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10 ODI players who Viv Richards would pay to watch

Viv Richards' list of 10 top ODI players of all-time

Sir Viv Richards

West Indian great Sir Vivian Richards, writing in his ICC official website column, has named a list of 10 One Day International (ODI) players who he would pay to watch. The first one to make the list is Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar. On Tendulkar, Richards writes, “In a single word, I would describe him as a legend. The player he was until very recently, if ever there is a team picked without including him, it would be a great shame.”

Rating his countryman Brian Lara in the same breath, Richards says, “I would pay to watch him bat too, and then pay again and again, and keep paying, however, many times it needs to be done.”

Following them are Richard’s fellow Caribbeans Chris Gayle and Clive Lloyd. Then comes Ricky Ponting, who has won the ODI World Cup three times with Australia, two while captaining the side. On Ponting, Richards said:  “Ponting was that he was a wonderful worker of the ball. When he was not hitting fours or sixes, he could rotate the strike easily. He could pick singles and doubles at will, and that is remarkable for a batsman especially coming in at number three. It becomes very difficult to contain such batsmen.”

Ponting is followed by a pair of openers, Matthew Hayden and Virender Sehwag. With a special mention for Sehwag’s hand-eye coordination, Richards writes, “He relied on great hand-eye co-ordination and when he got going, he could demolish any bowling attack in the world in a matter of overs. He made batting look so easy, almost a walk in the park.”

Michael Hussey, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli complete the list. Admitting that he can see himself at times in De Villiers, Richards said: “Sometimes when I watch him, it seems like I am watching myself. He looks very comfortable at the crease. The shots he plays bring such joy and not just to me.”

Richards expects Kohli to get even better with age. “Look at the way he started his career, and the batsman he has already become today, he is simply magnificent in whatever little time he has played as compared to others. He is only going to get better and better and add to his list of achievements.”

Complete list: Tendulkar, Lara, Gayle, Lloyd, Ponting, Hayden, Sehwag, Hussey, De Villiers, Kohli 

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