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By Neto Baptiste

Former West Indies captain, Sir Richie Richardson, has commended the International Cricket Council (ICC) on its drive to globalise the game, adding that the game is on the verge of rivaling the likes of football and others where participation and spectatorship are concerned.

“For many years I’ve preached the importance of globalising the game of cricket, and I think the ICC is doing a wonderful job in terms of trying to get the game to all parts of the globe, and you’d be amazed to know the countries that are playing cricket, even Russia is playing cricket, and very soon, we are going to see cricket competing with soccer or football and that would be wonderful for the game. If we could get China playing cricket to a very high standard then with China and India combined, I think cricket would become the most popular sport in the world,” he said.

The Antiguan, who became the first West Indian appointed as an ICC match referee in September of 2015, was speaking on Observer radio’s Good Morning Jojo at the time.

The scorer of 5949 Test runs said he is still learning as he continues to enjoy the role.

“I’ve been doing it for just about four years now, I am still learning and it’s a tremendous experience. I am seeing things from a different perspective and still being involved with the game that we all love so much, and to see the way the game is growing,” he said.

“I am very excited with the way the game is growing in terms of the various technologies being used to improve the officiating of the game, the standard of play, the scientific approach by all the teams, the facilities and just the way the players are being looked after so everything has improved tremendously,” he added.

Sir Richie, who captained the regional squad between 1991 and 1995, also scored 6248 runs in One Day International (ODI) matches.

During his tenure as Test captain, Sir Richie led the regional squad to 11 wins, six loses, and seven draws.

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