Love for chewing gums and reason for not wearing helmet: Viv Richards speaks to Shane Watson
West Indian legend Viv Richards is remembered by cricket lovers for his attacking style of batting as well as his swagger on the pitch. Richards was a fierce competitor and he gave his best every time he was on the ground. He played at a time when pitches were uncovered and there was no rule to limit the number of bouncers a bowler could bowl. Yet, he decided never to wear the helmet and braced up to face some of the fastest bowlers that teh game has ever seen.
In a chat with former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, Richards revealed the reason behind not wearing the protective gear.
“The passion for the game I felt was such that I wouldn’t mind dying playing something that I love. If this is what I chose and I go down here, what better way is there to go,” said Richards on Watson’s podcast.
“I have looked at other sportsmen and women who I have a lot of respect for doing it to an extreme level. I see a guy driving a Formula 1 racing car, what could be more dangerous than that?” said Richards, to which Watson jokingly replied, “Facing 150kph without a helmet?”
The two time World Cup winner played 187 Test matches for West Indies, in which he scored 8540 runs at an average of 50.23. He also scored 6721 runs at an average of 47 in 187 ODIs. He narrated a story about how he chose to not wear a mouthpiece given to him by his dentist so that he could chew gum.
“One of my dentists made me a mouthpiece and all and I tried it a few times but I always enjoyed my chewing gum. You have 11 men out there and the umpires -- you felt outnumbered. And that was my little piece,” said Richards.
“It made me sort of look cool, calmed me down, it gave me sort of a rhythm. That was a companion for me at the time. I made sure every time before I walked out there I had a chewing gum in my mouth. It got a bit stale if you are batting long enough but it was all good. So I did away with the mouthpiece.”
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