Dean Jones

King of pain

Being forward short leg for Viv Richards

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Viv Richards on his way to 180, West Indies v England, Barbados, March 1981
Viv Richards: had it in for the guy on the hill © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Tom Hogan | Dean Jones | Sir Viv Richards

One of my all-time heroes is Viv Richards. To me he is the godfather of one-day cricket. His power and finesse were awesome, and bowlers - and fieldsmen as well - stood in fear of his presence.

The first time I experienced that fear was in my second Test, in Antigua in 1984. Viv was belting us to all parts when our captain, Kim Hughes, brought on the inexperienced left-arm orthodox spinner Tom Hogan. Just when Hogan was about to bowl his first ball to Viv, Kim stopped everything and asked me to field bat-pad. I thought it was going to be the last 10 minutes of my life.

Viv sensed my fear and said: "I won't hurt you, Deano. You see that guy on the hill with the red t-shirt? I'm going to hurt him, maan!"

Viv proceeded to take 32 runs off Hogan's next two overs. As for me, I did not see even one of those shots as I had my eyes closed for fear that he would fill me in!

As told to H Natarajan. This article was first published in Wisden Asia Cricket magazine

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