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'Cricket isn't a gentleman's game, it's a man's game'

November 15, 2009 14:35 IST

West Indian legend Sir Vivian Richards, who refused to wear a helmet in his playing days, has asked the modern day batsmen to throw away their "suits of armour" and face the full hostility of bouncers.

"There are individuals out there who use the body protection as a form of staying power, to go on as long as possible. That's the worst way anybody can be thinking, that you should cover yourself in a suit of armour, to make yourself brave, or to enable you to hook – when you never hooked in your life – just because you've got a helmet on," The Guardian quoted Richards, as saying.

"That's rubbish. Even though they say cricket is a gentleman's game, it's a man's game," he added.

The 57-year-old also recalled the days when some batsmen were brave enough to face the fearsome West Indian bowlers, including Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, who terrorized batsmen around the world.

"I remember the days when a guy would get hit – and it would depend where he got hit – next delivery we'd say, ''let's see if he's got some stomach or not'', which way the foot was going to go, the right foot," Richards said.

"If it started pushing out towards the square-leg umpire, we knew that guy had no tummy at all. But the guy who got hit and still tried to get in line, then gets hit again, that's the guy I will take with me on the field every day," he added.

He further said that a lot of folks who are playing cricket are pampered.

"There are a lot of folks who are playing cricket the hard way; we all came up playing the hard way. It's like a nursery now. Some of these individuals have been pampered," Richards said.

Source: ANI