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King cricketer, Sir Viv joins IPL side

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Archiman Bhaduri for CaribDirect

Staff Writer – Archi

With six defeats in as many games in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, nothing seems to be going right for the Delhi Daredevils this season.

But in a desperate move for a turnaround, they have managed the biggest eye-grabbing move of this T20 league when they announced the inclusion of West Indian great Sir Vivian Richards to their staff on Saturday.

The original master blaster – sometimes even Chris Gayle too would pale in comparison – Richards joins the beleaguered Daredevils in an ambassadorial and advisory role. The signing, perhaps the best-kept secret of the glitzy, high-profile cricketing circus, is the latest addition at DD, complementing the likes of spin bowling consultant Mushtaq Ahmed, High Performance manager Jeremy Snape and former Indian bowling coach Eric Simons.

“I am looking forward to working with the Daredevils this season. I know the team has plenty of players of proven quality and others who have immense talent and hunger to succeed at this level and higher. It will be a great experience for me to be their sounding board and inspire them to deliver quality performances,” a Daredevils release quoted Richards as saying. Sources said that the former West Indian great arrived in the Capital on Friday night.

Richards didn’t waste any time in interacting with the team as they bid to avoid a seventh defeat in a row when they face Mumbai Indians at the Kotla on Sunday. “The morale of the team is not great at the moment so Richards had a pep talk with the team immediately after his arrival at the team hotel last night. There were a lot of eager ears,” sources added.

Sir Viv speaks to Dehli Daredevils

Sir Viv speaks to Dehli Daredevils

The 61-year-old is juggling multiple roles at the moment and he is also the ambassador-at-large of Antigua and Barbuda. “There are a number of youngsters in the squad who can make the most of the opportunity to interact with Richards and evolve as cricketers. Without a doubt, he was one of the best batsmen to take the field and he set amazing standards for himself with the bat and on the field in his playing days,” Daredevils team mentor TA Sekar said.

“Of course, we would have liked to have him with the team from the beginning of the season but he had some prior commitments and the visa also took some time to come through. Now, he will be with the team till the end of the season,” team owners GMR Sports said.

On whether Richards will stay on beyond this season, GMR added: “We have talked about it but we decided that we want to take it one step at a time. We are not making any commitments about next season at the moment.”

Jeremy Snape



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