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April 6, 2007
Viv Richards, the West Indies batting legend, has joined the growing number of detractors unhappy with the organisation of the World Cup.
The reason for low turnout in the matches, Richards believed, was because there were too many restrictions placed on the people of the Caribbean. "We are different in terms of our way of life," Richards told AFP. "I just believe it's as if someone has held us by the throat and said 'we don't want you to shout anymore'.
"Those of us who have played here know exactly what we are about, the excitement factor. We are a vibrant people."
Richards said that though the new stadium at Antigua - named after him as the Sir Viv Richards Stadium - was a much larger venue than the old Antigua Recreation Ground, it wasn't as intimate. "Something is seriously missing", he said. "It's a particular problem. We are a rather unique people. We live differently to the way you do in Europe or South Africa."
The West Indies team's poor performance in the Super Eights also disappointed Richards. West Indies lost all three of their matches by large margins and are unlikely to qualify for the semi-finals. Richards said that his sentiments matched those of many other Caribbean people. "At this particular stage we are a little bit dumbfounded by the fact we have a team who haven't shown much interest in terms of the event," he said. West Indies lost of Australia by 103 runs, to New Zealand by seven wickets and to Sri Lanka by 113 runs.
But Richards insisted that he hadn't written off the team yet. I'm just hoping we can find a miracle." West Indies must win their remaining three games of the Super Eights to stay alive in the competition.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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