Ian Smith said in the time of T20 leagues, team owners would have paid Viv Richards more money than Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes combined. Pat Cummins was the biggest buy going into the 13th edition of the IPL as the Kolkata Knight Riders bought him for a whopping Rs 15.50 crore

West Indies legendary batsman Viv Richards (Reuters Photo)

Former New Zealand cricketer Ian Smith has showered high praise on cricket legend Viv Richards, saying had the West Indian played the shortest format of the game, he would have lit up the stadium and would have been the reason for television right shooting through the roof.

Viv Richards is considered among the greatest players of all time and had the reputation of intimidating opposition sides with his mere presence.

Ian Smith said in the time of T20 leagues, team owners would have paid Viv Richards more money than Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes combined. Pat Cummins was the biggest buy going into the 13th edition of the IPL as the Kolkata Knight Riders bought him for a whopping Rs 15.50 crore, while Ben Stokes was the most expensive overseas recruit in the IPL 2019 auctions

“I believe Viv Richards would have made a go at cricket in any format in any decade. That’s why, I mean you look at his strike rate which was superior to anyone else’s at that time that is a T20 strike rate without even having that game in his mind,” Ian Smith said on Cricket Inside Out.

“He would have been an absolute legend in T20 cricket. They would have paid more money than Pat Cummins, Ben Stokes and all other guys put together, to get Viv Richards in their line-up, because it would put more bums on the seats. He would have been an absolute crowd-pleaser and television would have gone through the roof.”

During his playing days, Viv Richards scored at 90-plus when the average strike rate was 67.1.

Praising Viv Richards, Ian Smith said, “I will sum it up by saying that whenever you sit down and pick all-time World XI, he is always in mind. I don’t think I have ever played or commentated, I have seen a more imposing batsman come to the crease.”

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