Lillee angry over Richards jibe
Australian fast bowling legend Dennis Lillee hit back after being described by former West Indies batting icon Viv Richards as a "huff and puff" merchant.
Richards, now West Indies chairman of selectors, reportedly said in the Caribbean that Lillee had lost his aggression after the West Indies discovered a crop of electrifying pacemen, including Michael Holding and Joel Garner, in the late 1970s.
The bitter verbal exchange blew up on the eve of the third Test in Barbados, with Australia leading a four-match series 2-0.
Richards had effectively accused Perth-based Lillee of cowardice, the West Australian newspaper said.
It said Richards had implied Lillee had stopped bowling bouncers regularly because he feared what he would receive in return. Richards said Lillee lost his impact when he had to play against a team capable of returning fire.
"Lillee realised what would be coming at him," Richards said. "You could see it in Lillee. He was all huff and puff, but he wasn't quite the same later on."
Lillee said Richards's comments were laughable.
"What a heap of bulldust," he said. "Viv must have a short memory or a very selective memory. If Viv actually made that comment, he must have forgotten a fair bit.
"None of them frightened me, and I certainly did not back off." Lillee, 53, dismissed Richards nine times in Tests, more than any other bowler.
Additionally, Lillee snared Richards seven times while snapping up 45 wickets in 10 World Series Cricket Tests against the West Indies between 1977 and 1979.
Itinerary for Zimbabwe's tour of England
Zimbabwe's cricket tour of England begins on Saturday: Following is the itinerary:
May 3-6: v British Universities, Birmingham
May 9-12: v Worcestershire, Worcester
May 15-18: v Sussex, Hove
May 22-26: First Test, Lord's
May 30-June 2: v Middlesex, Shenley
June 5-9: Second Test, Chester-le-Street
June 13: v Ireland, Belfast
June 15: v Ireland, Eglinton
June 17: v Somerset, Taunton
June 19: v Hampshire, Southampton
June 22: v Essex, Chelmsford
June 26: v England, triangular one-day series, Nottingham
June 29: v South Africa, triangular one-day series, Canterbury
July 1: v England, triangular one-day series, Leeds
July 5: v South Africa, triangular one-day series, Cardiff
July 6: v England, triangular one-day series, Bristol
July 10: v South Africa, triangular one-day series, Southampton
July 12: Final of triangular one-day series, Lord's, London.
We want to put Cup controversies behind us, says Streak
Zimbabwe cricket captain Heath Streak says he wants to put the World Cup controversies behind him and concentrate on his country's tour of England.
Streak led the team to a Super Six berth in southern Africa but faced controversy around a protest mounted by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, who have both since retired, against Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe's regime, and by England's refusal to play their first round fixture in Harare.
There have also been reports that matches in England may be targeted for anti-Mugabe demonstrations.
"We'll be there to play the game in the right spirit and hopefully so will England," said Streak on the eve of his side's departure for the tour. "I hope we can be allowed to simply get on with the game.
"Hopefully the Zimbabwe Cricket Union can deal with other issues that do not pertain to the tour itself.
"We've got a job to do, and we've also got supporters who will be following us around England. I hope we can give them some pride and joy."
Streak, who has played 51 Test matches and 161 one-day internationals, leads an inexperienced side on the tour that features two Test matches, a one-day international triangular series that also includes South Africa, and eight tour matches.
Only Streak, batsmen Grant Flower and Stuart Carlisle and medium pacer Mluleki Nkala have played a Test against England in their squad of 14 after there were several retirements following the World Cup.