West Indies batting great Viv Richards recalled one of his fiercest on-field battles against former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram.
Richards was regarded as one of the established batters of his era who allured the fans with his exuberance and master-class batting. The 70-year-old amassed 8540 runs in Test cricket and 6721 in the 50-over format in 17 years of international cricket.
One of the quickest deliveries I have ever: Viv Richards on facing Wasim Akram
Bowlers would think twice before executing their plans when they saw Richards against them. The former West Indies skipper had the aggression in his shots and would torment the bowlers on the field.
However, Richards, who was popularly known as swagger, till date remembers the qualms of facing Pakistan’s king of swing during their intense battles on the pitch. Richards admitted that he faced one of the quickest deliveries against Akram in his storied international career.
“One of the quickest deliveries I have ever, ever encountered, and I believe there was someone upstairs looking after me. I had some hair left then, somewhat of a mini-Afro and this one went by so quickly, I could hear it hitting the wicketkeeper’s gloves and I said, ‘Wow, wow.’
“Wasim was a young man, coming on to the scene, and I was heading towards the exit door so I was glad that while he was coming then, I was going,” Richards told ESPNcricinfo.
“I can remember also that I did say to the individuals, the batsmen in the West Indies team at the time, I said, ‘Hey man, good luck to you guys, having to encounter that guy on a regular basis man.’ Wasim, he was very, very special. Up to this day, I still see that particular delivery. I have nightmares about it every now and again,” he added.
Viv Richards and Wasim Akram hold different roles with PSL franchises
Richards was the mentor and batting coach of Pakistan Super League franchise Quetta Gladiators last month in PSL 2022. Akram is the president of Karachi Kings, who endured a dismal season in PSL 2022 as they finished at the bottom of the points table with just a solitary victory from 10 league stage matches.