West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards is in support of expanding cricket to non-traditional nations. He believes it is important that the sport grows all over the globe and is pushed into new markets.
The 64-year-old who is considered one the greatest batsman of all time revealed that many Asians and West Indians are currently residing in non-traditional cricket nations and therefore it was imperative that cricket's legacy is preserved and introduced to new countries.
"The influence of Asians like Indians and Pakistanis is huge in cricket. Despite leaving their country, they want to be a part of cricket. So folks from these countries who live in this part of the world have brought cricket culture here and in the process cricket has spread its wings."
"Cricket should reach countries which have no cricketing tradition. There are folks from all over the world who love cricket living in America. They have been missing the game after they left home. If it can be brought to America in a big way, there is going to be a wide clientele especially as far as Twenty20 is concerned", Richards said, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have taken steps to spread cricket across various parts of the globe. The West Indies and India created history when they took part in a two-match Twenty20 International series at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, United States. This series marked the first time that the two nations had played a bilateral series in North America.
Richards who scored 8,540 runs from 121 Test matches and 6,721 runs from 187 One Day Internationals (ODIs) during a 17-year career also hailed the impact that the Middle East has had on the development of cricket.
"I have been impressed in coming back to the UAE to see not just that stadium in Sharjah but two more in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. For me, Emirates have become sort of huge as far as cricket is concerned. Other stadiums came up in the UAE mainly due to the influence from Sharjah. Today the UAE has done a world of good for cricket", the batting legend added.