Sir Vivian Richards has been crowned the greatest one-day cricketer ever by a jury of 50 eminent players, commentators and writers assembled by the Cricket Monthly recently.
An astonishing 29 of 50 jurors picked Sir Viv as their first choice, giving him a landslide victory over other ODI legends; Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Akram, Adam Gilchrist and MS Doni.
The contest for second place was a close affair between Tendulkar and Akram.
Tendulkar who scored 18,426 runs and 49 centuries, eventually prevailed by a hair’s breadth over Akram, the most successful left-arm bowler the game has seen. Rounding off the top five were Gilchrist at No. 4 and Dhoni at No.5.
In all, 21 cricketers received at least one vote from the jury: six Australians, five Indians, four Pakistanis, two West Indians, two South Africans, a Sri Lankan and an Englishman.
Through the late 70s and 80’s Sir Viv was way ahead of his contemporaries. He thrived in different conditions, against a variety attacks, and raised the bar in the key matches.
On an era before big bats, small boundaries and fielding restrictions, Sir Viv tormented bowlers with his power and audacity.
Sir Viv played in 187 ODI matches and scored 6,721 runs, for an average of 47. He had 11 centuries and 45 half centuries.