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England beaten by Wwst Indies in Super Eights

Gayle leads England a merry dance as Windies claim Super Eights victory

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UPDATED:

18:08 GMT, 27 September 2012

ICC World Twenty20 champions England
suffered a second successive setback as they began their Super Eight
campaign with a 15-run defeat against West Indies at Pallekele.

Eoin Morgan (71no) and Alex Hales
(68) did their best to rescue an unlikely victory, in pursuit of 179 for
five. But in the end, with 23 required off Marlon Samuels' final over,
England had left themselves with just too much to do.

West Indies' bowler Chris Gayle dances

West Indies' bowler Chris Gayle dances

Lord of the dance: Chris Gayle celebrates dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow

Lord of the dance: Chris Gayle celebrates dismissal of England's Jos Buttler
England v West Indies

England: C Kieswetter (wkt), AD Hales, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JM Bairstow, JC Buttler, SR Patel, SCJ Broad (capt), GP Swann, ST Finn, JW Dernbach

West Indies: J Charles, CH Gayle, MN Samuels, DJ Bravo, KA Pollard, D Ramdin (wkt), AD Russell, DJG Sammy (capt), SP Narine, R Rampaul, S Badree

Umpires: S Davis (Aus) and A Rauf (Pak)

Third umpire: A Dar (Pak)

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind)

Click here to read the full scorecard

England wrote off their heaviest loss, and lowest total, in this sprint format against India in Colombo on Sunday as a blip.

On thursday night, there was a much better performance but more disappointment too after they fell short of a tough but achievable target with 164 for four on a decent pitch.

Johnson Charles (84) and Chris Gayle (58) both clubbed half-centuries, after West Indies won the toss; then England's reply suffered a telling initial stumble, before opener Hales and back-to-form Morgan kept them in the contest with a century stand and seven sixes between them.

England's bowlers already knew all about master blaster Gayle, but might have been a little more surprised by his opening partner Charles.

After a stand of 103, Gayle was first to go. But 23-year-old St Lucian Charles, without a century in any form of professional cricket, stayed the course to record his maiden Twenty20 international 50.

On the attacK: Gayle hits a four off England's Steven Finn

On the attacK: Gayle hits a four off England's Steven Finn

Safe hands: Finn takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Chris Gayle

Safe hands: Finn takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Chris Gayle

England, by contrast, began their reply
by losing two wickets for no runs in the first three balls to Ravi
Rampaul – and even though Hales responded with 50 containing five fours
and two sixes, and Morgan reached his half-century in a tournament
joint-record 25 balls, it was never going to be quite enough.

Charles had earlier hit 10 fours and three sixes, before mistiming another attempted big hit to long-on off Jade Dernbach.

Gayle predictably first signalled his intent with three fours in one over from Dernbach.

Up for it: West indies bowler Ravi Rampaul (centre) celebrates the dismisal of Craig Kieswetter

Up for it: West indies bowler Ravi Rampaul (centre) celebrates the dismisal of Craig Kieswetter

Impressive: Eoin Morgan plundered 71

Impressive: Eoin Morgan plundered 71

The powerplay yielded a near par 47, but without loss, and that proved to be a platform for the Windies openers to up the ante.

Gayle had one minor moment of fortune on 29 when a wrong-footed Morgan,
perhaps losing the ball in the bright floodlights, found himself
over-committed as the big left-hander pulled Samit Patel high to the
boundary.

The Irishman might have had a chance of holding an important catch, had
he been able to retreat to the fence, but instead saw the first of three
sixes in the over sail over his head.

Those three sixes and six fours took Gayle past 50 in only 29 balls, and the West Indies were in three figures in the 11th over.

Close call: Morgan makes his ground under pressure from Ravi Rampaul

Close call: Morgan makes his ground under pressure from Ravi Rampaul

Clean bowled: England's Alex Hales is dismissed by Marlon Samuel

Clean bowled: England's Alex Hales is dismissed by Marlon Samuel

England should have had a much-needed breakthrough when Steven Finn put down Charles on 39 off Graeme Swann at long-off.

But England would doubtless have swapped that for what happened off the
very next ball, Finn holding his nerve this time to cling on at long-on
and see the back of Gayle.

England celebrated appropriately, and soon had number three Samuels
cheaply too – caught at point by Morgan as Stuart Broad interrupted the
Windies' flow with a wicket-maiden.

Charles was still at large, but England recalled Finn early to test
Kieron Pollard with pace – a move that worked instantly, as the big
hitter skied a catch to the cover boundary from the first ball of the
over to go for just a single.

Watching brief: The England dug out

Watching brief: The England dug out

The openers apart, only Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell managed
double-figures – and their last-over assault on Dernbach helped to
produce 15 runs, to make the Windies marginal favourites at the
interval.

Three balls after it, their position had strengthened somewhat.

Rampaul's double-wicket maiden saw Craig Kieswetter lob a short ball to
cover for a second-ball duck, and Luke Wright edge some extra bounce to
slip to put the seamer on a hat-trick.

Jonny Bairstow, promoted ahead of Morgan, survived that early crisis.

Hales escaped a 'double-play' on 31 – when he should have been stumped
off Samuel Badree, and then run out had a direct hit come in from short
fine-leg as he stole a bye.

Bairstow's innings was a particular struggle, ending when he finally hit
one well enough down the ground off Gayle but was very well-caught by
Pollard running round from long-on.

Hales and Morgan joined forces with little realistic hope of a
successful chase but had enough firepower to make the Windies sweat
right to the end.

LIVE: World Twenty20 – England v West Indies

LIVE: England v West Indies – the action from the World Twenty20 from Pallekele as it happens

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 27 September 2012

Stay up to date with all the action from the first game of the Super Eight's between England and West Indies in Sri Lanka with Sportsmail's unrivaled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds at Pallekele. Send me your thoughts on the action to [email protected] or via Twitter @JamesAndrew_

England v West Indies: Essentials

England: C Kieswetter (wkt), AD Hales, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JM Bairstow, JC Buttler, SR Patel, SCJ Broad (capt), GP Swann, ST Finn, JW Dernbach

West Indies: J Charles, CH Gayle, MN Samuels, DJ Bravo, KA Pollard, D Ramdin (wkt), AD Russell, DJG Sammy (capt), SP Narine, R Rampaul, S Badree

Umpires: S Davis (Aus) and A Rauf (Pak)

Third umpire: A Dar (Pak)

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind)

Click here to read the full scorecard

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6th over: West Indies 47-0 (Charles 14, Gayle 28)

Broad back on and Gayle is desperate to get on strike. He hits the second ball away for four. This is the final over of the power play. Decent bowling from the England captian, restricting Gayle and Johnson. A single from Gayle on the last ball means he will retain the strike.

5th over: West Indies 40-0 (Charles 14, Gayle 23)

Finn stays on for his third over. And Finn being Finn he has kicked the stumps again on his follow through. Good bowling from Finn, three dot balls in his over.

4th over: West Indies 37-0 (Charles 12, Gayle 22)

Captain Stuart Broad brings himself on to bowl. Gayle get a top edge to the first ball, but manages to get so much distance on the ball that it goes to safety for four. Charles punches the ball down to the boundary and Bairstow gets round to try and stop it, but his leg touches the boundary rope and the four is given.

3rd over: West Indies 26-0 (Charles 6, Gayle 17)

Two dot balls to start with from Finn from his second over. Then they run a single form a leg bye. Gayle is in the mood today and hits another boundary on the offside. Gayle is clearly a brilliant batsman, but his massive bat is clearly an advantage as well.

2nd over: West Indies 20-0 (Charles 6, Gayle 12)

Jade Dernbach looks to get to Gayle early and bowls a short ball first up. Third ball is clubbed away through mid-wicket by Gayle and along the ground for four. Another couple of runs come from a leg bye. A slower, shorter ball from Dernbach is smashed away by Gayle for another four. Final ball of the over is sent straight down the ground for another boundary.

1st over: West Indies 6-0 (Charles 6, Gayle 0)

Steven Finn opens up the bowling for England and his first ball is a full delivery and a dot ball. Johnson Charles then hits two runs off the second ball. Third ball is another dot ball and then Charles has a swing and a miss with the fourth. Good ball from Finn just missing the outside edge. The final ball of the over is a top edged away one bounce and away for four. Six from the over.

3.38pm: Chris Gayle is getting his bandanna ready and in place before walking out to open the batting.

3.34pm: The West Indies national anthem is a very upbeat number.

3.32pm: The teams are coming out onto the pitch, the national anthems are coming up.

3.30pm: Play is due to start at 3.40pm

3.13pm: England and West Indies have a lot to do if they are going to live up to that last game. Sri Lanka and New Zealand provided real entertainment, get the feeling that the tournament has really kicked into life now.

3.10pm: West Indies have made two changes, bringing in Dwayne Bravo and leg-spinner Samuel Badree.

3.08pm: Team news from the England camp, spinner Samit Patel comes back into the side and Tim Bresnan goes out.

3.05pm: West Indies win the toss and will bat first.

3pm: All over Pallekele, Sri Lanka beat New Zealand on the super over. The hosts batted first and hit 13-0 off their over and then restricted New Zealand to 6-1 from their six balls.

2.55pm: England and West Indies were due to get underway at 3pm BST. But due to Sri Lanka's match against New Zealand going to a super over after a run out off the final ball, with England and West Indies are waiting on the sidelines.

2.50pm: England captain Stuart Broad will be supporting a cut in the middle of his forehead. Click here to read how it happened.

2.45pm: While we are waiting for the Sri Lanka vs New Zealand game to reach its conclusion, you can click here to read Lawrence Booth's Top Spin column about how the England batsmen have struggled to deal with spin. Click here to read it.

2.40pm: Good afternoon and welcome to England's first game in the Super Eight stage of the World Twenty20. Stuart Broad's side will be hoping to have learned their lessons from Sunday's game with India where they lost by 90 runs and were undone by spin bowling.

Time to deliver: The England cricket team warm up ahead of their game with West Indies

Time to deliver: The England cricket team warm up ahead of their game with West Indies

England v West Indies: Live score from the second ODI

England v West Indies: Follow the score from the second ODI at The Oval

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UPDATED:

10:10 GMT, 19 June 2012

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England were too good for West Indies in the recent Test series and it was the same story in the opening one-dayer at the Ageas Bowl which the hosts won by 114 runs.

Alastair Cook's side line up at the Kia Oval in south London looking to extend their lead in into an unassailable one the three-match series

And Ian Bell can continue his excellent form at the top of the order following his impressive century in Southampton.

But today's match will be overshadowed by the recent tragic news of Tom Maynard's untimely death.

Flowers, messages of sympathy and shirts bearing the former Surrey man's name have been laid outside the ground as cricket comes to terms with the shock of his passing.

As well as a minute's silence, players on both teams wore black armbands as a mark of their respect – and the flags remained at half-mast at the top of The Oval pavilion.

England have won the toss and elected to bowl.

Click HERE for the live scorecard

England: Cook
(Capt), Bell, Trott, Bopara, Morgan, Kieswetter
(Wkt), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn.

West Indies: Gayle, Simmons, Samuels, Smith, Bravo, Pollard, Ramdin (Wkt), Sammy
(Capt), Best, Rampaul, Narine.

Umpires: R J Bailey and A L Hill

Cooking with gas: England are looking to extend their lead in the ODI series

Cooking with gas: England are looking to extend their lead in the ODI series

Sir Viv Richards interview by Nasser Hussain

Nasser meets Sir Viv: West Indies legend is steely-eyed and passionate as ever

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UPDATED:

08:40 GMT, 18 June 2012

Awe-inspiring: Sir Vivian Richards still commands tremendous respect

Awe-inspiring: Sir Vivian Richards still commands tremendous respect

The scene is Lord’s on the fourth evening
of the first Test and spirited West Indies batting has extended a match
England were expected to win quickly and easily into a fifth day.

A familiar figure emerges into the media centre and stops the assembled writers in their tracks.

‘Who checked out of their hotels this morning’ demands Sir Viv Richards, his mere presence enough to command full attention. ‘You guys all counted your chickens before they’d hatched, didn’t you’ No-one admits to the ‘crime’ through fear of recriminations.

Viv, here this year mainly to provide authoritative views for BBC’s Test Match Special, is not only one of the greatest of all batsmen, he is also still the brightest symbol of long lost West Indian cricketing domination.

No-one argues with Viv or, at least, that’s what we thought before Denesh Ramdin decided to have his say.

More of that later. Even former captains and greats of the game are in awe of Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards. He still cuts, at 60, a charismatic, almost intimidating figure.

Now, after an unexpectedly competitive series ended with victory for England, Richards is sitting with former England captain Nasser Hussain to share his thoughts on West Indies, a certain Sir Ian Botham and the passion that still burns within.

A crowd quickly and silently gathers in the lounge of Edgbaston’s excellent new press facility to hang on every deep, rich word spoken in that distinctive, Antiguan accent.

Nasser Hussain: First things first, what did you make of the series Viv, from an ex-player and now commentator’s point of view

Sir Viv Richards: I’ve enjoyed it as a cricket lover because I’ve seen professionalism from England at its very best and as a West Indian we have looked a much better unit and that’s good to see.

Having watched West Indies since I stopped playing I have often questioned whether we had what it takes to get back to the top. That question still remains but there has been progress. Now we have to prove we can win.

Captivating: Nasser listens as Sir Viv gets into full flow

Captivating: Nasser listens as Sir Viv gets into full flow

Nasser: What would you say to someone who says ‘at least the West Indies are playing with a bit of pride and passion. They’re giving it their best’. Is that encouraging or is it almost patronising, as if being simply competitive is in itself a triumph these days

Viv: We can’t just look at West Indies in 2012 and say ‘they’re giving it their best shot’. We need more than that. England were searching for a long time to discover what they’ve found now and we have to do the same.

We have to set our sights high. Ability can go so far. Being strong enough mentally is another thing. Some of our players have talent but how strong are they

We have to find the ways and means to win. People are saying ‘you were getting beaten in three days, at least you’re now lasting four or five days’. Well, that ain’t enough for me.

Nasser: Where do you stand on the missing West Indian players People like Chris Gayle and Ronnie Sarwan haven’t featured in the Test series and West Indies seem to have been weaker for that. But you weren’t winning when they were around, either.

Viv: That’s fair comment. But I would love to have seen Chris here in our inexperienced Test team seeing if he could handle a very potent England attack. It’s irrelevant that he’s here for the 50-over matches because we know what Chris Gayle can do in one-day cricket. Test matches to me are the caviar compared to the fast food stuff. Having the ability and the constitution to triumph over five days is what it’s all about.

Yes, we haven’t achieved anything with the likes of Chris in the Test team, but we have to get into his mind and get him back integrated into the side. He has to prove he can be part of the collective in a team that’s looking to move on.

I believe he can play a role as a mentor to these guys. They all look up to him. Anyone who can hit a cricket ball as hard as he can demands a certain amount of respect.

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle would add much to the West Indies Test side

Nasser: The Indian Premier League is clearly a significant factor in how often Chris and others play for West Indies now.

If there had been an IPL in your day and, say, the Delhi Daredevils offered you $2million to play for them, would you do it It would mean you missing some games for West Indies.

Viv (after a pause): That’s a tough one. It would depend on what sort of treatment I had been getting from the establishment.

If everything had been in order and I was in a responsible position as captain, my heart would be solely and totally with West Indies.

I had an obligation to the countries and the region we represented. What I missed on the roundabout financially, I could have made up for on the straight.

But in some ways you could compare it with Kerry Packer. A lot of West Indians played for him when we had our issues with our board.

I always liked to think our administrators were thinking the same way as a Vivian Richards or a Clive Lloyd. But if they weren’t treating us properly and I was playing now, then maybe I would have swapped the maroon cap for the IPL. Maybe…

Nasser: How proud are you of your team and your era Do you look back and think ‘crikey, we achieved a lot. That was a serious team’

Viv: I like to move forward but it is still nice to hear that something you participated in is regarded as special. Yes I am proud.

There was a legacy a long time before I came in and it was my job to take the baton and make sure I held it tight and ran like hell. That was the way I felt.

Clive Lloyd did a magnificent job. You hear people say it was easy for Clive as captain because he had great players, but that’s bulls**t. We never started out as a great team. There were a lot of individuals who hadn’t quite done it and we had to have a leader. Clive was it. I looked up to him.

We got beat 5-1 in Australia and Clive said to me over a drink ‘the only way we’re going to compete with these guys, Viv, is having four guys who can bowl just as fast as them or even faster’. We never looked back once we had established that.

World beaters: Clive Lloyd and Richards nestle the World Series Cup trophy in 1989

World beaters: Clive Lloyd and Richards nestle the World Series Cup trophy in 1989

Nasser: You’re clearly a very loyal man who made a lot of friends in those days that you’ve kept for life. Like Sir Ian Botham. You two are as close now as you’ve ever been. How did that friendship start

Viv: When I first came to this country I was this new kid from the Caribbean. England was a rude awakening for me. I played in a trial match for Somerset and Ian walked in.

I think he was on the Lord’s groundstaff at the time. I batted and got out first ball but when we came to bowl I ended up with five wickets while Ian, the big swing bowling hope, didn’t take any. He came up to me in the dressing room afterwards, introduced himself and said to me ‘from now on, mate, you do the bowling and I’ll do the batting’.

I remember it to this day. The warmth of the man. He made me feel so at home. I hardly knew anybody but he made me think ‘wow, some of these blokes are okay’. He showed me what a pint of bitter was all about and we just went on from there!

(Viv pauses, looking emotional). I’ve always said that, now we are getting older, if he goes before me I will drop everything to be at his family’s side to support them and do all I could for them and I know he would do the same for me. It’s in here (tapping his heart).

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Antigua

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Adelaide

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Antigua (left) and Adelaide

Nasser: Did the strength of your friendship make it hard to play against Beefy when your team was so rampant against his England team

Viv: Not at all. Ian is a very passionate, proud Englishman and I knew how seriously he took his country. I was the same about the Caribbean. We always played it as hard as we possibly could against each other, but we were mates again straight afterwards.

Nasser: I was with Sir Ian when you sent him a text inviting him to your 60th birthday celebrations in the Caribbean. His face lit up. That bond is clearly still there.

Viv: Yeah man, he’s a friend for life. We’ve had our personality clashes, our little arguments. He sometimes thinks his view is the perfect one and I’m thinking ‘bulls**t’.

But we never fall out. At the end of the day the respect we have for one another comes through more than anything. If the journey was too smooth you’d have to be wary.

Nasser: I know Ian never really did it against your team, but how good was he Is he England’s greatest ever cricketer

Viv: You felt that England could achieve anything with Ian in the side, even when we were winning all those games. He has such a serious, serious passion for the Three Lions and he was the ultimate all-rounder. He had such magnificent will-power and a never-say-die attitude. There was his bowling first and foremost. But he was also the cleanest hitter of a cricket ball I’d seen at that stage.

He would ignore the coaching manual as a slip fielder but he was one of the best catchers I ever saw, too. He stood there with his hands on his knees but his reflexes were incredible.

We took time in our team meetings to make sure he wouldn’t get away. We knew how destructive he could be. He was the spirit of England. He was like a pied piper.

Pitch battle: Richards hooks Botham for four at the Oval in 1984

Pitch battle: Richards hooks Botham for four at the Oval in 1984

Nasser: What about you, mate You look as fit and healthy as ever. You look like you could play against England now! How do you spend your time away from cricket

Viv: Nass, I play as much golf as possible. I’ve got little commercial niches outside the game which Ian is part of. We have some corporate things that will help me in retirement.

I’m into my politics at home, too, and have my friend’s cancer society that I raise money for. That was linked to my 60th birthday. Life is not all about parties and frolicking. You have to show you care for people, too.

Nasser: How do you look back on your career now

Viv: Well, you are a player for a certain amount of time and you have to make the best of it. I am proud of what I did. I sometimes hear people saying that it’s wrong that some of today’s players earn so much money.

No. We should be proud, because what we did paved the way for what has happened since. I hope some of these guys understand the sacrifices that were made in the past.

Nasser: Is there any kind of jealousy about what today’s players earn Batsmen who, with respect, are nowhere near your class are getting millions of dollars.

Viv: No, no, never, never, never. I don’t think that way. If you are going to think ‘if only I had earned what these guys do’ you are going to live life with regrets.

I am thankful that I played the game at a time when the West Indies climbed to heights that have never been repeated.

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test match at the Oval

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test match at the Oval in 1991... and was given a moving farewell

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test at the Oval in 1991… and was given a moving farewell

Nasser: Do they respect the past Do the modern West Indies players understand what you guys did

Viv: I hope they do understand, because West Indies cricket didn’t start where they are at. There is a serious legacy. If they have respect for that and the game then I will have respect for them. But if they don’t, they will have to answer to me.

Nasser: Which brings us nicely to this week’s incident involving Denesh Ramdin. What did you make of it when you saw him hold up that note at Edgbaston having a go at you Were you hurt

Viv: Not at all. I’ve been around too long to get hurt by stuff like that. You have to say things as you see them when you are in the commentary box, as you know, and I was just doing my professional work. If he feels upset about that then tough, because I am not going to apologise for doing my job.

His hundred was okay for the team, but the English horse was in full stride by the time he made it. Perhaps he could have toned his celebrations down a little bit because he did not take his team across the line. I have no problem with his views if that’s what it takes to get him going.

I have no animosity towards Denesh. The statement I made that seems to have upset him was that he has been given a lot of opportunities to get it right. But I was happy for him in the end. It was well overdue.

Memo to Viv: Denesh Ramdin's Edgbaston protest

Memo to Viv: Denesh Ramdin's Edgbaston protest

Nasser: When I first saw him do it I thought, he can’t mean that Viv! It must be someone else with the same name. You don’t take on Sir Viv Richards, the man who sweated blood and tears for West Indian cricket. Should he have insulted the great Viv Richards

Viv: It doesn’t matter if it’s me or anyone else. It’s like I said on the radio.

The problem I had with it was not what he said about me, it was that he was like a soccer player scoring a goal in the 90th minute, when his team were already losing 5-0, and then running around punching the air and jumping for joy.

You’re getting beat by England. Just play it down a bit because the series is already lost. He may have a thing or two to learn about performing when it benefits the team most. If he needed me to say something to motivate him and give him a little kick up the backside then that’s fine.

Nasser: If you bump into Denesh will you say anything to him

Viv: No, no. He’s not in my weight class.

Sir Viv Richards interview by Nasser Hussain West Indies Denesh Ramdin and Ian Botham

Steely-eyed and passionate as ever… that's Sir Viv Richards

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 17 June 2012

The scene is Lord’s on the fourth evening of the first Test and spirited West Indies batting has extended a match England were expected to win quickly and easily into a fifth day.

Awe-inspiring: Sir Vivian Richards still commands tremendous respect

Awe-inspiring: Sir Vivian Richards still commands tremendous respect

A familiar figure emerges into the media centre and stops the assembled writers in their tracks.

‘Who checked out of their hotels this morning’ demands Sir Viv Richards, his mere presence enough to command full attention. ‘You guys all counted your chickens before they’d hatched, didn’t you’ No-one admits to the ‘crime’ through fear of recriminations.

Viv, here this year mainly to provide authoritative views for BBC’s Test Match Special, is not only one of the greatest of all batsmen, he is also still the brightest symbol of long lost West Indian cricketing domination.

No-one argues with Viv or, at least, that’s what we thought before Denesh Ramdin decided to have his say.

More of that later. Even former captains and greats of the game are in awe of Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards. He still cuts, at 60, a charismatic, almost intimidating figure.

Now, after an unexpectedly competitive series ended with victory for England, Richards is sitting with former England captain Nasser Hussain to share his thoughts on West Indies, a certain Sir Ian Botham and the passion that still burns within.

A crowd quickly and silently gathers in the lounge of Edgbaston’s excellent new press facility to hang on every deep, rich word spoken in that distinctive, Antiguan accent.

Nasser Hussain: First things first, what did you make of the series Viv, from an ex-player and now commentator’s point of view

Sir Viv Richards: I’ve enjoyed it as a cricket lover because I’ve seen professionalism from England at its very best and as a West Indian we have looked a much better unit and that’s good to see.

Having watched West Indies since I stopped playing I have often questioned whether we had what it takes to get back to the top. That question still remains but there has been progress. Now we have to prove we can win.

Captivating: Nasser listens as Sir Viv gets into full flow

Captivating: Nasser listens as Sir Viv gets into full flow

Nasser: What would you say to someone who says ‘at least the West Indies are playing with a bit of pride and passion. They’re giving it their best’. Is that encouraging or is it almost patronising, as if being simply competitive is in itself a triumph these days

Viv: We can’t just look at West Indies in 2012 and say ‘they’re giving it their best shot’. We need more than that. England were searching for a long time to discover what they’ve found now and we have to do the same.

We have to set our sights high. Ability can go so far. Being strong enough mentally is another thing. Some of our players have talent but how strong are they

We have to find the ways and means to win. People are saying ‘you were getting beaten in three days, at least you’re now lasting four or five days’. Well, that ain’t enough for me.

Nasser: Where do you stand on the missing West Indian players People like Chris Gayle and Ronnie Sarwan haven’t featured in the Test series and West Indies seem to have been weaker for that. But you weren’t winning when they were around, either.

Viv: That’s fair comment. But I would love to have seen Chris here in our inexperienced Test team seeing if he could handle a very potent England attack. It’s irrelevant that he’s here for the 50-over matches because we know what Chris Gayle can do in one-day cricket. Test matches to me are the caviar compared to the fast food stuff. Having the ability and the constitution to triumph over five days is what it’s all about.

Yes, we haven’t achieved anything with the likes of Chris in the Test team, but we have to get into his mind and get him back integrated into the side. He has to prove he can be part of the collective in a team that’s looking to move on.

I believe he can play a role as a mentor to these guys. They all look up to him. Anyone who can hit a cricket ball as hard as he can demands a certain amount of respect.

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle would add much to the West Indies Test side

Nasser: The Indian Premier League is clearly a significant factor in how often Chris and others play for West Indies now.

If there had been an IPL in your day and, say, the Delhi Daredevils offered you $2million to play for them, would you do it It would mean you missing some games for West Indies.

Viv (after a pause): That’s a tough one. It would depend on what sort of treatment I had been getting from the establishment.

If everything had been in order and I was in a responsible position as captain, my heart would be solely and totally with West Indies.

I had an obligation to the countries and the region we represented. What I missed on the roundabout financially, I could have made up for on the straight.

But in some ways you could compare it with Kerry Packer. A lot of West Indians played for him when we had our issues with our board.

I always liked to think our administrators were thinking the same way as a Vivian Richards or a Clive Lloyd. But if they weren’t treating us properly and I was playing now, then maybe I would have swapped the maroon cap for the IPL. Maybe…

Nasser: How proud are you of your team and your era Do you look back and think ‘crikey, we achieved a lot. That was a serious team’

Viv: I like to move forward but it is still nice to hear that something you participated in is regarded as special. Yes I am proud.

There was a legacy a long time before I came in and it was my job to take the baton and make sure I held it tight and ran like hell. That was the way I felt.

Clive Lloyd did a magnificent job. You hear people say it was easy for Clive as captain because he had great players, but that’s bulls**t. We never started out as a great team. There were a lot of individuals who hadn’t quite done it and we had to have a leader. Clive was it. I looked up to him.

We got beat 5-1 in Australia and Clive said to me over a drink ‘the only way we’re going to compete with these guys, Viv, is having four guys who can bowl just as fast as them or even faster’. We never looked back once we had established that.

World beaters: Clive Lloyd and Richards nestle the World Series Cup trophy in 1989

World beaters: Clive Lloyd and Richards nestle the World Series Cup trophy in 1989

Nasser: You’re clearly a very loyal man who made a lot of friends in those days that you’ve kept for life. Like Sir Ian Botham. You two are as close now as you’ve ever been. How did that friendship start

Viv: When I first came to this country I was this new kid from the Caribbean. England was a rude awakening for me. I played in a trial match for Somerset and Ian walked in.

I think he was on the Lord’s groundstaff at the time. I batted and got out first ball but when we came to bowl I ended up with five wickets while Ian, the big swing bowling hope, didn’t take any. He came up to me in the dressing room afterwards, introduced himself and said to me ‘from now on, mate, you do the bowling and I’ll do the batting’.

I remember it to this day. The warmth of the man. He made me feel so at home. I hardly knew anybody but he made me think ‘wow, some of these blokes are okay’. He showed me what a pint of bitter was all about and we just went on from there!

(Viv pauses, looking emotional). I’ve always said that, now we are getting older, if he goes before me I will drop everything to be at his family’s side to support them and do all I could for them and I know he would do the same for me. It’s in here (tapping his heart).

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Antigua

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Adelaide

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Antigua (left) and Adelaide

Nasser: Did the strength of your friendship make it hard to play against Beefy when your team was so rampant against his England team

Viv: Not at all. Ian is a very passionate, proud Englishman and I knew how seriously he took his country. I was the same about the Caribbean. We always played it as hard as we possibly could against each other, but we were mates again straight afterwards.

Nasser: I was with Sir Ian when you sent him a text inviting him to your 60th birthday celebrations in the Caribbean. His face lit up. That bond is clearly still there.

Viv: Yeah man, he’s a friend for life. We’ve had our personality clashes, our little arguments. He sometimes thinks his view is the perfect one and I’m thinking ‘bulls**t’.

But we never fall out. At the end of the day the respect we have for one another comes through more than anything. If the journey was too smooth you’d have to be wary.

Nasser: I know Ian never really did it against your team, but how good was he Is he England’s greatest ever cricketer

Viv: You felt that England could achieve anything with Ian in the side, even when we were winning all those games. He has such a serious, serious passion for the Three Lions and he was the ultimate all-rounder. He had such magnificent will-power and a never-say-die attitude. There was his bowling first and foremost. But he was also the cleanest hitter of a cricket ball I’d seen at that stage.

He would ignore the coaching manual as a slip fielder but he was one of the best catchers I ever saw, too. He stood there with his hands on his knees but his reflexes were incredible.

We took time in our team meetings to make sure he wouldn’t get away. We knew how destructive he could be. He was the spirit of England. He was like a pied piper.

Pitch battle: Richards hooks Botham for four at the Oval in 1984

Pitch battle: Richards hooks Botham for four at the Oval in 1984

Nasser: What about you, mate You look as fit and healthy as ever. You look like you could play against England now! How do you spend your time away from cricket

Viv: Nass, I play as much golf as possible. I’ve got little commercial niches outside the game which Ian is part of. We have some corporate things that will help me in retirement.

I’m into my politics at home, too, and have my friend’s cancer society that I raise money for. That was linked to my 60th birthday. Life is not all about parties and frolicking. You have to show you care for people, too.

Nasser: How do you look back on your career now

Viv: Well, you are a player for a certain amount of time and you have to make the best of it. I am proud of what I did. I sometimes hear people saying that it’s wrong that some of today’s players earn so much money.

No. We should be proud, because what we did paved the way for what has happened since. I hope some of these guys understand the sacrifices that were made in the past.

Nasser: Is there any kind of jealousy about what today’s players earn Batsmen who, with respect, are nowhere near your class are getting millions of dollars.

Viv: No, no, never, never, never. I don’t think that way. If you are going to think ‘if only I had earned what these guys do’ you are going to live life with regrets.

I am thankful that I played the game at a time when the West Indies climbed to heights that have never been repeated.

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test match at the Oval

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test match at the Oval in 1991... and was given a moving farewell

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test at the Oval in 1991… and was given a moving farewell

Nasser: Do they respect the past Do the modern West Indies players understand what you guys did

Viv: I hope they do understand, because West Indies cricket didn’t start where they are at. There is a serious legacy. If they have respect for that and the game then I will have respect for them. But if they don’t, they will have to answer to me.

Nasser: Which brings us nicely to this week’s incident involving Denesh Ramdin. What did you make of it when you saw him hold up that note at Edgbaston having a go at you Were you hurt

Viv: Not at all. I’ve been around too long to get hurt by stuff like that. You have to say things as you see them when you are in the commentary box, as you know, and I was just doing my professional work. If he feels upset about that then tough, because I am not going to apologise for doing my job.

His hundred was okay for the team, but the English horse was in full stride by the time he made it. Perhaps he could have toned his celebrations down a little bit because he did not take his team across the line. I have no problem with his views if that’s what it takes to get him going.

I have no animosity towards Denesh. The statement I made that seems to have upset him was that he has been given a lot of opportunities to get it right. But I was happy for him in the end. It was well overdue.

Memo to Viv: Denesh Ramdin's Edgbaston protest

Memo to Viv: Denesh Ramdin's Edgbaston protest

Nasser: When I first saw him do it I thought, he can’t mean that Viv! It must be someone else with the same name. You don’t take on Sir Viv Richards, the man who sweated blood and tears for West Indian cricket. Should he have insulted the great Viv Richards

Viv: It doesn’t matter if it’s me or anyone else. It’s like I said on the radio.

The problem I had with it was not what he said about me, it was that he was like a soccer player scoring a goal in the 90th minute, when his team were already losing 5-0, and then running around punching the air and jumping for joy.

You’re getting beat by England. Just play it down a bit because the series is already lost. He may have a thing or two to learn about performing when it benefits the team most. If he needed me to say something to motivate him and give him a little kick up the backside then that’s fine.

Nasser: If you bump into Denesh will you say anything to him

Viv: No, no. He’s not in my weight class.

England v West Indies: Live score from the first ODI

England v West Indies: Follow the score from the first ODI

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UPDATED:

09:44 GMT, 16 June 2012

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England were too good for West Indies in the recent Test series and the hosts will look to build on their success in the first of three 50-over matches today.

Alastair Cook's side line up in Southampton without Kevin Pietersen following his retirement from limited-overs cricket.

Ian Bell replaces KP at the top of the order despite needing 10 stitches in his chin after being injured during practice ahead of today's match.

The visitors suffered a major blow with the news Chris Gayle misses out with a shin injury.

West Indies won the toss and put England into bat.

Click HERE for the live scorecard

England: Cook (capt), Bell, Trott, Bopara, Morgan, Kieswetter(wk), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn

West Indies: Smith, Simmons, Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, Bravo, Ramdin (wk), Russell, Sammy (capt), Rampaul, Narine

Umpires: HDPK Dharmasena and RA Kettleborough

TV umpire: AL Hill

Match referee: JJ Crowe

Reserve umpire: NJ Llong

Strauss left frustrated by third Test as off-colour England pay for resting Anderson and Broad

Strauss left frustrated by third Test as off-colour England pay for resting Anderson and Broad

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UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 11 June 2012

Captain Andrew Strauss felt England lacked intensity in their third-Test draw with the West Indies but was happy with England's performance in the series win.

Rain wiped out the first two days at Edgbaston and Strauss admitted his side struggled to get into their full rhythm in what play was possible, with the final day a complete washout.

The most glaring example of that lack in
intensity came when, having reduced the tourists to 283 for nine by
dismissing Ravi Rampaul in the first over, an unfamiliar bowling attack
allowed Denesh Ramdin and Tino Best to put on 143 for the last wicket,
with Best's thrilling 95 a world record for a Test number 11.

Tough to take: Tino Best lashed out on his way to a galling but thrilling 95

Tough to take: Tino Best lashed out on his way to a galling but thrilling 95

The absence of England's regular new-ball pair, with James Anderson rested and Stuart Broad suffering slightly with illness, played its part and several catches went down but while Strauss acknowledged the need to improve, he preferred to take the positives from a 2-0 series win.

'Obviously we played enough good cricket in those first two Test matches to win them reasonably comfortably,' he said.

'This Test match was frustrating for all sorts of reasons, clearly the rain wiping out the first two days doesn't help with the intensity of the cricket and we certainly didn't get everything right when we were out there in the field.

Another one for the cabinet: Andrew Strauss poses with the Wisden Trophy after winning the series

Another one for the cabinet: Andrew Strauss poses with the Wisden Trophy after winning the series

'But I think by and large we are very happy to have won the series. The West Indies have got some dangerous players there, we were able to overcome that challenge and we obviously go into our next Test assignment in pretty good fettle and feeling pretty confident.

'We are also aware that there are definitely areas in which we need to improve. It wasn't a perfect performance by us, in the little play we did have, and that is frustrating. Obviously we dropped a few catches and you don't want to be in a situation where number 11 gets 95 all that often!'

About time too, Viv tells Windies hero Ramdin after he hits out at former skipper

About time too, Viv tells Windies hero Ramdin after he hits out at former skipper

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UPDATED:

22:21 GMT, 10 June 2012

Sir Viv Richards hit back after West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin taunted him with a hand-written message as he celebrated a century in the third Investec Test at Edgbaston.

Described by Richards as looking ‘totally lost’ earlier in the tour, Ramdin hurled down his bat, gloves and helmet and produced a piece of paper which said: ‘YEA VIV TALK NAH’.

Richards retorted: ‘If you give someone enough chances eventually he will get the job done.’ He told BBC radio’s Test Match Special listeners: ‘I’m not sure why he did that. But what I do know is that the hundred was a long time coming.

About time too: Viv Richards hit back at Denesh Ramdin

About time too: Viv Richards hit back at Denesh Ramdin

Hitting out: Denesh Ramdin held a sign after hitting his hundred aimed at Sir Viv Richards

Hitting out: Denesh Ramdin held a sign after hitting his hundred aimed at Sir Viv Richards

‘Let’s not forget this hundred has been in a losing series. If you’re losing a football match 5-0 and you score a goal in the 90th minute, you wouldn’t be jumping for joy. I set my standards a little higher than that.’

Ramdin, who added 143 for the last wicket with No 11 Tino Best, said: ‘I got a bit emotional. I’d been out of Test cricket for a while, and what Viv said was a bit hurtful.

But he’s a legend of Caribbean cricket and I still look up to him.’ West Indies wicketkeeper came in for further criticism from fast-bowling legend Michael Holding, who told Sky Sports: ‘If I was the manager of the team I would be having a word with that player and he would be getting a fine.

‘I am not saying this because Viv was my former captain.

‘That is simply unbecoming behaviour from a player.’

Meanwhile, Kevin Pietersen defended his decision to retire from one-day internationals, saying the schedule had threatened his love for the game and insisting he had no regrets.

‘You can’t carry on doing it all,’ he said after making 78 on Sunday.

I can't do it all: Kevin Pietersen defended his decision to quit one day cricket

I can't do it all: Kevin Pietersen defended his decision to quit one day cricket

‘I play every form of the game plus the IPL and I’ll have the Champions League in October. Apart from MS Dhoni, I’ve played more days of cricket than anyone in the world in the last seven years.

‘I can’t play at my peak and, when you train every day, you fall out of love with the game.

‘I want to play until I’m 35.’

Pietersen intends to play three Twenty20 matches and one championship match for Surrey ahead of the first Test against South Africa, starting on July 19, and insisted he still wants to help England defend their World Twenty20 crown in September.

‘I hope a compromise can be found,’ he said.’

Bumble at the Fourth Test: Toss is on the money

Bumble at the Fourth Test: Toss is on the money – for once

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 10 June 2012

TV interviews at the toss can be routine affairs but we had a gem here when the Test eventually started and Darren Sammy was summoned to the microphone. ‘Why isn’t Shiv Chanderpaul playing, Darren ‘He’s had an unfortunate incident.’ ‘What have you been doing in all the rain’ ‘Playing dominoes!’ Beats PlayStation!

Getting it right: West Indies captain Darren Sammy's interview after the toss was more entertaining than normal

Getting it right: West Indies captain Darren Sammy's interview after the toss was more entertaining than normal

Sledge Champion

Marlon Samuels has not only scored lots of runs but he has kept us entertained with his constant chatter. When he was asked why he sledged Graham Onions, he said: ‘I don’t like Onions with my food.’ Samuels, then added: ‘Why isn’t Anderson playing I like batting against him…’

Bring The Ashes here!

Why, oh why, are we not playing an Ashes Test here at Edgbaston next year It’s a fortress for England, it has a high capacity, a brilliant pitch and a superb new pavilion. I bet if you asked the England players they would all say they wish they were playing the Aussies here. I’m going to write to my MP about it.

Bring the Aussies here: England have a good record at Edgbaston

Bring the Aussies here: England have a good record at Edgbaston

An ugly century

However great that West Indies last wicket stand was, the reaction of Denesh Ramdin to his hundred was poor. Commentators are paid for opinions and the majority of them are along the lines of ‘what a great innings that was.’ I know emotions run high but the best way to react to criticism is to score runs and take wickets.

Best bar naan

Never change a winning formula and that applies to our choice of Indian here, Blue Mango, where we have eaten four nights running. It’s better than last year when, even though there are more curry houses in Birmingham than you can poke a stick at, our Sportsmail colleague Martin Samuel recommended one near Wolverhampton… then didn’t turn up!

Tino's a showman

What entertainment Tino Best provided! Throughout his innings you could hear Best saying on the stump mic: ‘Graeme Swann cannot get me out!’ And he didn’t. ‘Mind the windows, Tino,’ would have become ‘Mind the honours board, Tino’ with just five more runs.

A true entertainer: It was Tino Best's day with the bat and the ball

A true entertainer: It was Tino Best's day with the bat and the ball

Right to rest the key men

Lots of murmurings about England’s rotation policy when Tino Best and Denesh Ramdin were racking up the runs but for me that doesn’t change anything. People were saying ‘what if Anderson had been bowling’ or ‘what if Broad had been there’ but we don’t know it would have been any different. Players are being rested to keep them fresh for the summer and to extend their careers.

England v West Indies: Viv Richards and Michael Holding criticise Danesh Ramdin for disrespectful sign

Show a little respect, Danesh! West Indies legends Richards and Holding criticise Ramdin for jibe

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UPDATED:

14:43 GMT, 10 June 2012

Denesh Ramdin's surly riposte to criticism from Viv Richards found little favour today with the West Indies great.

Richards and Michael Holding, his fast-bowling team-mate in West Indies' all-conquering team of the 1970s and 1980s, both made clear their low opinion of the hand-written note Ramdin held up to the crowd and television cameras at Edgbaston after scoring his second Test hundred.

Disrespectful: Denesh Ramdin responded to criticism from West Indies legend Viv Richards

Disrespectful: Denesh Ramdin responded to criticism from West Indies legend Viv Richards

Holding went as far as to suggest Ramdin ought to be fined by the Windies management, while Richards merely questioned whether the wicketkeeper is yet in position to be making such provocative gestures.

On completing his hundred on day four of the third Investec Test, in a last-wicket stand of 143 with Tino Best, Ramdin held up a sheet of paper which read: 'Yeah Viv, Talk Nah'.

Respected: Richards (middle left) seems to be held with high regard by most of the West Indies players

Respected: Richards (middle left) seems to be held with high regard by most of the West Indies players

Unimpressed: Richards responded to Ramdin's jibe

Unimpressed: Richards responded to Ramdin's jibe

It is thought to be a reaction to criticism Richards voiced of Ramdin last month, in which he suggested his performances had 'deteriorated in a big way'.

Richards does not believe one century, after West Indies have already lost this series, entitles Ramdin to respond as he has.

'It's like in a football match … if you are losing 5-0 and you score a goal in the 90th minute, you shouldn't be running around jumping for joy,' he said on the BBC's Test Match Special.

Impressive: Ramdin (right) and Tino Best racked up the runs for the West Indies on Sunday

Impressive: Ramdin (right) and Tino Best racked up the runs for the West Indies on Sunday

'I wouldn't be happy with that. I set my standards a bit higher.

'I'm glad he got the motivation to get himself going.

'It's been a long time coming. If you are good enough, the chances certainly are you are going to get it done.

'Let's not forget it's in a losing cause. Scoring a hundred when you are the team winning, that's excellent stuff.

'He should be quite happy, and humble in himself.'

Holding went further, adding on Sky: 'If I was the manager of the team I would be having a word with that player, and he would be getting a fine.

'I am not saying this because he [Richards] was my former captain – that is simply unbecoming behaviour from a player.'