Renowned commentator Ian Smith has labelled the legendary Sir Viv Richards as a revolutionary and has opined that the flamboyant right-hander would have been a monster in modern-day T20 cricket. Smith stated that Richards would have garnered more money than ‘Stokes and Cummins combined’.
A batsman who oozed charm, flamboyance and charisma and was way ahead of his time, Sir Viv Richards is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen to ever grace the game. Richards revolutionized cricket, for he was one of the first batsmen to incorporate an aggressive style of batting into the game despite batsmen around him sticking to the more safe, conventional way of scoring runs.
In fact, the brand of cricket the West Indian displayed back in the day has led many to state that Sir Viv would have been a perfect fit in the T20 era, thanks to his nonchalant hitting ability. Amongst the lot is former New Zealand cricketer and now-renowned commentator Ian Smith, who believes Richards would have been an ‘absolute legend in T20s’. According to Smith, who played many a game against Sir Viv back in the 80s, the legendary West Indian, in this day and age, would have set off a bidding war, so much so that he would have ended up garnering more money than Ben Stokes and Pat Cummins combined.
“He would have been an absolute legend in T20 cricket. They would have paid more money than Pat Cummins, Ben Stokes and all other guys put together, to get Viv Richards in their line-up, because it would put more bums on the seats. He would have been an absolute crowd-pleaser and television rights would have gone through the roof,” Smith said on ICC’s Cricket Inside Out, reported Times Now.
An astonishing aspect of Richards’ game was his scarcely believable strike rate in ODI cricket, with it standing tall over 90, despite a vast majority of batsmen in his generation hovering around the 65 mark when it came to the scoring rate. And Smith stated that Richards’ astonishing strike rate would have enabled him to play and succeed across generations and noted that the flamboyant West Indian batted with a T20 strike rate even before the format was invented.
“I believe Viv Richards would have made a go at cricket in any format in any decade. That’s why, I mean you look at his strike rate which was superior to anyone else’s at that time that is a T20 strike rate without even having that game in his mind.”