Dubai: Sir Viv Richards, one of the world’s greatest one-day batsmen, has joined Delhi Daredevils team in an ambassadorial and advisory role.
The team reacted to their poor start to this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) — losing their first six matches of the season after losing many of their top batsmen to injury — by bringing in the West Indian great to help the players. And they responded by recording a crushing nine-wicket win over Mumbai Indians on Sunday, with Virender Sehwag scoring an unbeaten 95.
Speaking to Gulf News, T.A. Sekar, the Delhi Daredevils team mentor, said: “Viv [Richards] will travel with the team and motivate the players. It is a great privilege to have him with us.
“Viv will have group or one-on-one sessions with the players. There are a number of youngsters in the squad who can make the most of the opportunity to interact with Viv and evolve as cricketers.”
Sekar, who is also the Head of Cricket of GMR Sports Private Limited, which owns the Delhi team, said: “Viv was keen to be with the team from the start of the season but he had prior commitments and could join us only now.
“He is one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Century and rated by many, including Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne, as the best batsman they ever saw. He set amazing standards for himself with the bat and on the field in his playing days, so it is a pleasure to welcome him.”
GMR Sports Chairman Kiran K. Grandhi, after presenting the team cap to Richards, said: “The decision to rope in Sir Viv was in keeping with the policy to give the squad the best support it can possibly get. As owners of the Delhi Daredevils, we have always got together the best support staff. I’m sure our fans will also be very excited that Sir Viv is with the squad.”
After interacting with the team, Richards said: “I am looking forward to working with the Delhi Daredevils this season.
“I know the team has many 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.”