- We have to be careful of individuals who come with such positions. Here you have someone who is alleged -- in my opinion -- to have done certain things, maybe why he is where he is today: Viv Richards on Lalit Modi's plans to create an alternative league to the International Cricket Council.
Even at 63, cricket’s original master blaster, Vivian Richards has not lost any of his trademark swagger.
The former West Indies batting great, who was in New Delhi recently, discusses quite a few recent issues including governance of sports world wide and the need for administrators who do not turn a blind eye to matters plaguing cricket.
What are your thoughts on the state of sports administration globally -- be it cricket or football? We know what is happening at FIFA and there are issues with the International Cricket Council (ICC) too. Do they need to be fixed now?
I am not sure of the word that you used -- fixing. I believe we need some proper common sense, some judgement in terms of what the sports represents. So many countries are involved which constitute the game itself, and not only two or three countries.
It is for us to embrace all our members to get the best deal that is possible for every nation. If we have some proper governance and fair planning we should be OK. This is of vital importance for all the members who are part of the ICC governing body.
So, you feel governance is an issue with the game?
I certainly believe that sometimes it can be little one-eyed for countries that have some more substance (laughs). We need to change the psyche to create fair enough playing fields for all associated members who have helped to bring cricket to prominence. That will be a great help for the future.
Lalit Modi has said he wants to create an alternative to ICC. What is your initial reaction to that?
I am not quite sure. We have to be careful of individuals who come with such positions. Here you have someone who is alleged -- in my opinion -- to have done certain things, maybe why he is where he is today.
I feel if the governing body starts listening to some of the folks who are concerned, about where we should be headed in this sport, then I think we can have better understanding of governance in the future.
Indian Premier League (IPL) has become huge (both in terms of business and viewership), but there have been a lot of off-field activities that have come as a distraction. Do you think it is going to impact the game?
If all or some of these things, as it is alleged, are true, they are not good for the game itself. I am hoping all these things can be addressed at some point because we have seen what has happened at FIFA, and we have heard the alleged stuff as well.
If we can try and modify not so good comments about the game that to me is what leadership is all about. We need some folks who do not turn blind eye to these matters. Those who are governing this sport can learn from some of the other governing bodies.
Are you open to the idea of taking an administrator role in sports?
I am always going to play a part. But sometime some of us get knocked back because of strong beliefs -- sometime very honest beliefs. I hope some of us who are in that position (are able) to look beyond that. (Hope) folks who have made huge contribution to the game itself are listened to.
But we have got to be open to criticism. We got to open up to some of the worries on governance of the game.
Image: Vivian Richards
Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images