Richards will mentor Warne’s T20 team

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Sydney - Legendary batsman Viv Richards was on Friday named as the latest recruit to the ranks of Shane Warne's Australian Twenty20 side, with the West Indian to mentor the Melbourne Stars.

Warne, who will skipper the Stars in the domestic Big Bash League, was keen to have the man dubbed the “Master Blaster” onboard for the team's second season, the club's chairperson of selectors Ian Chappell said.

Chappell said securing Richards' expertise was “a huge coup for the team”.

“As a player Viv set himself high standards with former Pakistan captain Imran Khan describing him as 'a batsman who intimidated bowlers',” he said.

“He was also one of the best all-round fieldsmen I've seen - brilliant in any position from cover to slips and even at bat pad.”

Melbourne Stars chief executive Clint Cooper said the team had assembled one of the most star-studded T20 teams and coaching squads.

The team includes Australia's highest ever wicket-taker with 708 Test scalps in Warne as well as Sri Lankan Twenty20 star paceman Lasith Malinga and Australia's James Pattinson and David Hussey.

“It's not everyday you see names like Warne, Richards, Chappell, (Brad) Hodge, Hussey, Malinga in a team together - this is something special, something never done before,” Cooper said.

Richards, who is now 60, scored 8 540 runs in 121 Tests and with his explosive batting played a starring role in the all-conquering Windies team that did not lose a Test series between 1980 and 1995.

The BBL kicks off on December 7 with the Melbourne Stars playing their city rivals, the Melbourne Renegades. - Sapa-AFP


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