Sir Vivian Richards, the former West Indian batting great, has warned the cricket world against dumping 50-over matches for Twenty20 games. His comments come in the wake of several players and officials licking their lips at the prospect of a Twenty20 World Cup.

"I hope it doesn't take the place of 50-overs-a-side cricket," Richards is quoted as saying by The Trinidad Express newspaper. "Twenty20 is just in its baby stages. It shouldn't take away from one-day cricket. That should always remain." Richards, who is a former West Indian coach and selector, was one of the most destructive batsmen of all time, and enjoyed considerable success in limited-overs cricket in addition to Tests.

Recently Twenty20 cricket was introduced, albeit belatedly, to Australian audiences, and met with much success. An unofficial match between Western Australia and Victoria was played to a packed house, and the game between Australia A and Pakistan attracted much interest.

"The thing that amazes me is how rapid it is," Richards said. "If we're all cricket lovers, it means that we are winning in some capacity because it's an addition to the game that people appear to be embracing."