Viv Richards backs Shaheen Afridi to become leading wicket-taker of World Cup 2023

He is one of the best bowlers in the world

By Web Desk
August 29, 2023
Viv Richards (R) is a legendary West Indies batter - AFP

Legendary West Indies batter Sir Viv Richards has backed Shaheen Afridi to become the leading wicket-taker in this year’s ICC World Cup in India.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) asked Sir Viv to tell who he thinks will be the best performer with the ball this year in the World Cup.

"The leading wicket-taker in the World Cup will be Shaheen Afridi," the legendary cricketer said.

Heaping praise on Shaheen, Sir Viv said that he had seen the seamer performing in Pakistan during the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

"I have seen his [Shaheen] massive growth. Highly determined individual. He is my man," the veteran said.

The former cricketer said this in a video shared by the ICC, which featured some of the best performances by the 23-year-old pacer.

Meanwhile, English cricketer Alex Hales also declared Shaheen the "best new ball bowler".

"[Shaheen] is probably the best seam bowler in the world. Surely the best new ball bowler," Hales said in a video released by International League T20 franchise Desert Vipers, which has recently signed the pacer along with Shadab Khan and Azam Khan for the tournament.

He said that a tall left armer's swing with extreme pace is a "nightmare" for the right-handed batters.

It must be noted that 10 teams will fight for the elusive title across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final.

The Cricket World Cup will be played in the round-robin format with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.

The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, which will be held in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.