that time I thought it was the highest honour that would be bestowed upon any individual. I don’t think I would have done that cap any justice, if I had anything else on the head. I felt that proud wearing that cap… I felt God will protect me from whatever I was facing out in the middle,” he said.

Asked about his obsession for chewing gums, he said, “It was like my little brother. There were times when you walked into bat and you would forget about it. [In case I forgot] I would make sure before I faced my first ball, I would ask someone to run and get me that chewing gum,” he said.

Richards said when he retired in 1991, he felt like dead and buried.

“I felt when I retired in 1991 that I was dead and buried but coming to India I have realised you have kept me alive.”

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

Photos

CSK vs KKR, Match 1 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel following Biryani episode

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Cape Cobras Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Hobart Hurricanes vs Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

Ian Healy’s son speaks about his upcoming U-19 tour to Sri Lanka

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Ashwell Prince plays down talk of ‘racist’ abuse

Ian Bell out of county final against Durham due to toe injury

Kane Williamson: Always trying to work on my shots

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, Match 4, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Northern Knights vs Cape Cobras in CLT20 2014, 3rd match: 5 talking points

Ramesh Saxena: The Bihar mainstay with a restricted Test career

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

X-Men spin-off ‘Deadpool’ to release on February 12, 2016

iPhone 6 launch: Tim Cook kicks off sale at Palo Alto Retail Store, obliges fans with selfies

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan confident of lowering child mortality before 2030

Ashish Sharma: Karan Johar is the coolest judge on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7!

No, you can’t charge your iPhone in a microwave

Jammu & Kashmir floods: Bill Gates to donate USD 7 lakh for flood victims

Kunal Kapoor’s next on water scarcity similar to Sushant Singh Rajput’s Paani?

Jitu Rai wins first gold medal for India in 50m Pistol Men’s finals of Asian Games 2014

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here