| Lillee described by Richards as ‘huff and puff’ merchant
Perth: Australian fast bowling legend Dennis Lillee hit back here on Tuesday after being described by the former West Indies’ batting icon Viv Richards as a “huff and puff” merchant.
Richards, now the West Indies chairman of selectors, reportedly said that Lillee had lost his aggression after the West Indies discovered a crop of electrifying pacemen, including Michael Holding and Joel Garner, in the late 1970s.
The bitter verbal exchange blew up on the eve of the third Test in Barbados, with Australia leading a four-match series 2-0.
Richards had effectively accused Perth-based Lillee of cowardice, the West Australian said.
It said Richards had implied Lillee had stopped bowling bouncers regularly because he feared what he would receive in return. Richards said Lillee lost his impact when he had to play against a team capable of returning fire. “Lillee realised what would be coming at him,” Richards said. “You could see it in Lillee. He was all huff and puff, but he wasn’t quite the same later on.”
Lillee, however, said Richards’ comments were laughable. “What a heap of bulldust,” he said. “Viv must have a short memory or a very selective memory. If Viv actually made that comment, he must have forgotten a fair bit. None of them frightened me, and I certainly did not back off,” Lillee remarked.
Lillee, 53, dismissed Richards nine times in Tests, more than any other bowler.
Additionally, Lillee snared Richards seven times while snapping up 45 wickets in 10 World Series Tests against the West Indies between 1977 and 1979.