Sir Viv Richards expects favourable Antigua pitch

Cricketing legend and former West Indies captain, Sir Vivian Richards, is hoping for a balanced pitch when the regional squad hosts India in the first of a four Test series here at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground starting Thursday.

Regarded as one of the finest batsmen to have played the game, Sir Viv shared his concerns over the lack of quality pitches in the past, but said indications are that both players and fans are in for a pleasant change this time around.

“I was speaking to the groundsman recently and he told me that he is looking to make some changes, where he is hoping to have some more bounce on the track itself. Hoping that he could have this sort of a wicket that produces the pace and bounce that I think, maybe, would be of help. And not just maybe, to the bowlers but also to batters,” he said.

“If the ball is going to bounce around like that, batsmen do like to know that the ball is coming through so long as it’s even. But having said that, let’s wait and see what the pitch offers up.”

India arrived over the weekend and is preparing for the well-publicised match. Sir Viv, who amassed 8,540 runs in 121 Tests, urged the public to turnout in numbers for the important opening match.

“It’s not going to be like when England tours or anything like that with the barmy army because they bring a huge volume in terms of bodies. But I just hope that maybe, because of how hard the Ministry of Sports would have tried to make sure and securing that we have a match here, that the people do (justice) in terms of the support,” Sir Viv said.

Sir Viv met with a number of the touring India players on Monday night, wishing them luck in their upcoming series.

Following the opening Test, the series moves to Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica on July 30 before the third Test starts on August 9 in St Lucia at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.

The fourth and final Test will be played at the Queen’s Park Oval in Barbados from August 22.

(Taken from windiescricket.com)