West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards praised Virat Kohli for his performance in the ongoing Men’s ODI World Cup.
In a column for ICC, Richards said, “There have been a whole host of talented individuals on show but to top them all, you cannot look past Virat Kohli. I am a huge fan of Virat, I have been for a long time, and he continues to show why he has to go down as one of the all-time greats, right up there with the likes of the great Sachin (Tendulkar).”
Virat equalled Tendulkar’s all-time record of 49 ODI centuries during India’s recent World Cup clash against South Africa in Kolkata.
“Credit must be given to the backroom staff and everyone who backed him. So much was said about his form but he is back on top of his game. It is phenomenal to see an individual who has had his low points bouncing back and playing like this. They say form is temporary – and he has certainly proven that class is permanent. I am so happy for him, he looks so focused and he is a credit to the game of cricket,” added the two-time World Cup winner.
The 71-year-old Richards mentioned watching Afghanistan play as one of the highlights of the World Cup. Hashmatullah Shahidi-led Afghan side has beaten England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands to record its best-ever performance at the tournament and remains in contention for the final semifinal spot. “If they get a score of over 250, the bowling class they have means they are in the game all the time. Although they were denied by an amazing Glenn Maxwell innings against Australia, they have made a real statement in recent weeks and their performances will be inspirational for those who play the game in Afghanistan,” he said.
The 2023 edition is the first one not to feature two-time champion West Indies and Richards hoped that it worked as a wake up call. “It is a shame for the fans in the West Indies that they have not had the opportunity to see their team in action. I am hoping it acts as a wake-up call as it is a competition which means so much to us. The two World Cups we won in 1975 and 1979 remain the highlights of my career,” he said.
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