Viv Richards relives World Cup triumph on 40th anniversary

Bridgetown (Barbados), June 22 (IANS) Cricket legend Vivian Richards recalled the epic day 40 years ago when he was a member of the West Indies team which won the first ever World Cup staged in England.

The Caribbean side, led by now chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd, trounced Australia by 17 runs in the final at Lord’s on June 21, 1975. Richards played a key role in the match with three run outs while Lloyd hit a sparkling century to win Man-of-the-Match. He later lifted the cup in front of adoring fans in a historic moment for the Caribbean, reports CMC.

“Hearing the guys speak about it today I said ‘wow Viv you’ve come a long way, 40 years ago already! I’m 63 now and to be here alive to celebrate that particular precious moment in West Indies history fills me with great joy. To be on that team with the magnificent players we had is something special and truly significant in my life and my cricketing career,” Richards said on Sunday.

“I can remember that day like it was yesterday. That was one of the greatest days of my cricket life. It was so great to play so hard and so well and win the World Cup for the West Indies. That was a great team with some really great men in the side and we were all so delighted to win that day.”

The former explosive batsman said even though he failed with the bat in the final, he recalled the three run outs – two of which accounted for the dangerous Chappell brothers Ian and Greg – as being crucial to the outcome as Australia were dismissed for 274 in pursuit of 291.

“Back then I was the kind of player who was known for my batting but I didn’t really feature with the bat that well. But I knew I had to do something special in the field and those three run outs helped us to get over the line. I wanted to do something for the team in the field,” the right-hander said.

“I just happened to knock down a few stumps and I was happy to play a part in helping us to accomplish what was an historic and magnificent victory for West Indies. The nicest thing about it was the celebration to see the hundreds, even thousands of West Indian people enjoying the moment and relishing the opportunity to join us. Those are the things you remember.”

West Indies also went on to win the next World Cup in 1979.

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