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Australia cricketers' den: Viv

Former West Indies captain Vivian Richards describes Australia as a never-ending breeding ground for cricketers.

cricket Updated: Apr 28, 2007 13:13 IST

Former West Indies captain Vivian Richards has described Australia as a never-ending breeding ground for cricketers.

He expressed his amazement at the strength of the Australian team which has done so well in the World Cup despite not having players of the calibre of Shane Warne, Damien Martyn and Justin Langer, all of whom retired from the one-day game following the winter Ashes series against England.

Fast bowler Glenn McGrath will follow in their footsteps and will hang up his boots after the final and a record-breaking stint in the game against Sri Lanka.

Richards, however, was quoted by the BBC as saying that "The people who have replaced these guys have been phenomenal. Australians are missing nothing.

"We all felt there could be problems with the loss of players but the message this sends to me is that Australia is never-ending as a breeding ground for cricketers."

According to the original master blaster of his era, Australia will retain their dominating position in world cricket for times to come.

"They could be unstoppable for a long time," Richards said. Slingy fast bowler Shaun Tait has already taken 23 wickets in the tournament and captaincy-potential batsman Michael Clarke averages over 85, while all-rounder Shane Watson has made a strong comeback from an injury layoff.

Despite the ease with which Australia qualified for their fourth World Cup final in a row, Richards believes Sri Lanka can pull off an upset.

"People felt the same thing when Australia were playing so well in 1975, when they were beating everyone, but some guys from the Caribbean changed that.

"No-one can tell me Australia will think this is theirs already. They still have to play - and there is still a major hiccup to happen in this tournament.