Viv Richards recalls his 1974 debut in Bengaluru

Vivian Richards is no stranger to Bengaluru

His broad smile and warm handshake instantly puts you at ease. Sir Vivian Richard, the West Indian cricketing legend, exudes the same spirit and energy that he did during his prime as a cricketer. He is nostalgic about Bengaluru, a city he is now visiting. “This is where I made my debut in 1974. It was a proper sort of baptism for me to go further up,” he told Metrolife in a freewheeling interview.

Do you coach young cricketers?

I do a lot of mentoring. Because sometimes you have young individuals who have seen you play in the past and ask how we exude the confidence we do. How to instill confidence in individuals is the priority. Sometimes we allow talent to be everything without hard work. If you have the talent, ability and the will to succeed, then you can’t have a better combination.

How do you keep your spirit up?

You try and make youngsters understand that nothing moves forward without love and passion for the game. This is where I would like to mention Virat Kohli. I like the way he represents his country. Fans enjoy watching him because he literally wears his heart on his sleeves. I used to be like that. That is why I enjoy watching Virat play. I associate myself with him.

What do you think about the T20 format?

It is a great format. It has given cricket a new lease of life. Some legends may not like the format but I love it. As long as the game keeps improving, I am happy. At one point, cricket was as dead as anything else, but now it has come back to life and I am happy. I feel it is moving in the right direction. But let’s hope they don’t fiddle with it too much (smiles).

What kind of music do you listen to? Do you sing yourself?

I once tried to cut a little CD called, ‘Here Comes Viv’. I stay away from punk and rock. I love listening to tracks by Bob Marley. I also can’t get enough of reggae and Calypso music. That comes naturally since we are Caribbean people.

What brings you to India now?

I am the brand ambassador for AUA, run by Manipal Education and Medical Group. The course and faculty are one-of-a-kind. They have started a medical college in Antigua, my hometown.

A lot of emphasis is being laid on education in your place?

Apart from giving the locals an opportunity, we are also trying to spread the message that our country is a great place to be. Since is it located in the tropics, it provides the perfect place for families to live in. Health and education are being given a lot of priority.

His favourite things

Music: Bob Marley’s ‘Legend’. Reggae, Calypso but no punk and rock.

Reading: “I have always been a voracious reader. I keenly follow what’s happening in world politics. It is interesting to watch how the policies of Donald Trump and Barack Obama affect the world at large.”

Indian dishes: “Yellow dal, boiled rice and ladies’ finger. I also enjoy mutton roghan gosh and that’s a dish that I can’t get enough of.”

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Viv Richards recalls his 1974 debut in Bengaluru

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