Paul Nixon

Chucking at Sir Viv

From throwing to a legend to playing against him

Sriram Veera

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The arm has it: Nixon's throwing impressed Viv Richards © Cricinfo Ltd
 

I used to be part of the ground staff at Lord's. It's like an apprenticeship. You are based at the ground; you sell scorecards on big match days, you clean the Long Room windows and doors, and also play the second teams of the county.

I once got to throw balls at the visiting batsmen from West Indies. I threw at Viv Richards, which was fantastic for me.

Years later I went to play in an Old England XI against an Old West Indies XI in Grenada, organised by Allan Lamb. It was full of my heroes. Viv Richards was there too. He said, "Nico, come here, have a chat with me."

"Give me a high-five," he said. "I am so pleased and delighted that you played for England. You came here and had a good World Cup. I knew you would do it. I have watched your career. Because of the passion you had when you threw the ball as an 18-year-old at Lord's, the focus you had, I knew you had a good career ahead of you."

I was so pleased that he remembered that I had thrown the ball to him. That was amazing and one of my proudest moments.

As told to Sriram Veera

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