Sir Viv, a victim?

Sir Viv Richards.
Sir Viv Richards.

DELHI – Sir Vivian Richards has raised suspicions that he might have been a victim of match-fixing in India almost thirty years ago.

Today he recalled an LBW decision he got in a Test match at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on the 1983 tour to the sub-continent.

Richards had smashed the dressing-room window on his return to the pavilion back then and had faced widespread criticism for his behaviour but the respected legend of the game said he had his reasons.

Richards, who had blasted 67 in the Test played from October 29 to November 3, 1983, was shown the finger by the umpire in a shocking decision. The ball had not pitched in line and Richards said even bowler Kapil Dev was surprised that he had got a wicket without even appealing.

“It was a nasty LBW decision. Those days we never had neutral umpires. Even Kapil went, “Aaaahhh…” (And) I couldn’t believe it when I saw the finger going up. Funny, the incident leading up to that whole stuff,” Richards told the Times of India in an interview.

Richards claimed he had been warned of a possible dubious decision by a mystery caller the previous evening and froze in horror when it actually happened.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the finger going up. Funny, the incident leading up to that whole stuff,” said Richards.

“Someone called me up the night before in the hotel. Some anonymous call came in saying, “Mr. Richards? You don’t know me but if I were you tomorrow I’d be careful of the umpire.” That was scary, wasn’t it? I don’t know what was going on then. Those days you never heard about match-fixing and all that stuff.

So someone called me that night and funnily enough the next day….it (Kapil’s delivery) wouldn’t have hit another set (of stumps) and I was given out,” said Sir Viv who is now a mentor for Delhi in the ongoing Indian T20 League.

Betting and match-fixing have tainted the game in the sub-continent over the years, especially in India and Pakistan.

Former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin, batsman Ajay Jadeja, and Pakistanis Saleem Malik, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir are among the international cricketers who have been censured in connection with match-fixing.

Only last month Pakistan cricket authorities banned international umpire Nadeem Ghauri for four years after a†sting operation by an Indian television channel found him willing to spot-fix.

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