Melbourne: LegendaryWest Indiescaptain Vivian Richards, who Friday was named mentor of the Big Bash franchise Melbourne Stars, believes he can make a difference to the side.
The 60-year-old will join the squad’s support staff ahead of the new Big Bash season, which starts Dec 7 and runs until Jan 19.
“You hear some say a blast from the past. Why not add some of that blast from the past to what we have at present?” Richards told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“If we have individuals who are receptive enough… I think I can help in that category. To be given an opportunity to come back to the scene of the crime, I’m very excited about that.
“I’m going to be around, I’m not one of these who will be here basically for my looks. It’s all about helping some of these young individuals,” he said.
Richards, who never lost a series during his time asWest Indiescaptain, brings an outstanding resume to his new role.
He plundered 8,450 runs from 121 Tests in a career spanning 1974 to 1991, carving out 24 centuries.
Richards also slammed 6,721 runs in 187 One-Day Internationals and was part of the West Indies side that won both the 1975 and 1979 World Cups inEngland.
Stars’ chairman of selectors Ian Chappell, a contemporary of Richards during his playing days, welcomed the Antiguan’s presence at the club.
“Shane Warne (captain) was very keen to get Viv involved with the Stars in a mentoring role,” Chappell said.
“As a player Viv set himself high standards with formerPakistancaptain Imran Khan describing him as ‘a batsman who intimidated bowlers’. He was also one of the best all-round fieldsmen I’ve seen – brilliant in any position from cover to slips and even at bat pad,” he said.
“We feel Viv will provide another expert opinion for the players to seek out, complementing what is already a strong support staff. This is a huge coup for the team,” added Chappell.
“People like Ian Chappell, who I’ve always had admiration for, he’s as good as anyone else to be direct. That’s the way I love it,” said Richards.
An explosive and prolific batsman of his time, Richards was named along with Warne in Wisden’s list of the five cricketers of the 20th century.