Sachin won't get an inch: Richardson

Times Of India article.

KOLKATA: A big slice of Richie Richardson's early career in cricket would have been spent in the afterglow of the 'Sunil Gavaskar effect' in the Caribbean. 

It was not surprising that it should be a reference point when the former West Indies batting great paid tribute to Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday. 

"People in the Caribbean have worshipped Sunil Gavaskar. He has earned their respect for the tremendous skills and fearlessness he displayed while batting. 

And now Tendulkar has a huge fan following there. To grab a share of the popularity that was reserved for Gavaskar is a tremendous achievement and a measure of the greatness of Tendulkar," said Richardson, who is here as the manager of the West Indies team. 

Richardson and coach Ottis Gibson were on a recce mission at the Jadavpur University's campus ground, where the Caribbeans play a three-day warm-up match against Uttar Pradesh XI from Thursday. 

The opening Test, which will be Sachin's penultimate international match, begins at the Eden Gardens on November 6. 

"The 1992 World Cup in Australia was where I had my first glimpse of Tendulkar. I realised there that here's a special one who could be compared with Brian Lara," Richardson remembered, adding that the entire team is happy that they will be part of this series. "We have thought of giving a fitting tribute to Tendulkar at his final Test in Mumbai. 

It'll be a big surprise for him," he added but made it amply clear what the team's priority was when it came to the Little Master. 

"We have come here with a mission to win the series, we're here to stop him from scoring. We will not give him an inch... he has to earn every run," said the Antiguan, who had followed in the footsteps of the great Vivian Richards to emerge as a great batsman in his own right in the eighties. 

Richardson wouldn't get into any comparisons between Sachin and Lara beyond saying "both are great players", and went back to the team goal. "Winning a series in the sub-continent is a big challenge for every team. It's a big opportunity for us to make a mark," he said.

First Published In The Times Of India.

Tue, 10/29/2013 - 19:06