West Indies great Sir Viv Richards hails England’s ‘phenomenal’ Joe Root

Published: Thursday 29th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Joe Root has been given the seal of approval from former West Indies captain Viv Richards, who has described the England batsman as “phenomenal”.

Root reclaimed the mantle of the world’s top-ranked Test batsman earlier this week and, at the age of 24, Richards believes there is much more to come.

“I think Joe Root has done a magnificent job for a young man,” Richards told ecb.co.uk.

“If he continues he is going to be phenomenal because he is still very much a young man and he looks rather gnashy, but he looks like he has what it takes for you to compete at the top and certainly he has proved that to date.”

The ‘Master Blaster’, arguably the most feared batsman ever to play the game, also likened Root to the late Brian Close.

The former England captain, who died last month aged 84, was a mentor to Richards in the early part of his career when he moved to Somerset from Antigua in the 1970s.

Richards would go on to play 121 Tests, with his famous swagger and hard-hitting style, but Close’s Yorkshire spirit remained with him and he sees some of that in Root.

“I know he (Root) is a Yorkshireman,” Richards added.

“As a Yorkshireman he’s got this tenacious attitude. I played under a Yorkshireman as captain – we lost him just recently, the late Brian Close.

“He was one of the hardest men that I’ve ever met, in whatever walk of life.

“That nitty gritty type of stuff; (Geoffrey) Boycott, Sir Len Hutton they (Yorkshire) have got some guys who have been pretty potent over the years.

“I guess Joe Root is from good stock.”

Published: Thursday 29th October 2015 by The News Editor

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