The Indian Premier League on Sunday witnessed a memorable moment when Sachin Tendulkar walked up to legendary Sir Vivian Richards, who has been engaged as an advisor with rival team Delhi Daredevils.
It was a scene worth capturing when Daredevils mentor T.A. Sekar informed Tendulkar about Richards’ arrival. Tendulkar, who was engaged in a knocking session, trudged slowly towards the iconic West Indian as they were cheered lustily by everyone at the stadium.
First, they were engaged in a bear hug and then Richards pointed at Sachin’s abs and patted it as they shared a hearty laugh.
Maybe the King was pointing out that even at 40, Tendulkar doesn’t have an inch of flab.
Then Richards took hold of Sachin’s bat, had a close look and did a bit of shadow practise.
After a 10-minute session with Tendulkar, Richards along with Sekar walked towards his team’s training session. As the boys welcomed him with a clap, he again had some words of wisdom in his pep talk during the official team huddle before the players dispersed.
The West Indian great was delighted to see players from his part of the world setting the tournament ablaze with their performances.
“I am happy with what’s happening with West Indies cricket, guys like Chris Gayle, (Kieron) Pollard and Dwayne Smith who is here today, they are doing really well here.”
Richards is connected to the city as “it was here that that I scored my first Test hundred. Love this part of the world.”
On a lighter note, when asked by his contemporary Sunil Gavaskar if he was actually out on 12 during a Test against India way back in 1974, a smiling Richards replied, “Sunny, that’s still there in your mind. That was 1974 and now it’s 2013, but I still maintain that I was not out.”
Delhi Daredevils skipper Mahela Jayawardene admitted he was “star-struck” like any other youngster when the legendary Sir Vivian Richards met the team at the hotel on Saturday. “We knew that the franchise had planned about him joining the squad. But yesterday, when he walked in, I was like star-struck as I was meeting him in person for the first time,” Jayawardene said.
The Viv effect
Asked whether Richards’ presence made a difference, the skipper replied, “Definitely, it did. It is simply great to speak to him about the game — the simple manner in which he describes the game. It’s not only inspirational for youngsters, but also for seniors like us.
“He told us that when you are pushed back to the wall, you need to come out of it and keep improving and be more competitive.”