My companion chewing gum helped me to bat without helmet: Vivian Richards

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Dubai, Jan 3: West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards today spoke about his companion which kept him in comfort zone while batting and that too without a helmet while facing fiery fast bowlers.

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The companion which Richards mentioned about is not any of his team-mates but the chewing gum. Writing for International Cricket Council's (ICC) website in the build up to the World Cup 2015, Richards mentions how he always batted chewing gum. (Kohli is 'little bull terrier': Richards)

File photo of Vivian Richards in Delhi Daredevils jersey during IPL

"The chewing-gum, for example, was my greatest comfort zone in the middle," Richards, one of the most destructive batsmen cricket world has seen, wrote.

"When you are on the field with 11 other players, plus two umpires, you are outnumbered to a degree. You are out there on your own. I felt that the chewing-gum was my companion," he added.

One of the greats of the game, Richards reveals that he had got a mouth-guard but never used it while playing.

"I had got a mouth-guard (like they use in boxing) made but I never used it. My dentist at that time was very annoyed with me. He said, ‘I have never seen you use the mouth guard, you are always chewing gum'. I told him that I wanted to be comfortable at the crease," Richards explained.

Richards also said how chewing gum helped him not to bother about wearing a helmet while batting.

"Chewing gum also made me look cool and wearing that mouth guard impeded my comfort zone. The chewing of gum helped take my mind away from stuff like not wearing that guard or even a helmet. I never wore a helmet when batting and I never faced a bowler against whom I thought I should be wearing one.

"There was always this chance that I might get hurt. But then, in my mind, I thought about racing drivers. Just because he gets in an accident and he survives, is a racing driver going to quit his profession? Racing is a more dangerous sport than the one I am involved with. If I did get hit while batting, well, tough luck!

"If something worse happened, then, at least, I was in my comfort zone and I enjoyed playing cricket, so it gave me satisfaction. That was always my thought."

Richards played 121 Tests and 187 ODIs for West Indies between 1974 and 1991.

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