Cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards was bowled over by the warmth of people of Assam, scenic views and world famous tea — and these have not changed since his last visit here in 1983.
Sir Vivian is in town for the Made for Medicine tour to attract aspiring medical students to the American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine, part of Manipal Education and Medical Group, located on his home island of Antigua. He was in Hyderabad, Chennai and Calcutta before moving here for the enrolment tour.
The West Indian cricket giant attended prayers at Christ Church Guwahati on Christmas eve. He was also taken on a drive around the city’s prominent spots on Wednesday evening and he was mesmerised by the beautiful views.
“There are some things that do not change, like the warmth of people. I saw some magnificent views on a drive last night. The weather is nice with a cold breeze at night. The tea here is world famous. It is special and I will take some back home,” said Sir Vivian during an interaction with the media here on Thursday.
His last visit to the city was for the India-West Indies ODI on December 17, 1983.
India is “special” for him because of the “culture and different languages”. He also highly rated the present Indian cricket team and appeared to be a fan of captain Virat Kohli.
“I love Kohli’s batting and aggression. India used to be intimidated by sledging, but people like Virat give it back. Sledging is not bad and you will reply only if you are good. I love aggression and do not want to turn the other cheek. I have played against some of India’s greatest spinners like Bishan Singh Bedi and G. Vishwanath. I have also seen some great batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. It is good that India has some quick bowlers now. The team is in a good place but it has to consistently win overseas.”
Richard added: “Antigua is a tourist place. There are 365 lovely beaches, one for each day of the year. The AUA is located on one of the beaches. Parents here should send their kids as it is a safe place. AUA students come from all over the world. The institute is doing a lot for medical education in Antigua.”