West Indies legend Viv Richards would terrorise the batsmen, bowlers and on-lookers alike whenever he would step on the field. He was a notch above the rest and many of his opponents admitted to get goosebumps when they watched him play. Former New Zealand cricketer turned commentator Ian Smith believes Viv Richards could have been a great success in the shortest format of the game.
Richards notched up 8540 runs in the longest format at an average over 50 with 24 centuries and 45 half-centuries to his name. In the ODIs, he retired after scoring over 6700 runs at an average of 47, and is regarded one of the greatest batsman in the history of cricket till date.
Viv Richards Would Earn More Than Pat Cummins, Ben Stokes Combined In IPL: Ian Smith
IPL has seen franchises emptying their pockets behind the international stars. In the IPL 2020 auction, Pat Cummins, with the base price of Rs. 2 crore, was sold to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for Rs. 15.5 crore. In the process, the Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins beat Ben Stokes’ price of Rs. 14.5 crore to become the most expensive international buy in the history of IPL.
Ian Smith, however, believes a legend like Viv Richards would have been paid more than Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes combined and would be an absolute legend in T20 cricket. Smith also said that Viv Richards would go ‘over the top’ and earn every success in the shortest format.
“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,” Ian Smith said on Cricket Inside Out.
“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 would have gone through the roof.”
At the moment, the future of IPL 2020 hangs in the balance, with speculations for the tournament in place.