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.”

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014 (16:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 12, 2014  at Sharjah

New Zealand won by 4 wkts

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India reach 71/1 at stumps

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

Kane Williamson completes 13th ODI fifty; New Zealand 100/2 in 22 overs vs Pakistan

South Africa vs West Indies 1st Test at Centurion, Day 3: Samuels and Chanderpaul take West Indies past 150

Saeed Ajmal returns impressive figures on return to competitive cricket

Dean Brownlie dismissed on 34 as New Zealand lose their second wicket against Pakistan

Dean Brownlie, Kane Williamson bring up 50-run 2nd-wicket stand

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: New Zealand likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Pakistan likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here