Still the king

Viv Richards has been crowned the greatest one-day cricketer ever by a jury of 50 eminent players, commentators and writers assembled by the Cricket Monthly

The toast of the town: Viv Richards was the No. 1 choice for 58% of the jury

The toast of the town: Viv Richards was the No. 1 choice for 58% of the jury © Getty Images

Viv Richards has been crowned the greatest one-day cricketer ever by a jury of 50 eminent players, commentators and writers assembled by the Cricket Monthly.

An astonishing 29 of 50 jurors picked Richards as their first choice, giving him a landslide victory over four other ODI legends: Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Akram, Adam Gilchrist and MS Dhoni.

The contest for second place was a close affair between Tendulkar and Akram. Tendulkar, owner of 18,426 runs and 49 centuries, eventually prevailed by a hair's breadth over Akram, the most exceptional left-arm bowler the game has seen. Rounding off the top five were Gilchrist at No. 4 and Dhoni at No. 5.

In all, 21 cricketers received at least one vote from the jury: six Australians, five Indians, four Pakistanis, two West Indians, two South Africans, a Sri Lankan and an Englishman.

There was no dispute over the greatest, though. Through the late 1970s and '80s Richards was way ahead of his contemporaries. He thrived in different conditions, against a variety of attacks, and raised the bar in the key matches. In an era before big bats, small boundaries and fielding restrictions, Richards tormented bowlers with his power and audacity.

"He batted at Nos. 3 or 4, maintained a strike rate of 90 and an average of 47 and did it in his sleep over 15 exhausting years of dominance," writes former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe in his tribute to Richards in the March issue of the Cricket Monthly. "Arguably - categorically for me - his 189 not out in Manchester in 1984 is the greatest one-day innings of them all."

Few walked to the crease oozing as much swagger as Richards, who never wore a helmet even when facing the fastest bowlers. "I felt strong about my presence, you know," said Richards in an interview to the Cricket Monthly. "Sometimes presence sends a message, 'Hey, I am ready.' It's just the duel between you and the bowler."

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Many fine bowlers suffered at his hands. Australia's Rodney Hogg, who was at the receiving end of a glorious 153 not out in Melbourne in 1979, recalled Richards' versatility. "If you pitched the ball on middle and leg it would go between midwicket and mid-on. If you pitched it on off or outside off stump it would go between mid-off and cover. We were all mesmerised."

The Cricket Monthly's 50-member jury, drawn from around the globe and spanning several eras, includes legendary cricketers Ian Chappell, Clive Lloyd, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and Graeme Smith; veteran commentators Tony Cozier, Mark Nicholas, Mike Haysman and Sanjay Manjrekar; and respected writers Gideon Haigh, Mike Coward, Suresh Menon and Mike Selvey.

ESPNcricinfo's readers, in a poll run on the site, voted overwhelmingly for Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Akram. Of the nearly 600,000 users who voted, about 239,000 chose Tendulkar as the greatest ODI player of them all, and more than 225,000 chose Akram.

The March issue of the Cricket Monthly contains full results of the exercise, celebrations of the top five, an interview with Richards, memories from bowlers who faced him, and much more.





  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | March 14, 2015, 9:07 GMT

    @ IDAVAI, so, AB deviliers, Hashim Amla, and Virat Kohli can't be qualified in both of your teams? Look at their statistics before pick the players because numbers never lie, and numbers always prove the greatness. Hashim, Devilliers, and Kohli all 3 batsmen carry over 50 average in ODIs with over 90 strike rate. Think about it.

  • POSTED BY DPRaj on | March 12, 2015, 18:45 GMT

    Viv Richards played to 'WIN' everytime he went into the field albeit batting or fielding - I don't think the same can be said of Sachin!!

  • POSTED BY Shafiul Azam Fahim on | March 12, 2015, 18:24 GMT

    Vivian Richards is the real king . No other player can be compared with him in ODI cricket . And i think akram should be in the 2nd place ahead of sachin . Sachin played most of his life in batting friendly barren pitch . indian ar sarjahs pitches are very good for batting in where sachin made most of his runs . Beside this sachin scored around 3000 runs against minnow teams like bangladesh , kenya , nabibiya , zimbabwe , nederland etc . Richards and many batting greats didnt get this chance too much .

  • POSTED BY DPRaj on | March 12, 2015, 18:22 GMT

    @ALLROUNDCRICKETFAN - LOL all jokes apart, everyone wants bowl out Amla. But everyone 'did not' want to bowl to Richards!! That is the main difference.

  • POSTED BY Shafiul Azam Fahim on | March 12, 2015, 18:15 GMT

    Vivian Richards is the real king . No other player can be compared with him in ODI cricket . And i think akram should be in the 2nd place ahead of sachin . Sachin played most of his life in batting friendly barren pitch . indian ar sarjahs pitches are very good for batting in where sachin made most of his runs . Beside this sachin scored around 3000 runs against minnow teams like bangladesh , kenya , nabibiya , zimbabwe , nederland etc . Richards and many batting greats didnt get this chance too much .

  • POSTED BY DPRaj on | March 12, 2015, 17:32 GMT

    For people who don't pay attention below is the excerpt which I think worth the read:

    Part 2:

    His strengths were on the front foot. So far forward could he get that he was able to plant that left foot outside the line of off stump, at once eliminating lbw and creating his own leg stump line from where he would flick bowlers relentlessly through midwicket. Or he might send a similar ball skimming through extra cover. Straighten the ball down the line of the stumps and the bowler stood a chance, but he rarely missed and they ran a terrible risk.

    His power was awesome, he hooked devastatingly and never wore a helmet, rocking back from his front-foot base to take the ball from his eyeline in front of square. Occasionally, for no apparent reason, he would block an over in immaculate fashion, seemingly in defensive position before the ball had left the bowler's hand. Then, refreshed, off he would go AGAIN.

    Mike Selvey October 2004

  • POSTED BY DPRaj on | March 12, 2015, 17:30 GMT

    For people who don't pay attention below is the excerpt which I think worth the read:

    You knew when he was coming. The outgoing batsman would already have disappeared into the pavilion, and the expectation of what was to follow filled the air. Viv kept you waiting... time to ponder. Then he appeared, sauntering, swaggering, arms windmilling slowly. He would take guard, and then, head tilted back slightly and cudding his gum, he would walk a few paces down the pitch to tap it while looking the bowler in the eye. It was calculated menace and magnificent theatre from arguably the most devastating batsman of all time.

    How to bowl to him? Get him to the other end, perhaps. Hold your nerve, do not take what might follow as personal. Occasionally he was vulnerable early on if his desire to dominate overwhelmed him. But he had no weakness until his eyesight infinitesimally but inevitably started to let him down and those eye shots became harder.

    Part 1

  • POSTED BY DPRaj on | March 12, 2015, 17:02 GMT

    One more important fact - Viv Richards have won half the battle psychologically when he goes to bat - I don't think you can say that of Sachin, Dhoni or any other!!!!!

  • POSTED BY DPRaj on | March 12, 2015, 16:45 GMT

    Say what you have to say guys, but there is only one 'King' and we all know who that is - no matter what.

    Remember - in the 18000 + runs how many of them are championship winning knocks? No one feared Sachin - but IVA Richards was feared by many bowlers and teams - which is a fact! I have been following cricket since 1970 and I have seen them all. No disrespect to Sachin but lets not do injustice to his name by doing unfair comparisons with Sir Viv.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 12, 2015, 16:09 GMT

    I whole heartedly endorse viv as the greatest ODI cricketer. He was the first batsman to scare the bowlers with his audacious stroke play. He was a joy to watch . He was nonchalant at the crease and you cannot see any tension in his face even while facing great fast bowlers in tight situations. A true legend

  • POSTED BY SS_JJ on | March 12, 2015, 16:09 GMT

    I am very shocked to see Dhoni name on the list. He is just a mediocre player like many others. I wouldn't even put his in top 100. No. 1 Viv Richards - No doubt about it. But, Dhoni at #5 , come on jury.

  • POSTED BY Ahmad Uetian on | March 12, 2015, 13:07 GMT

    AVG & RPI

    (Not out doesn't help team least bit so only RPI matters. Also if you are best batsman you are offered promotion in batting order so that you can play maximum overs to really impact the game. If u don't you are not legend)

    Sachin Dhoni Richards Gilchrist Bevan

    45 41, 52 37, 47 40, 36 34, 54 35


    Sachin Dhoni Richards Gilchrist Bevan

    86, 89, 90, 97, 74


    Sachin 11 78 40 45 45,

    Dhoni 91* 25 7 51 34,

    Richards 88 63 59 76 50,

    Gilchrist 87 14 35 41 38,

    Beven 36* 45 54 55 35,


    Sachin Dhoni Richards Gilchrist Beven

    57 52 89, 35 25 87, 63 48 85, 36 35 98, 45 20 64


    54 47 87, 49 38 86, 56 49 85, 38 35 103, 73 39 74


    Sachin Dhoni Richards Gilchrist Beven Wasim

    18000+, 8000+, 6700+, 9600+, 6900+ Most wickets.

  • POSTED BY Ahmad Uetian on | March 12, 2015, 12:52 GMT

    PART 4 of 4:

    Argument boils down to Richards & Sachin. Richards surpasses Sachin on WC big finals & slightly on TOURNAMENT FINALS but Sachin surpasses Richards on longevity by 2.5 times, on big records & slightly on balanced performance bcz Richards weak vs PAK and didn't play SA & WI the finest bowling attacks.

    Qualitatively Richards, Sachin & Lara were most feared batsmen over long period by oppositions & their dismissals were celebrated the most. Sachin & Lara most attractive to watch. Sachin was the biggest crowed puller as the matches he played clearly had significantly more attendances. Sachin was the only player on whose dismissal crowed started leaving stadium irrespective of team's result.

  • POSTED BY Insult_2_Injury on | March 12, 2015, 8:24 GMT

    Good choice, not surprising really. It is interesting though with the all rounder being key in ODIs that a batter got it. Also a great counterpoint considering the accolades being heaped on current flat track warriors

  • POSTED BY bluntyorker on | March 12, 2015, 5:19 GMT

    We all may have our individual favourites but the jury has decided and they are mainly ex-cricketers and people who have been involved in the game directly or indirectly. I am sure all of us would like one of our fellow countryman to be at the top but I totally agree that Sir Viv is the greatest one day player. Only difference is he did not play longer than some of the others and I hope he had. He was a class of his own and had his own style and was fearless. Many bowlers in his days were reluctant to bowl to him and this was due to his ability to destroy you. How many players these days fall into this category today? There few who may come closer such as De Villiers, McCallum, Dhoni, etc. but none would be as same as Viv.

  • POSTED BY MarkD486 on | March 12, 2015, 2:35 GMT

    Completely agree with No 1 through to 4! But MSD at No 5? You have got to be kidding. I wouldn't put MSD in the Top 20 let alone the Top 5!

  • POSTED BY Sumesh N Vasu on | March 12, 2015, 2:13 GMT

    My first question is on what basis these 5 players were selected? Then why audience poll was conducted? Then why again the jury decided out of the 5? Then why are we the audience asked to vote?

  • POSTED BY Vinod_Fab on | March 11, 2015, 19:58 GMT

    If i think of this modern era and compare that swagger,dominance and performing big in high pressure situations, it would be undoubtedly Kevin Pietersen..!!!... Many guys remember only his Test knocks.. I remember his ODI knocks too.. 3 blazing hundreds against SA in SA , 65 balls 91 not out against AUS single handedly won the match and then in finals (tied match) , 2007 WC Tons when other ENG batsman was failing , 2 Consecutive Tons against PAK in Dubai(4th ODI ton was single handed win).. And when he was about to due for a big ton in 2011 QF, KP got injured.. (IMO he didn't like that environment) and ENG lost..!!... I wud say after Viv it will be KP.. No wonder Viv is a coach for Melbourne stars and KP is playing in it... :) :)

  • POSTED BY AllroundCricketFan on | March 11, 2015, 19:54 GMT

    Hmmmm. Is this the same greatest ODI cricketer that has been pummeled by Amla in every record standing? First to 2000 runs, 3000, 4000, 5000 and next 6000 - Hashim Amla has reached and broken every one of Viv's record with ease and made it look classy as well... Its a joke that hes been voted as the best ever ? Surely Amla needs a mention. I would have went for someone who's record's still stand...... anyone but Viv.

  • POSTED BY harshthakor on | March 11, 2015, 19:03 GMT

    Viv maybe the greatest batsmen with Sachin inches below but my vote would go to Wasim Akram.I rate Wasim as the best O.D.I.all-rounder.502 scalps and over 3000 runs is a phenomenal record..There was never a better magician with the ball than Akram who posessed a repertoire of reverse swing that no pace bowler ever had.In crucial times he could strike a significant blow to the batting like he did in the 1992 world cup and 1990 Australasia cup final.Wasim was the ultimate match-winner with the ball who could give the finest of finishing touches to his team's innings with the bat.His performances won many a tournament for Pakistan like the 1997 Carlton and United Series down under.

  • POSTED BY harshthakor on | March 11, 2015, 18:52 GMT

    Viv Richards is the king amongst one -day batsmen who could turn the complexion of a game more than any batsmen ever.Sachin Tendulkar posessed phenomenal consistency and longevity than any great batsmen in O.D.I.but could not equal Viv Richard's match-winning ability.In full flow Viv made the impact of lightning and thunder on field like a bomber raiding an airbase.We saw the best of Viv in Australia in 1979-80 in the league stage of the triangular tournament with his 158 v Australia at Melbourne one of his 3 best innings.True he played for a great side with a great bowling attack unlike Sachin or Lara but still a Viv Richards 50 or 100 would turn the course of a game,particularly a final more than one of Tendulkar's.With the pitches having slowed down and pace atacks weaker Viv would have devoured bowling in the modern age and averaged nearly 55.With his lightning reflexes and exuberant power Viv would have outclassed every great.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 11, 2015, 14:49 GMT

    Though Sachin is the everbest ODI cricketer,most of them find the quality of the ODI cricket played during the period of Sir Viv Richards is better and prefer him the best.Ofcourse the quality of the modern cricket is spoiled because of fielding restrictions.ICC should stop fielding restriction rules.West indies and England are the most affected because of fielding restriction as they failed to adapt.Sachin can do nothing for this.

  • POSTED BY emespee on | March 11, 2015, 14:41 GMT

    For all who commented here and may disagree with Viv Richards being the no. 1 choice, please remember that the award is: "Greatest ODI Cricketer" of all time! Its not Greatest ODI Batsman, not Greatest ODI Bowler etc. Its Greatest ODI Cricketer! That being so, Viv Richards therefore deserves the number one selection. He was the greatest batsman of his era, the best fielder and a useful bowler who took over 100 wickets. In addition he held the world record of 189 which is voted as the Greatest ODI Innings of all time. (Check the score card to see how great that innings was). He invented shots. He was the first to make a century and take 5 wickets in an ODI. Very few to date have achieved that feat. And his electrifying fielding and catching (check the 1975 World Cup final) set very high standards. So all round he is the "Greatest ODI Cricketer" of all time! Sachin Tendulkar may be a greater batsman. Wasim Akram a greater bowler. But none rightly comes close to Viv as the total package!

  • POSTED BY NCP1 on | March 11, 2015, 13:27 GMT

    Don't forget Viv was just as good in Tests with average of 50. An all round cricketer, he walked like a champion and was intimidating for opposition.Those who say he didn't face fast bowling like Sachin and Ricky should remember that he would have destroyed the modern quicks in no time with the quality of modern bats and fielding restrictions. Sachin is also great because he played for a weaker team like India but he influenced people like Sehwag, Rahul, Saurav and Laxman in the same way the other west Indians like Llyod , Sobers have done to their team mates.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 11, 2015, 12:43 GMT

    Sachin had good strike rate during earlier carrer.eg.., Sachin vs Abd Quadir.Later it decreased because of multiple injuries.Undoubtfully Sachin is the best oneday cricketer who had scored centuries with all the nations.This page will not be enough to write his achievements.

  • POSTED BY Ojasp on | March 11, 2015, 12:37 GMT

    @SACHIN_NOW_KOHLI: Stats can never define a player and if you want to bring stats then don't forget that viv had average of 47 when average of 30-35 was considered excellent. He used to get his team to 270-280 when 200 was used to be a good total. No flat tracks. No fielding restrictions. Plus when bowlers like Lilee Thompson and Botham were at their peak. I am an Indian and I admit that SRT was an excellent player, but scoring 18000 runs and 50 centuries can't be the only criteria for this and for Dhoni fans, I think it's too early to judge him. His career should be judged only when he will retire.

  • POSTED BY NAP73 on | March 11, 2015, 12:37 GMT

    Having had the pleasure of watching all the final 5 over extensive periods of time, I agree with the choice (just). That said, they are still different eras and conditions etc. Still, while Akram was always great to watch and admire (when everything started to progress further in favour of batsmen) and there was much respect for Tendulkar (who seemed to like racking up records and satisfy his many adoring followers), Viv was the epitome of ODI cricket and brought great entertainment. Now, I am afraid, ODIs do not mean much except for the World Cup (and I will miss the close battles between Associates next time around). There also seems to be a lack of characters now (though Kohli's confident exploits are to be admired on many an occasion). Time seems to have moved on... Will be interesting to see how tests develop and whether changes (e.g. day-night) are sustainable over the long-term.

  • POSTED BY Hamza Khan on | March 11, 2015, 12:06 GMT

    viv Richards ,no doubt the greatest OSI batsman bcz he scores tons of runs in different era and sachin is scoring runs after so much experience, his first century came after 75 innings

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 11, 2015, 11:51 GMT

    tendulkar had 2 careers from 1989 to 2003 and then 2003 to 2013. Viv only had one. considering longevity tendulkar wins by a mile

  • POSTED BY Mawali99 on | March 11, 2015, 11:15 GMT

    if you can get past the collective inferiority complex of the 1.2 billion than and only than fairness would dictate Viv is truly deserving. Wasim second and Dhoni has no place in the list as much as I admire Dhoni!

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | March 11, 2015, 10:56 GMT

    He is without doubt the best...!

  • POSTED BY abiindia on | March 11, 2015, 10:49 GMT

    for a bowling great, i prefer Curtly Ambrose, for batting i prefer sachin, if not, MS Dhoni, provided, would not have offered the captaincy, he would have became a blaster batsman of all time, which no one will compare, who knows that> difference responsibility changes entire life styles of one's life.

  • POSTED BY abiindia on | March 11, 2015, 10:26 GMT

    You are qualified to write about viv only if you have seen his batting during his periods, I request you, need not follow like a sheep in the crowd.

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 11, 2015, 10:25 GMT

    Sachin carries the expectations of Billions throughout his whole career while Viv was carried the expectations of some Islands Yes Viv was consistent, creates fear among bowlers and fielders which would eventually unsettle them, he bats without helmet and pitches are evenly matched for bowlers in those days, now come to Tendulkar he plays in whole of his career under tremendous pressure no one can even thinks about in his whole career. People expects century for him in every match he played, another thing is that it's not Sachin's fault that Helmets are invented in his era and I suppose Sachin is a great runner between wickets a person who have 5 feet four inches takes a lot of effort to make himself a great runner between wickets unlike Viv who is naturally have a very strong built and 6 + height.

  • POSTED BY foursandsixes on | March 11, 2015, 10:25 GMT

    Viv played amateurish teams of that era with generally pathetic fielding and bowling standards, except for a few greats - mostly WI and some bowlers from Pak. SL was not a good team then so why is his 189 better than K Dev's 175* against Zim? Viv would totally be found out in the modern era. He was ahead of his time but not the best ever. He was lucky to be part of the best team in that era and all the 55-60 year olds voted for him due to nostalgia of a non-sensical "more pure era where money did not rule"

  • POSTED BY Idavai on | March 11, 2015, 10:13 GMT

    Now that we have identified the greatest one day player , shall we try to arrange a match between two best elevens?

    Team A : Sachin, Gilchrist, Ponting (Captain), Lara, Inzi, Bevan, Kapil, Wasim, Lee, Murali and Mcgrath

    Team B : Mark Waugh, Haynes, Richards, Javed, Di Villiers, Dhoni, Imran (Captain), Pollock,Warne, Waqar, Garner

    Mouth watering match.........

  • POSTED BY Idavai on | March 11, 2015, 9:51 GMT

    Kudos to the original master blaster and the only King - Richards ........no competition.......

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 11, 2015, 9:22 GMT

    Courtney Walsh is the best ODI bowler.He have better average than Wasim.

  • POSTED BY cricfan23978945 on | March 11, 2015, 8:57 GMT

    Rightfully Viv is the greatest with Wasim second

  • POSTED BY NP_NY on | March 11, 2015, 8:53 GMT

    @CKTLOVER2015: MSD has won a world cup as a captain. EVERYONE knows he is one of the greatest finishers the game has ever seen. He averages over 50 batting at number six. I have a lot of respect for Sanga, but he or any of the other guys (barring maybe Ponting) who played in the last couple of decades don't even come close to MSD's ODI achievements.

  • POSTED BY abiindia on | March 11, 2015, 8:46 GMT

    what basis do they decide all time ? we do not know. if you ask for public vote, you must disclose that also in here. that is more specific on how did you selected such all time great !!!

  • POSTED BY abiindia on | March 11, 2015, 8:36 GMT

    This could be more relevant to decide after this world cup final.

  • POSTED BY eng_mdkhan on | March 11, 2015, 7:34 GMT

    Deserving for Viv, he was timeless. Infact think what he would do now with the ODI rules heavily in favor of the batsman. Probably he would've had a strike rate of 100 or there abouts with average easily over 50. Batting and bowling are two different arts of cricket and it is not fair to have a single greatest ODI cricketer because as much as Viv is a great in batting Akram if not more is an equal in bowling. Sachin obviously is an epitome of consistency but compared to these two in their discipline he did not instill the same respect in the opposition as much as these two did. I would rate him highly but definetely behind these two.

  • POSTED BY cricfanraj on | March 11, 2015, 7:10 GMT

    I'm a hardcore fan of Sachin but this result DIDNOTdisappointed me. I voted for Sachin but in all means Sir ViV is on par great batsmen with sachin . His mare presence would create shivers in the opposition. His style , his arrogance approach to game .. MAN he was a genius. Only negative point I can think of is he is not tested completely in ODI format. The fielding standards and competition in ODI was by far very less compare to that of Sachin era. Wasim was no doubt the greatest one day bowler. I hate to agree he ended so many batsmen careers. I saw K Srikanth (who used to be my childhood hero for hard hitting :-)) struggle like hell against him . His pace ,swing , bouncers.. he was absolute gem. Sachin is simply the greatest ODI batsmen. His consistency , ability to change gears at will ..he is Bradmen of ODI cricket.

    Gilly and Dhoni are very good but I want to use the word GREAT sparingly . To be honest you can add a ton of names if you want them in the list.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 11, 2015, 7:09 GMT

    Sanath Jaisurya, Inzmam-ul-haq, Shane Warne, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting - they were all miles ahead of MSD. What a shame they have selected MSD. Even Kumar Sangakara will beat MSD with his 4 ODI century in a row.

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | March 11, 2015, 6:47 GMT

    @Kiwirocker Exactly mate. You won't find another like Dhoni. He is like Bevan in finishing and like Ponting as captain all rolled in one. Though Punter had a far stronger side to help him win matches. And his batting average alone is higher than others on the list but the Indians seem to rave only about their little master.

  • POSTED BY Bilal Kazmi on | March 11, 2015, 6:34 GMT

    Viv richards was the best. Full stop. Even indian experts who voted feel the same. So lets get out the sachin bias please

  • POSTED BY Mayur on | March 11, 2015, 6:27 GMT

    My opinion on why Dhoni is on the list of the top 5 greatest ODI players is because of his consistency as a no. 6 batsman, captain and a wicket-keeper over the years, and to top it all how many times hasn't he taken India to victory almost single-handedly batting with the tail. The stats in all the above-said categories show them. Sanga isn't there in the list because it is only now (2014 onward) that he peaked, the consistency just wasn't there over the years. With only 24 hundreds for a top order batsman in 400+ ODIs is no great a deal,adding to it 'a good wicket-keeper' and a mediocre captain.

  • POSTED BY StreetView on | March 11, 2015, 6:20 GMT

    I have no issues with Sir Viv Richards being number 1. I agree with these rankings as well. But can't fathom why Sachin got so few votes. Sour grapes probably. Tendulkar is miles ahead of the other 3 players in terms of impact and records. I'm not even a Sachin fan, but its ridiculous to see Pak,SL and Bangladesh fans hailing Viv Richards, just to belittle Sachin. They won't have seen Viv play at all. Some of them might not have even heard about him before. IMO Viv is still the greatest ODI player though :)

  • POSTED BY jokerbala on | March 11, 2015, 6:18 GMT

    I voted for sir Viv in the online poll and I am glad that he head been chosen.

  • POSTED BY JalaltexTIGER on | March 11, 2015, 6:15 GMT

    Wish to know all of the greatest ODI batsman strike rate and records. Comparison should be given on the basis of so many factors, who is good who did runs against stroke. Show us if any body have their details comparison records.

  • POSTED BY nstephen on | March 11, 2015, 6:04 GMT

    I have to agree, even as an Indian, that VIV is a better player than Sachin in ODI's. Higher average and strike rate and was not one to slow down for personal records or landmark. You would not see him eat up 20-25 balls to go from 90 to 100. Also, never hung around for a landmark century like the last one from Sachin, 113 off 147 balls which ultimately led to a lower team total easily overhauled by Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | March 11, 2015, 5:26 GMT

    Hail the King...Those magnificent sixes over mid wicket. Those wonderful drives on offside. That swagger and that presence has never been felt on cricket pitch. I have vivid memories of King Richards in 1987 world cup where he smashed Sri Lankan attack to 181. King Richards was also a fine sportsman. I would always remember him clapping when Wasim Akram hit him for six to win Nehru cup in 1989 ( It was a great tournament and much better than world cups actually). It is also totally silly to compare any of the players as they all were great in their own right. However, Wasim akram has to be next best purely because even Ambrose said that Wasim could do things with ball that no one else did! Tendulkar no doubt had longevity on his side but his winning record and presence was not even close to the King Richards! I am also struggling to understand why exactly Dhoni is on the list? If he is a great finisher than Michael Bevan was even better. If he is a great captain then Ponting?

  • POSTED BY foursandsixes on | March 11, 2015, 4:50 GMT

    Viv is the nostalgia chiice by 55 year olds. He was great but not the best as he never played the best bowlers of that era - the West Indies! He only looked that good because cricket was mostly played by amateurish sides who looked like associate teams of current era - take a look at footage from 70s and early 80s. Most bowlers orher few greats from WI and Pak were pathetic compared to today. The mind plays trick by burnishing images from long past. Sachin played and scored against the best in modern day cricket. Viv at best is like Sehwag with more attitude.

  • POSTED BY india26 on | March 11, 2015, 4:47 GMT

    Great to read that yesteryear heros are still celebrated and cherished. Viv Richards did great service to cricket by bringing it into front cover and inspiring future generation like Sachin Tendulkar......etc. But still I feel Sachin should have been tagged the greatest ODI because of his longevity and he playing more number of matches, more number venues(different condition) and carrying expectations of billions (consider the pressure of god like status) and more importantly the role model both on field and off field.

  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | March 11, 2015, 4:40 GMT

    Virat Kohli and Hasim Amla are even better in all aspects than this so called the best ODI player-Viv. He didn't even make a single century in every year of his career without third umpiring rule, snicko, and other new technologies. People like WAPUSER AND RAISHIV write non-sense favoring this eminent and British queen loved one, but put one thing in your mind that Bradman is the father of test cricket and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is the father of One day Cricket. Appearing in 463 ODIs, playing more than 20 years with same success, making more than 18000 runs, with nearly 45 average, with over 85 strike rate, and blasting a century in every 9th game are not a joke. Vivian or any other batsmen, Viv's 50 eminent, Viv's blind and stupid fans cannot even think about getting these marks in even their dreams. Viv was the best ODI player in his era, but all time favorite must be Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 11, 2015, 4:17 GMT

    Having seen Viv Richards bat during my childhood days of the 80s, I have no doubt that Viv stands head and shoulders above the rest. His batting was an absolute treat to watch. No other player had the same intimidating affect on the opposition as Viv. The younger generation may not appreciate Viv's stature going by just records but those who have been around in that era know that Sir Viv is the best of them all !!!!

  • POSTED BY LastPakiStanding on | March 11, 2015, 4:02 GMT

    I think Wasim should be # 1 because he is the only one who is bowler among top 5 contenders. Batting is little easier than bowling because bowler has 3 wickets to aim and batsman has 360 degree areas to hit in any elevation. Second, he introduced reverse swing and by himself wins matches alone by bringing himself on attack against best batsman like Viv, tendulkar , Gil or Dhoni. RThird he played against all the top 4 batting contenders and win race by his outstanding bowling.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 11, 2015, 3:51 GMT

    King viv...no doubt..congrats sir

  • POSTED BY truthfinder on | March 11, 2015, 3:47 GMT

    @raishiv on -- I myself watched Viv played and let me tell you if he stays for 5 overs I did not watch the game further because the hopeless situation he put the opposition in. Being the best team in late 80's I always opposed WI against any team just like people oppose Australia now. But he was such a devastating great that I can't even put Tendulkar closer to him. All his terrific ODI performances came in an age where there was no Power Play, the pitches were incredibly bowling friendly and batting first in Day match which the pitch remained most helpful for the fast men. In the similar situation Tendulkar himself struggled, he was not that effective when used to play at #4 or#5. Possibly he would have never moved to open had there been no power play. With power play, flatten pitches of subcontinent or sharjah in 90's and later all over the world (to ensure 6 hours Addv) -- simply the condition is too easy. In his career Tendulkar had never been regarded as #1 ODI player in any sense

  • POSTED BY sushant rawat on | March 11, 2015, 3:41 GMT

    MSD at 5 r u kidding me.....

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 11, 2015, 3:36 GMT

    sir Viv Was great, a deserving candidate. Sachin should be at number 2 & Dhoni at number 3. Dhoni is far more better as a complete cricketer then Adam Gilchrist who played with the greatest Australian team of all time. Dhoni took a below average team (t20 2007) to great heights, Reaches final with CSK almost all the time and one of the toughest T20 competitions. won the world cup and in doing so became the first captain to win at home soil. Have won countless games for India from pressure situations. He is the most complete cricketer (Captain, Finisher, Aggressive batting & a top class Wicket keeper) and probably the only captain from India who is loved in SL, PAK, AUS, NZ & SA

  • POSTED BY John Johnee Santhosh on | March 11, 2015, 3:35 GMT

    Excellent VIV, childhood hero.....

  • POSTED BY raishiv on | March 11, 2015, 3:01 GMT

    I see people taking pride in declaring viv as an obvious and deserving choice and lambasting Sachin's "blind followers". I am pretty sure most of these guys have never seen Viv play. But it's cool to be different than general public notion. right? to all those people I would like to say before labeling someone else see yourself first. Since most of the jury members are of his generation, it is obvious that he was winner by a huge margin. With all due respect to sir VIV, i have not seen him play and in my opinion no one even comes close to Sachin in terms of longevity, consistency and overall greatness. So, no second opinion here.

  • POSTED BY ms2000 on | March 11, 2015, 2:51 GMT

    No doubt No doubt This was the GREATEST we have seen. Perfect decision. Yes he is a KING!! - Congrats Viv from Sri Lanka

  • POSTED BY kruntal on | March 11, 2015, 2:47 GMT

    King Richards it is for me, all the way. Never seen a batter who can demolish a bowler under any condition like he did, with the utmost effortlessness. His swagger and the smirk said it all. He owned the game when he was playing like no one else. I miss him and that WI team with that batting lineup and the pace battery. Never can another eleven like that team can ever be assembled, and the King was on top of that team. Not to mention the Jamaican arrow who would release the ball with such speed and accuracy that was in such sharp contrast to that graceful glide to the crease. I sure was fortunate to have lived through that era to have seen that Windies team at its peak, thank God.

  • POSTED BY SaliRam on | March 11, 2015, 2:45 GMT

    I love his batting...he is more effective then any one else in this planet

  • POSTED BY couchpundit on | March 11, 2015, 2:11 GMT

    Thank god sense prevailed, thankgod those crazy tendulkar fans did not mar this.

  • POSTED BY Mohamed Giffry Mustaq on | March 11, 2015, 2:07 GMT

    Nobody compare with Issac Vivian Alaxander Richards. He is the real Master Blaster. He played a cricket without a helmet. He faced world all time great bowlers. Still he is the king of cricket.

  • POSTED BY Zvakanaka on | March 11, 2015, 1:54 GMT

    All time great ODI side: 1. Tendulkar 2. Haynes. 3. Ponting 4. Richards 5. Lara 6. Imran* 7. Dhoni (w/k). 8. Wasim 9. Warne 10. Garner 11. McGrath

  • POSTED BY pcraju on | March 11, 2015, 1:22 GMT

    for my dear indian fans voting for sachin or msd as the best cricketer. sachin has records in terms of numbers. but more than numbers the quality of cricket matters. the difference one makes while batting or bowling or fielding is what counts. and the impact of the player's presence on the opposition side. so viv would overdo sachin in these areas. and for msd, he has not been that great outside the subcontinent though he has won some icc tournaments. as a player he is not exceptional or fearful as a batsman outside the subcontinent. I would still rate gilly better player than him though he was not as a captain. for the greatest Odi cricketer, captaincy not taken into consideration otherwise Ponting could have been on the list considering his success as a Odi captain.

  • POSTED BY Roy119 on | March 11, 2015, 1:18 GMT

    I wasn't even born when Viv played this great game so I cant comment on how great he was however my granddad who is an ardent Cricket Fan and has followed (who lived and grew up in Eng but SL heritage) and watched Cricket since 1930's always said Viv was the best he has ever seen in terms of dominance and aggression. Grand dad always said that when Viv walks in to middle he owns that pitch and bowlers were treated as tress passers on his land. I respect his opinion simply because he has seen 4 generations of cricketers but he held Viv at the very top till the last day of his life. I have the utter most respect to all the pre helmet cricket generation. You have to be very very brave and fearless to face such menacing fast bowlers and to take them on with no restrictions on number of bouncers per over. I do play District level Cricket and if I have to play without a helmet I'm not so sure I have courage to do that day in day out.

  • POSTED BY senna25 on | March 11, 2015, 1:09 GMT

    no one can beat Clive Loyd's century against Lille and Thompson in the first world cup

  • POSTED BY Chris Kettlewell on | March 11, 2015, 1:07 GMT

    The thing with Viv Richards is that he played in a time when scores of 220-230 were considered good winning scores, yet he has a record which would put him among the best batsmen of the current, batsman dominated era where scores of 300+ are becoming the norm. Having a career strike rate of 90 back when he played was just unheard of. People trying to compare raw statistics need to remember this. If you are talking about the greatest of all time you have to take each player in the context of the time they played. The fact Viv was so far ahead of anyone of his era is what puts him on top of the list.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 11, 2015, 1:07 GMT

    Ramiz Raja recently said about Viv "I distinctly remember even now the brief dialogue that took place in the team meeting between Javed Miandad, who was then leading Pakistan, and his fastest weapon Imran Khan," said Ramiz."While discussing Viv and how to get his wicket, Javed put forward his winning tactics to Imran asking him to let him have a few bouncers when he came out to bat. The reply from Imran was rather a cold but a sensible one: "Are you mad, he will hit me for a six!" It was precisely this that made Viv a champion ? his ability to put fear of life in somebody as great and as fearless as Imran."

  • POSTED BY quamrul on | March 11, 2015, 0:53 GMT

    Except Viv all other 4 are outstanding record holders in so many ways but even they will go for Viv if asked to select, I guess. Viv had not used comprehensive protective gears like the modern era players. He did not have super-tech bats used now or tech-based training facilities and royal life style of modern cricketers yet he was successful equally at home and abroad. The charismatic "all the time chewing gum" genius was indeed simultaneously "admired + hated" by his opponents. Those who have not seen him coming out to bat and in actual action, have missed something that "will not be reproduced ever". He remains the only KING, sans doubt.

  • POSTED BY fr600 on | March 11, 2015, 0:44 GMT

    I'm glad the most deserving person got the acknowledgement. People would complain, it's everyone's nature, and find a logic behind their statement. These people will not see what they don't want to or simply can't.

  • POSTED BY sj99 on | March 11, 2015, 0:28 GMT

    I agree with selecting Viv Richards. There is batsman like him neither before him nor after. Playing a hook short on the front foot. He was absolutely brutal. Facing the most fearsome bowlers of his era without wearing a helmet was not a joke; he was hooking & pulling them on the front foot with arrogance,wit style. He to play pace & spin equally well. Just to mention here; Gavaskar & Inzemam. Gavasker never wore a helmet, played all over the world, played against all types of bowlers & opened the innings. Although he was interested to hook but bouncers were never his weakness. Inzemam was the only one who used to play short ball on the front foot with having plenty of time looked like he was playing a spinner. A bowler like Wasim was never before & didn't see any like him after. A bowler successful all over the world. A dream bowler who would change the complexion of the game in an over at any stage. on seaming & bouncy wickets, he was unplayable.

  • POSTED BY Madhukar09 on | March 11, 2015, 0:01 GMT

    Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards!!! He is certainly second to none. In an era when there was genuine competition between bat and ball - no field restrictions, inferior bats, bigger grounds, no bouncer rules and defensive fields he had an average of over 47 with s/r over 90- but then again when it was Viv at the crease there was never a competition between bat and ball, come on whom are we kidding here? That said there can never be a list of greatest ODI cricketers' list without Dean Jones (avg >44 around the same time as Viv and he had to face the mighty WI fast bowlers) and Michael Bevan. Personally I would have Sachin, Viv and Michael Bevan at the number one. It's impossible to pick one considering their respective records and responsibilities for their respective teams. Sachin HAD to perform or India lost for most of his career and Michael Bevan had to finish so many games coming in so late!!!

  • POSTED BY Akm Dhl on | March 10, 2015, 23:37 GMT

    I still vividly remember destroying Dev devils after the cup in India in '83 (0-5 sweep) and hence his captain ship to be awarded to SMG later. But the point I was making was : That images of Viv walking tall on TV screen while playing Kotla Test. On a serious note, We must appreciate (majority of us as a fan either sitting in the comforts of our house or on Benches) seeing the heroics it takes as a batsman to face deliveries coming @ you with speed in access to 90 miles/hour. Even today's Professional batsmen with all the protective gear will tell you , how scary it is. But the Viv on his playing days from 70s-early 90s has said somewhere - Yes I was aware of the fact any of these (mis)delivery can kill me But still He went on to show that Aura of him - Not only with his swagger but also through his strokes, and caring least to hang around to work around for the stats -:)

  • POSTED BY peeeeet on | March 10, 2015, 23:12 GMT

    No mention of Michael Bevan in all of this? Granted he didn't get anywhere near as many hundreds, but for a guy spending his entire career in the middle order and averaging in the 50s, along with the countless times he saw Australia home, I would surely put him in the top 5 ODI players. It was Bevan who brought the term "finisher" into cricket with his performances, and gave new importance to finishing off a one-day innings. He could calculate a run chase almost perfectly, had an amazing ability to to hit the gaps, was so quick between the wickets that he could steal extra runs, and I have no doubt had he been around in today's age would be playing at the same level as the likes of Dhoni and De Villiers at the end.

  • POSTED BY spinkingKK on | March 10, 2015, 22:58 GMT

    It is a good selection in the end. I was tossing up between Tendulkar and Richards. When reading about his achievements, now I believe I should have voted for Richards as well. Richards was tormenting batsman and a very good ODI bowler and an electric fielder and fantastic athlete. Can not fault this guy. Moreover, he delivered when it mattered. He was a King at the crease. Sachin was a master batsman who brought a big change to his team and brought a big respect to his team. For that reason, I thought Sachin should have been a close second to Viv. Disappointed to see him voted so far below the King.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 10, 2015, 22:41 GMT

    I don't have any complaints about what jury has decided, but bit sad that sachin didn't crowned. I have one question to jury, if they thought wasim akram is the best bowler of the era and 3rd overall in the top odi cricketer, than why they didn't realize that sachin was the opposition batsman of wasim, in his whole carer and he finished second . I wouldn't mind sir viv on top,if bowler like lilees or late 70s and 80s bowl on the list like wasim. one happy fan but not a happy cricketer.

  • POSTED BY usernames on | March 10, 2015, 22:23 GMT

    People here are cribbing about 'complete batsman'? What is a complete batsman for you? MSD can tear apart any bowling attack in the world and when we are 29/5 (vs. Pakistan, Chennai), or 76/4 (vs. Australia, Mohali), he can COMPLETELY change his game to hit a 100, takes us to 230 vs. Pakistan and 303 vs. Australia (MANY more such instances), and he's not a complete batsman? What planet do you people come from?

    When batting, if an innings looks easy, it doesn't mean it's easy or the bowling was bad -- it just means the batting was good (sometimes the bowling can be horrendous, too, of course, but to ascribe good batting to bat bowling all the time is simplistic and convenient).

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | March 10, 2015, 22:18 GMT

    VIV IS VIV. But it is hard to put anybody above the great TENDULKAR, who could be only overtaken by this dude called 'KOHLI'. If india wins this world cup. All hell can breaks lose! with new field restrictions, these light bats kohli record may surpass 25k runs and 75 one day centuries by the time all is said and done! I love devillers too, but kohli is ambitious and rapacious! so watch out!

  • POSTED BY Brahams on | March 10, 2015, 22:04 GMT

    Viv was a trail blazer - meaning he was first on the scene that defined aggressive batting.

    Viv got the votes precisely for this reason - he was there first.

    Viv versus Sachin? This is the best analogy I can think of: Everyone will remember Hillary/Tenzing for climbing Everest first. While there would be immense respect for someone who would climb Everest fifty times later, it won't be with the same kind of awe and adulation reserved for the original Master/s.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 10, 2015, 21:23 GMT

    Great decision the only one who deserved it among the lot as Imran Khan said ."Of all the players in my time, Viv Richards stood out. He was a complete genius. Viv was the only batsman who would attack me. No other batsman could attack me when I was at my peak," .

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 10, 2015, 20:58 GMT

    Has Sobers played more ODIs he probably would be a strong contender.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 10, 2015, 20:56 GMT

    Sachin ,great player,no argument there. Viv, sublime as the article states ,no small boundaries,no duper bat, and no fielding restrictions. The consummate master. I vote Viv,also.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | March 10, 2015, 20:52 GMT

    For all the criticism levelled at MS Dhoni, I find it odd that anyone would doubt his limited-overs credentials. The man is one of the finest finishers I have seen, he is a very astute and intelligent ODI captain, and he is the soul of the Indian side. There may be better keepers (not that his keeping isn't quite good), but if I were to pick an ODI XI from past and present players, I'd find it hard to leave him out. I may not be his biggest fan in the Test arena, but I hold him in the highest regard as a limited overs player and captain, and he is IMO most worthy of being amongst the other 4 players here.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | March 10, 2015, 20:41 GMT

    Viv. My own favourite, not only for his ability, but his mindset - the man was a warrior, he showed no fear, gave no quarter and expected none. And, to top it off, he could take the game away in the space of an over. With all due respect to the other 4 contenders - as fine a bunch of crickters as you will ever see - there really is no contest in my mind. Viv.

  • POSTED BY IPSY on | March 10, 2015, 20:36 GMT

    Yes, Sir Viv Richards is absolutely the "greatest ODI batsman" of All Time! No other batsman came close until AB De Villiers, who is BY FAR, the best ODI batsman since Sir Viv. But, when you're talking about "greatest ODI cricketer", there's none close to Ricky Ponting? His peerless ODI record includes: (i) Led his country to 2 consecutive WC wins (ii) Won 24 consecutive WC matches as captain (iii) was himself a member of the Aust. team that won 3 consecutive WCs - his brilliant batting very instrumental in securing most of these wins (iv) Second only to Tendulkar (who played 87 more matches than him) for scoring the most ODI 100s (v) 3rd for the highest no of ODI career runs, but batting in the middle order - some found it really difficult to score a single middle order 100; (vi) Won more overall ODIs than anyone in the world, for their respective countries; and on! I think the jurors were a bit lazy in trying to do the necessary research for this exercise; or Ponting would win easily

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 20:23 GMT

    Sachin 34357 Runs 100 Hundreds aggregate

    Viv 15261 Runs 31 Hundreds " "

    Ridiculous what is the comparison between these two if any one wants to become big then Sachin then break his records challenge for whole world.......

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | March 10, 2015, 20:06 GMT

    @USERNAMES. Not only should Dhoni be on the list, he is the only multidimensional player on this list. Richards (great bat, useful bowler), Tendulkar (great bat, useful bowler), Akram (great bowler). Dhoni is a great finisher with an average of 52 which is higher than anybody on the list while batting at 6. But in addition to that he is a solid keeper, and a great ODI captain who is a proven winner of the World Cup and Champions Trophy. A lot of Aussies who play in the IPL have the highest regard for him and many played for Chennai. I am utterly at a loss why Gilchrist made the list and not Ponting, Waugh, and Symonds. I know Symonds had his share of problems but as a performer he averaged 40 in ODI with a strike rate of 90. And he took 133 wickets as well. Steve Waugh and Ponting were excellent captains who knew how to win. I like Gilly, but come on there must be a dozen keeper batsmen with a 35 average. And he has been rated above Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY Keith Evelyn on | March 10, 2015, 19:50 GMT

    Viv all the way. The grestest ever ODI cricketer. Better ODI Batsman bowler fielder than Tendulkar. Most fearless most aggresive most intimidating batsman ever.

  • POSTED BY nareshandselvi on | March 10, 2015, 19:47 GMT

    I love usernames comments on Dhoni... Exactly what I used to think about the great MS whenever people criticise him...

  • POSTED BY FTBRocks on | March 10, 2015, 19:44 GMT

    @sachin_now_kohli..b4 u try hard to prove sachin is better than sir viv with only one dimentional comments...first just stop insulting sachin big time by having id "sachon_now_kohli"..as sachin is mainly remembered by his on-field bahaviour and then by his records..every player opposition

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 10, 2015, 19:43 GMT

    MSD neither a complete batsman nor a complete wicket keeper. Yes, he has been very good as captain but there you have C Lloyd, Imran Khan, S Waugh and Arjuna Ranatunga. Why has been selected among top 5?

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 19:37 GMT

    @ SAIPRADEEP as you are Viv fan and I am Sachin's as every body has it's own perception so you will never convince a Sachin fan and I don't want to impose my thinking on you cheers mate.

  • POSTED BY eddiesbangers on | March 10, 2015, 19:31 GMT

    As others have stated - it really is a no brainer that Sir Viv is number 1. His 189* against England in 1984 is just one example of his staggering brilliance & power.....It is still the finest ODI innings I have ever seen

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 19:26 GMT

    @ SAIPRADEEP I am not laughing as I am not blind worshiper of sachin after following Cricket for 25 years I also saw little bit of Viv but there is a lot of difference between timing of these 2 greats Viv is only a power hitter and that's it, he likes fear among bowlers through his power hitting the same ting has done by Sachin but by his sheer timing it doesn't means he is not a power hitter he is brutal when required and the bowlers you mention are all good bowlers but they belong to west Indian team so Viv easily escape and a luxury not to play them all but out of these no one is ever close to the class of Mcgrath and Akram and you also know that very well.The thing which differentiate Sachin from rest is that He is a mixture of all possible qualities of batting (timing,temperament,hitting,calculated risks) I am not saying this once Imran Khan said Tendulkar is more capable timer of ball then Viv.

  • POSTED BY usernames on | March 10, 2015, 19:26 GMT

    Here, here are the statistics for those who can't fathom Dhoni in the list:

    #3 -- 82.25 in 19 innings #4 -- 70.00 in 18 innings #5 -- 54.44 in 56 innings #6 -- 45.46 in 123 innings

    Had he come in at #3, like Sangakkara, there would be no records to talk of by now. He doesn't because we needed a finisher in '05, we were poor chasing, Rahul made him one, and he became the best in the business.

    Add to that the fact that he's led India to victories in all major trophies there are. It's a poll for the greatest 'cricketer', so apart from his primary skill (batting and wicketkeeping), he ought to be there for the sheer fact that he's captained India. That LOOKS easy when somebody like Dhoni does it, but it's the toughest job in World Cricket.

    Anyhow, thats' it. He's a legend. #1 for me. But fair enough if he figures in top 5 too. Keep cribbing , doesn't change facts.

  • POSTED BY usernames on | March 10, 2015, 19:20 GMT

    Overall happy. Haven't seen Viv play and I don't comment on others' opinions so him being #1 is fine. Those who are wondering why Dhoni is in the list need to know this: Sangakkara, ABDV, et al. are all great but had Dhoni started playing at #3 -- which he could well have, given his ridiculous batting skills in ODIs -- you would have stopped counting records. The man has an average of 91 at #4 and 70 odd at #3. He hit a 183 from #3. He's saved you SO many times from #7 -- it's your fault, of course, that you don't remember anything but the 100s.

    Dhoni deserves to be in the top 5 -- 50 jury members aren't all fools and you aren't the only smart person in the world, is it? -- but it's amusing to see people discounting Dhoni. He doesn't do the records -- fastest century, 5 gazillion centuries on the trot, etc. -- but if those are the criteria, Sachin tops any list. Literally nobody comes close. Yet, they rated Viv as #1. Why? Well, that's exactly the reason Dhoni is on this list.

  • POSTED BY Jpizel on | March 10, 2015, 19:15 GMT

    No brainer. Viv is the Emperor of cricket. His innings at edgbaston in 1984 after watching his side reduced to 100-8 is incomparable. It wasn't done on a flat, dry wicket. No, in fact on a green top with constantly changing winds. As shown by the eventual score, the mortals struggled but Viv excelled. E

  • POSTED BY AviramS on | March 10, 2015, 19:14 GMT

    Our discussion becomes flawed unless we go into details or define criteria for selecting The "Greatest". Richards- for his fearlessness epitomized what a man can do if he dares to. He inspired everybody and till date nobody has come close to match him in class and Audacity. Tendulkar - Every sport needs its Tendulkar! Cricket would have been like Hockey in India! Cricket wouldn't have survived in India, a nation of a billion+ & the engine of World Cricket. Akram- Along with Imran & Waqar, the reason that Pak Cricket still holding their own today. The reason that even after losing their Top 4 Fast Bowling choices, they tormented SA just days back. The reason that youth in streets of Pak aspire to play on big stage. Gilchrist- Everybody loves him! that's it!! Dhoni- Chanakya of Cricket and add Ashoka to it!! We love our cricketers, but this kind of Vote system may be too weak to judge everything on plate. So keep on discussing, as sometimes comments can be more delicious than article.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 10, 2015, 19:07 GMT

    good to see Richards declared as winner,i think he was the one who transformed one-day Cricket to what it today is. he was the one who changed the way one should bat in one dayers. who could have forget his mindblowing hundred in the 1989 final against England. although he didn't have any records like Sachin, he still arguably the greatest hitters the cricket ever had seen.

  • POSTED BY Saipradeep on | March 10, 2015, 18:57 GMT

    @SACHIN_NOW : I can only laugh at your comments and pity when you say pace is not everything. Pacers like Garner, Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Colin Croft not only had pace, they swung at pace. They were four big men, all standing over six feet, one at 6ft 7in, and another at 6ft 8in. They were all fast but brought different skills to the combination, and batting against them was a nightmare. So, It's like 4 McGraths of above 6.5+ feet tall bowling consistently at pure pace w/swing both ways unlike the bowlers after mid-80s who would reduce their bowling speed to lengthen their careers.

    "I remember an England team meeting when we were discussing how to score off Garner, and Ian Botham said, 'You don't, nobody does'" - Geoff Boycott

    If you term a player who can strike the ball down the ground and over extra cover and over midwicket cleanly with ease as power-hitter, I am sorry mate!

    PS: I am an Indian and ardent cricket follower for the past 35 years , but not a blind worshipper!

  • POSTED BY cricfan08676498 on | March 10, 2015, 18:56 GMT

    Its really hard to compare eras but what i looked at was who was most dominated their era, and SirViv without a doubt, he changed the game and there was no one else even close doing the thing he did. And to think he did it with out an Helmet againist the fastest ever bowlers, ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Tell the rest of the greats to bat without an Helmet let me see how much runs they would haved scored. Cause we all no cricket is all about mental toughnest doesnt matter how much skills u got when u in the middle facing 90 add fastballits a different story. I must say ABD is very close and V.KOHLI is very close behind , was very very impress with KOHLI performance againist AUS not just his skille but the way he stand up to the Aussies and make M. Johnson look ordinary, the same Johnson who had England messed up in the heads

  • POSTED BY Brahams on | March 10, 2015, 18:29 GMT

    Glad that the original Master Blaster was recognized! Viv is the King and this is from an Indian fan.

    There was one instance, where he got out a pen and pencil and apparently calculated the required run rate that was climbing above 8 or 9 an over - a huge number in the Eighties. Viv then tore into the bowling, smashing a couple of sixes and several boundaries, and the match was over in a blink of an eye - so to speak.

    Viv had the presence and swagger that no other batsman had (or currently have). Apparently, even the great Imran Khan was intimidated by his sheer presence on the pitch.

    While Viv never faced the WI quicks in international matches, he regularly dominated his fast countrymen in English county. Ask Wayne Daniel, one of the fastest from that era.

    Viv owned the pitch when he batted. The rest merely rented the strip till the close of play.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | March 10, 2015, 18:20 GMT

    Great decision Viv deserved this ahead of all the players mentioned here!

  • POSTED BY adventureguy on | March 10, 2015, 18:18 GMT

    Nobody could come close to king Richards when it comes to one day batting. He was a great entertainer. He never wore a protective gear. He single handedly won so many matches for the Windies. His 189 against England still lingers in my memory.The selectors have rightly proved that he's far ahead of present era cricketers.

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | March 10, 2015, 17:58 GMT

    Not sure what the criteria for these ratings are. I have seen Richards play and he certainly had the most swagger. But does that make him the best ODI player? He was on the team that lost to India in the 1983 World Cup final at Lords when he went for a big hit instead of batting through and taking his team past a modest total for the Cup. Nor did he lead the West Indies as a captain to a World Cup win. Gilchrist with an average of 35 rated ahead of Dhoni is another joke that goes to show how little these experts know. Ponting and Waugh are higher rated players from Australia to begin with. Tendulkar never led India to a major title victory in the World Cup or the Champions Trophy. Ditto for Akram. Having the highest batting average among ALL of the contestants and having won both the CT and the WC apparently means nothing for these 'experts', most of whom didn't win any titles themselves. I wonder what they will have to say in a couple of weeks should Dhoni lift the Cup again?

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 10, 2015, 17:56 GMT

    Lol and Amla is breaking every then record of Kohli... Whether it is fastest 3k, 4k, 5k runs or fastest man to score 20 centuries ( in 109 innings, kohli has 22 in 140 innings)

  • POSTED BY Arijit_in_TO on | March 10, 2015, 17:55 GMT

    He gets my vote. No doubt about it. It is simply impossible for today's fan to understand that the game in the 1970s and 1980s (pre coloured pajamas) was largely Test cricket in truncated form. It was much harder to score runs and there was a true contest between bat and ball. That doesn't mean that bowlers are worse today; in fact spinners are much much more effective now. Shane Warne showed the way and the rest is history but Viv Richards is the best ODI cricketer I have ever seen.

  • POSTED BY MumbaikarTendulkar on | March 10, 2015, 17:51 GMT

    All those belittling Tendulkar read this: Throughout the nineties Tendulkar was the sought after wicket with rest of the team as fillers. I dont think any other batsman including Bhas played with so much pressure as Tendulkar has. Tendulkar's mode of dismissal used to be planned days before (Bob Woolmer could have vouched that) whereas during Richards time it was plain and simple. Tendulkar scored against Mcgrath, Donald, Akram, Waqar, Walsh, Ambrose, Warne, Murali at their peak and in every conditions.

    Tendulkar is the reason why most people watch cricket. He has been the Pied Piper of Cricket, like Messi for football. A 20 by Tendulkar with a straight drive past the bowler or a flick (Right hand over left) or a back foot cover drive or a hook is more satisfying to the soul than all the hundreds by the pontings/sehwags/gilchrist/kohlis or dare I say the richards of these world...

    A straight drive is a straight drive but I know whose straight drive I will pay to watch.

  • POSTED BY Navin84 on | March 10, 2015, 17:48 GMT

    I guess most Indians must be left with their mouths open after hearing/reading this. Sachin was a great player, but had lots of flat pitches and most of the bowlers to him were not world class. During Sachin era there were other great players like Lara, Pointing, Bevan, Kallis, Dravid, Gangully, Inzi, Waqar, Vass, McGrath etc, how many greats are there during the KING's era? As for poll ran by ESPNCricinfo, 90% of the votes are from Asia (India mostly), so no surprises here. I felt that Dhoni should not have been in the final 5 as he is still playing and after his retirement, then he can be considered when maybe he can be the greatest ODI cricketer.

  • POSTED BY binojpeter on | March 10, 2015, 17:33 GMT

    I am glad that Richards got it. I was a huge fan of his batting, the way in which he dominated the bowling of his time. The original master blaster. But I don't like comparisons between cricketers. Every great cricketer is an advertisement for the game of cricket. So I place every player who have contributed to the game in their unique place of their own. So I like Tendulkar, Lara, Kallis, Akram, Ponting, Inzamam, Dhoni the same way as they all entertained us during their career and they all had successful careers and that is what matters to me at the end of the day.

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 17:31 GMT

    @ SAIPRADEEP ON: Dear mate pace is not every thing the category you mentioned no one is ever close to Gleen Mcgrath, Viv is a power hitter that's all. Tendulkar is a timer + power hitter at times when required.

  • POSTED BY Creckett1598 on | March 10, 2015, 17:25 GMT

    I've read quite many comments and most ppl are trying to prove either Sir Richards is great or Mr Sachin is. The whole debate is wrong, as we are comparing these two legends of two different times. If Sachin was to play at that time than he'd perform what other greats have done at that time and if Sir Richards was to play today (Somebody insult him to put him at Sehwag's Category) than he'd show the kind of batting traits required for today's cricket. In my opinion this pool is about counting followers rather to test their greatness. This is wrong to compare great of one time with great of another time. We should avoid the term "Greatest" in cricket.

  • POSTED BY RoshanF on | March 10, 2015, 17:16 GMT

    AL_BUNDY1 ON.. you are spot on. Viv is on another planet compared to the others considered. Strange that Jayasuriya was not on that list taking in his revolutionary first 15 over approach for such a long time. But this is all about Viv who never had the bludgeoning sledgehammers used by all the other batsmen featured. He used a frying pan compared to the modern tennis racquet like bats featured in the hands of the others. Some, without much knowledge, childishly, point that Viv didnt have to face Roberts, Holding, Marshall, Garner and co. - they may not have known a few dozen who cleaned up batsmen all over ie. the likes of Lillee, Thomson, Hadlee, Imran, Willis, and so on and then world beating spinners such as Bedi, Chandra, Vengsarkar, Qadir, Underwood. The wickets were faster and the bats were nowhere near the weapons of mass destruction we see and have seen for the past decade.

  • POSTED BY Saipradeep on | March 10, 2015, 17:12 GMT

    @SACHIN_NOW_KOHLI ON : Have you heard about PACKER Series. I think you don't know what pace is all about. You are talking about Wasim Akram, but forgot about Imran Khan, Thompson, Lilly, Pasco, Hadlee. Viv didn't play in barren sub-continent/Sharjah pitches nor did he play against Bangladesh, Kenya, Zimbabwe. If Viv had a good team, so did Tendulkar where his co-players contributions (Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Azhar) were completely ignored. As far as records are concerned, they are meant to be broken anyway! FYI - Virat has already broken sachin's record and on the way to break more!

  • POSTED BY karthik9816 on | March 10, 2015, 17:11 GMT

    Longevity in terms of what? starting at a young age getting into the national side at a time when domestic cricket was nothing and stuck it out internationally when restrictions on bowlers, power plays, protective guard came into the picture. Is that it? Please! Viv played in an era when bowlers could do whatever the hell they wanted and introduced the term dominance to the batsmen's vocabulary in the era. I had seen Sachin dominate Australia in Sharjah and had also seen the same sachin scratch and struggle in Australia as well as get out cheaply in two world cup finals so don't tell me about his dominance. People can say whatever the hell they want there is a reason the jury exists it's meant to be filled with experts not poster boy loving ignoramuses.

  • POSTED BY chandankmr636 on | March 10, 2015, 17:11 GMT

    i think many people have just one idea that his logic is awesome & he is a owner of world greatest brain to calculate everything. sir viv- 75 out of 100, tendulker 88 out of 100, wasim 65 out of 100, gilcrist 55 out of 100, dhoni 59 out of 100. No body have to go anywhere just see the stats of world cup of all time.

  • POSTED BY RishPatel on | March 10, 2015, 17:02 GMT

    Reading these comments make me laugh. Unsurprisingly, 99% of you claiming it should be Tendulkar are Indian. I am also Indian, but amazingly I think that the opinion of 50 legends and experts is probably more important than 20 raging fanboys..

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 16:52 GMT

    I think the only player we call Equal to Sachin is Don Bradman but also he is not greater then him but except Don no one will ever come close to the master.Batting starts from Sachin's timing and end on Sachin's timing when we have the sheer joy of guy's timing who will need power hitters?

  • POSTED BY marisule on | March 10, 2015, 16:45 GMT

    I know the vote was for ODI but can you imagine Sir Viv the MASTER BLASTER playing T20 Cricket. That would be what we call MURDER. HE IS DEFINITELY # 1 AND ONLY BY HIMSELF. THANK YOU

  • POSTED BY sweet2hrme on | March 10, 2015, 16:45 GMT

    The category should be like that :Best ODI Player ever : Sachin Tendulkar. Best Left Arm Bowler ever : Wasim Akaram, Best Leg spinner ever: Shane Warne, Best Off spinner ever : MMuritharan, Best Test match Player ever : Sir Don BMan, Best wicket kipper batsman ever: Gilchrist...thnx

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 16:41 GMT

    If Viv is best Batsman ever Kindly tell him to break Sachin's record, because the record Viv has already broken by more then 50 players of the entire world.

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 16:37 GMT

    Longevity is another factor Tendulkar wins over Viv, Sachin is is World's top batsman for Almost 25 years if this has been the case with Viv his average of 47 drops to 37 and strike rate of 90 to 78, or may even drops from team.

  • POSTED BY marisule on | March 10, 2015, 16:34 GMT

    I am a west Indian but not a bias one. Sir Viv is definitely the greatest. I don't know of any batsman that made bowlers not eager to go to the park. I have seen all the great ones since 1960.

  • POSTED BY Indomitable79 on | March 10, 2015, 16:34 GMT

    Sorry! But voting is over. Long live the King!

  • POSTED BY Ayaz Hussain on | March 10, 2015, 16:31 GMT

    I have never seen a Bowler Like Sultan of Swing all Time Best Wasim Akram ???????

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 16:26 GMT

    Sachin is by far the Best Player of all time if Richards is the best ever then why DON said to Tendulkar that I remember of my time when I saw batting Sachin, One thing for sure Tendulkar plays more Capable Bowlers then Richards and dominates more them as no one has ever been. I don't think Richards face cream fast bowlers (Wasim, Waqar, Mcgrath, Walsh, Ambrose, Steyn, Donald, Pollock,Warne, Muralitharan). People only come to see him bat and when he loose his wicket stadium becomes Empty as an Indian fan we have always 2 targets first is an Indian win filled with Sachin ton because success joy fulfill only with Sachin's century, In Entire History of Cricket this was never been case with any other batsman and never will be.

  • POSTED BY Architect Sriram on | March 10, 2015, 16:24 GMT

    I dont think it is fair to compare these cricketers who belong to different generations. But even if done, Tendulkar surpasses Viv Richards by a huge margin not just in quantity but quality as well. Viv belonged to a team that had overall strength. but sachin started in a team that was mediocre and transformed it into a world champion. He influenced not just cricketers but normal people. Young kids, house wives, old men, soldiers, every one. Viv did not.. this is just the opinion of 50 so called experts. Ask the people.. the vote for sachin: viv would be 10:1 the least

  • POSTED BY sweet2hrme on | March 10, 2015, 16:22 GMT

    Sorry! i have given my vote to Sachin Tendulkar. Yes ! i have not seen Viv but i have seen my Sachin. For me He is the Only best ever Odi Player. His records will say everything need not any clarification here from anybody. OK Viv at your time your country, England & Australia are on top no other countries. So you are already better equip-ted or familiar with those events or conditions. But here in case of Sachin. The way he played is already a remark/tribute to whole world. In a very young age he got debut you know why becoz GOD WANTS HIM TO PLAY. I have seen little bit tailor of Viv from here and there but i dont find any class as compared to Sachin Sir.He is just like power hitter at that time not more than else. "A player is not like who can hit boundaries but the manner or class you hit it matters" Please mark my word what i have said. I have seen many but Not like sachin the way he pace his inning is quite remarkable. World best if i have to pick than i always pick Sachin Sir.

  • POSTED BY DipanjanMitra on | March 10, 2015, 16:15 GMT

    Fair enough...i have not seen anyone "master" the cricket pitch like him. Be it batting, he his attitude, be his approach, be his boldness, be his walking style into the pitch chewing gums, be it with the ball.

  • POSTED BY VettiPayyan on | March 10, 2015, 16:07 GMT

    Very good top 5. Controversial but surely no one can disagree the contributions each has made to the sport.

    Viv - "The legend who walks" - Revolutionized the way ODI needs to be played. All round greatness

    Sachin - Awesome tenacity and hunger for victory. People criticizing him forget that he has been consistently scoring big in WCs.

    Wasim - To be so successful in a batsmen's game is the mark of a great bowler. Longevity, intelligence and consistency. Great!

    Gilchirst - Took the game to the opposition form ball one. And a great wicket keeper. A match winner . Dhoni - Simply put, this man has the most workload among all the above, but due to sheer street smartness, chose the role of a finisher for the team, instead of coming at 3-4 where he had an awesome average. A very intelligent keeper and a fine captain and a role model. 3-in-1 which is the most difficult task to do.

  • POSTED BY Kshitiz06 on | March 10, 2015, 15:48 GMT

    Viv is the obvious and right choice. Putting gilchrist and dhoni in there is just plain ridiculous. Tendulkar belongs there mostly because being the first to break 200 barrier. Not saying it was very hard, but its something that was considered difficult. And after he reached it, its seen as a scalable mountain. Not sure why ricky ponting would be up there. He wasnt even the best ODI batsman of his era (Lara and tendulkar were his superior). Everyone talking about his captaincy and match wining innings/world cups ... well !! Give me a team with hayden, gilchrist, symonds, mcgrath, warne, etc and even i will be a world cup winning captain. And the monent all those guys retired, ponting's own form along with australian team went down. He realised what it was being lara or tendulkar (being part of the team with less than average players) and couldn't sustain the pressure. Having said that, neither of the three - tendulkar, lara or ponting- can be greatest ODI "Cricketer".

  • POSTED BY sandunk on | March 10, 2015, 15:43 GMT

    Did Jury consider the fact Richards played for the most dominant team in history of ODI cricket? His aura was obvious but so was the rest of West Indies cricket team from that time. Class batsman, however I would have given this vote to Tendulkar. Sachin along with Greatbatch revolutionized opening batsman role. He played with players from different generations, competing with the oldest and the youngest alike. Doing all of this with a pressure of billion nation. People over-emphasis the longevity aspect but 49 ODI hundreds and 18k+ runs is no joke, by any means.

  • POSTED BY aruntheselector on | March 10, 2015, 15:37 GMT

    There is only one KING of Cricket and that is Sir Issac Vivian Alexander Richards.An average of 47 with a 90+ strike rate in an era when playing shots above the ground or not defending the balls for 1st one hour at crease was a crime in any form of cricket including streets and beaches says it all.Had there not be Sir Viv I doubt ODI cricket would have evolved.It would have died a natural death.Not to take credits away from the remaining 4 Sachin who accumulated max runs and 100s that may remain unbeaten,Wasim a bowler batsmen had no clue how to play,Gilli who changed the definition of a wicket keeper and MSD a all in all package for ODI- a good keeper,best finisher with the bat and above all a champion captain.I think one player who missed the bus was Sanath Jayasurya who gave differemt dimension to Powerplay batting and a match winner with the bat,ball,fielding and captaincy.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 10, 2015, 15:25 GMT

    For me it's Ricky ponting who can be considered as the player who made the greatest impact in the modern cricket.. if u compare a bunch of best batsmen thn Viv richard may be ahead of evry1 in ths fraternity however since it's a poll of selecting the best player it's ricky ponting who had been ruling the ODI cricket for more than a decade as a captain n made the australian team seem unbeatable for years and performing continuously in those period n played more match winning innings thn any1 else.....

  • POSTED BY Ashik Sali on | March 10, 2015, 14:53 GMT

    I predicted Viv and voted. People who had voted for Sachin and Dhoni might not have watched Richards play. Still just check his ODI record, 90 strike rate and an average of 47. That speaks high volume.

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | March 10, 2015, 14:45 GMT

    Congrats Sir Viv - an easy choice looking at the other contenders! None of them (except Wazim Akram) could come close, in terms of "PLAYER-IMPACT" in the game, which MUST be accorded the LION's SHARE of the points in the necessary analysis that helps to pick the winner. That's why I don't agree with some of the names chosen. Why Gilchrist and Tendulkar in "the firs 5"! Look, how can anyone choose the "greatest ODI 'cricketer' of All Time", and shortlist 5 players, and omit "Ricky Ponting? In terms of "PLAYER-IMPACT" listen to this: "The 'Crown Jewel' of ODI cricket is the "WC". Having said that, which of the chosen 5 could match this single Ponting record: "The Captain who led his team to '2 consecutive WC wins'; and 'WINNING 24 CONSECUTIVE MATCHES' in the process"! Apart from that mind boggling feat, Ponting is still No.3 for the highest no of overall career runs, and No.2 in no of 100s scored, "batting in the middle order"; and has won more ODI matches for his country than any!

  • POSTED BY Indomitable79 on | March 10, 2015, 14:44 GMT

    Just as an aside, I would like to add that those who keep comparing Sachin and Viv should understand one thing - Viv never had the advantage of fielding restrictions, ultra-strong helmets, padding on all sides of the body etc. Sachin got most of his centuries as opener. Viv came in at 3 or 4 and still scored centuries. Also, if he had it so easy, how come no other batsman in the era even came close to his style? They had the same odds, right?

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 10, 2015, 14:19 GMT

    There was NO contest for the top spot - Anyone who has seen him play will admit that Viv Richards was the greatest ODI player. Only kids who have grown up watching Tendulkar will claim him to be the best ODI player. Tendulkar is a school kid compared to Richards. Tendulkar made most of his runs playing on flat tracks of India. He was McGrath's bunny in Australia. No single bowler can claim that Viv Richards was his bunny. He was an equal opportunity destroyer of all bowling attacks.

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 14:10 GMT

    Sachin is best ever batsman his record speaks him self no more arguments.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 10, 2015, 14:01 GMT

    Yes, it should be the sir Viv always. I would give my to Akram for second place he was exceptionally good in death over. Who can forget those two unplayable deliveries in 92 WC.

  • POSTED BY tigers_eye on | March 10, 2015, 13:58 GMT

    I believe he is an alien. He shouldn't be compared against human. Give him his space ship back. The poll should have been who is #2 and leaving Viv out. Thanks for distinguished panel for keeping him on the top. Those of us who have saw him play ... the swagger did it for me. Tiger Woods type, MJ type, Ali type. "Come at me Bro."

  • POSTED BY Qadeer_hudd on | March 10, 2015, 13:46 GMT

    Some people trying to exaggerate sachin performance ..but Richard was far ahead of Sachin .....truly deserved

  • POSTED BY foursandsixes on | March 10, 2015, 13:45 GMT

    This has been a vote by 50+ year olds based on nostalgia. Viv never had to play the most fearsome bowling of the era - the West Indies! In the 90s and well into the 2000s, Sachin played so many unforgettable innings against the best bowlers all over the world - Pakistani fast bowlers, SL spinners, the best bowlers from the most dominant team of the era - Australia, you can go on and on. Another factor is always ignored - while some bowlers during Viv's era were truly great, I believe most of them were equivalent to Associate status today. See some of the old matches from the 70s and early 80s. For every Thommo, Lillee, Imran, there were a huge number of mediocre bowlers by today's standards (I'm leaving out WI as Viv never had to face his own bowlers). My guess is that if Viv played today, he would still be a great, but he would be found out by a consistently much better bowling, fielding, and strategy / tactics. He would probably be as good as Sehwag, no more.

  • POSTED BY Jack_India on | March 10, 2015, 13:38 GMT

    People who started watching cricket in the 1990's will always vote for Sachin. The playing conditions were made to favour the batsmen by that time. Before the 90's, there was balance between bat and ball. Tracks were laid to assist bowlers unlike featherbeds used today. Viv's performance in those conditions surpasses that of every other cricketer.

  • POSTED BY Qadeer_hudd on | March 10, 2015, 13:36 GMT

    No dout about that Richard is the best choice

  • POSTED BY Corridor-of-Certainty on | March 10, 2015, 13:36 GMT

    Richards is simply the greatest. No arguing that. Tendulkar has had a lot of great innings but there's no matching Richards. I feel Gilchrist has been greatly underrated here. He was a real entertainer.

  • POSTED BY Mittaraghava on | March 10, 2015, 13:33 GMT

    I am also of the opinion that Viv Richards is the greatest ODI player.His aggresive batting style ,90+ strike rate and his records are well known.During a phase when batsmen were coached not to look into the bowler's eye after hitting a 6 or 4,in order not to provoke him to bowl the best ball next.In contrast it was the bowler who felt scared by his very presence at the crease(Imran Khan had said this about V.Richards).Tendulker in his first few years of his career was nearly as aggresive as V.Richards but to to prolong his career and over come injuries Tendulker had to modify his batting style.Similarlly V.Sehwag had an omnious presence for he feared no bowler but his success in ODI was not consistent.Desmond Haynes and many other great batsmen said they would go purchase a ticket to watch Sehwag batting.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 10, 2015, 13:31 GMT

    Clearly, Sir Viv was the best choice. The poll results only show that most cricinfo readers haven't seen Sir Viv play, as much as they have seen Sachin or Akram.! Swagger was an awesome pointer, as written by Martin Crowe.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 10, 2015, 13:20 GMT

    Of all, Dhoni will end owning 2 ODI WCs, 1 T20 WC

  • POSTED BY crram on | March 10, 2015, 13:06 GMT

    Viv undoubtedly was the masterful brilliant ODI player who ever played. His swagger, without a helmet and playing his strokes on the V ( no nudges thro slips and squareleg for cheap runs). Wasim Akram as a bowler stands good he pips waqar younis , mcgrath, pollock in the bowling department. In the allround department I will rate Kallis as the best. In batting I rate Ponting for his great knocks in big matches as second best. Sehwag is the best indian player with an unbelievable strike rate of 104. Yuvraj was one more under rated player with likes of bevan, Gilly was the best player any team had as a player of situations and the best gentleman cricketer ever. Lara, Sachin will get the nod for their consistency and brilliance. Dhoni doesnt even come in my top 25 . He is a brilliant finisher but most over rated captain and a poor keeper.

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 13:05 GMT

    In timing of shots no batsman is close to Tendulkar that's why he has 100 hundreds no one will ever close to him even Richards he is the sportsman who is most liked in the world grounds are full to see him bat I also see Richards but in my opinion he has power and consistency Tendulkar has consistency, timing and power also.

  • POSTED BY Cool_Jeeves on | March 10, 2015, 12:23 GMT

    Till date, no one else has planned an exactly across-the-line stroke and executed successfully. It is bloody hard. I can think of Kapil Dev who constantly played across the line in a game against New Zealand, but not in a World Cup final. Richards did it spectacularly off Hendricks. It was an impossible shot. The plane of the arc of the bat was 90 degrees to the plane of the ball. No one else could have done it. The mightiest batsman of all time.

  • POSTED BY Ubaid Shaikh on | March 10, 2015, 12:20 GMT

    The jury is very much correct here.. Viv is the ultimate master blaster who simply revolutionized the game on his own. Power, class, authority

  • POSTED BY Mutukisna on | March 10, 2015, 12:13 GMT

    Sir Viv is the greatest One Day Cricketer the world has seen - by a DISTANCE from the others. Apart from his batting which was unparalleled, his fielding at the First World Cup Final at Lords was unforgettable. His three direct hits accounted for three run outs (including the scalps of the Chappell brothers) which turned the tide towards the West Indies. It was a privilege being a spectator at the game. And who can forget his century at the 1979 World Cup Final. Sir Viv you are a one off, nobody could match you unless they clone you!

  • POSTED BY Harold Shockness on | March 10, 2015, 11:58 GMT

    I can only reiterate what I said before. Having seen all Sir Viv was head and shoulders above all others in terms of skill ,innovation and execution. VIv was king . .Having met him personally was just as intimidating as it must have been when he played. I saw his passion first hand first hand ,his response to the wiles of Graeme Swann bowling from the commentary end of the ARG; "this box would have been a busy place" And at the end of that exciting rescheduled drawn test in Antigua he was perspiring profusely with the last wicket stand involving Fidel Edwards to draw the game.I can safely say he showed more passion and commitment than any member of the team playing! Happy belated birthday to truly the greatest of them all " The Master Blaster' Thank you for the everlasting memories

  • POSTED BY NCP1 on | March 10, 2015, 11:57 GMT

    Viv is the greatest Batsman, Great Fielder and a decent Bowler. He is the King, no dispute, I was fortunate to see him play in 70's and 80's. Sachin, Ricky etc should be included in the list. Dhoni never bats enough to be considered in this list, he is at best ordinary batsman and average cricketer, as far as captain goes, many better than him.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 10, 2015, 11:54 GMT

    But if you assembled a jury of peers to decide on who has been the most adored cricketer in the history of cricket there is and will be only one answer. Need I say who?

  • POSTED BY EdwinD on | March 10, 2015, 11:45 GMT

    I disagree with M Crowe - I saw his 189* live, and it was a great innings.....but 2nd to Kapil Dev's 175* in the 1983 WC.

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | March 10, 2015, 11:40 GMT

    Viv was the man. Won the games on his terms. Sachin just hung around for a long time ....

  • POSTED BY Ebad_Asad on | March 10, 2015, 11:38 GMT

    Totally deserved it. Viv in ODIs and Bradman in Tests are miles ahead off all the rest. I wasn't lucky enough to watch him play, but whatever videos, highlights and stats I have seen, and whatever I have heard people of that era speak about him, Viv was nothing short of King Viv. I heard someone say that during his innings of 181 in Karachi, he actually chose the stands to hit sixes, bases on whichever crowd section cheered the loudest.

  • POSTED BY stalin.raja on | March 10, 2015, 11:14 GMT

    As a Sachin fan im really happy for the result coz even Sachin told all the Interviews his hero, role model & admirer is Vivian Richards only so if Guru get the awards all sishya's ll be happy only. Only disappointment in the list is inclusion of Dhoni. May be he won the worldcup & champions trophy but not with help of Yuvi or Sachin, other than winning the two trophy what dhoni contributed to ODI cricket, if winning is important means Arjuna, Ponting, Hansie are better captain than him

  • POSTED BY Dagur on | March 10, 2015, 11:13 GMT

    I only wish to point out that firstly, he came to bat at No. 4 when the Great WI openers of the time and the equally great No.3 batsmen had already smothered the bowling attacks, on most occasions, leaving him to play freely. Secondly, he never had to face the hostility of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Craft and Malcolm Marshall, bowling together. Even then, Viv is indeed the best of them all. However, AB de Villiers has already so much to be certainly counted among the top five of all times

  • POSTED BY crzcric on | March 10, 2015, 11:02 GMT

    Viv deseverve it, Wonder why dhoni is in that list.Non of the modern odi players shouln't be compared in that list. Too much for modern batters. No reverse swing ,small boundaries, big bats and etc.

  • POSTED BY Indomitable79 on | March 10, 2015, 11:01 GMT

    So there is justice in this world, after all. A man who took the game to such great heights, has received a truly deserving reward. I had commented at the time of the people poll that Sir Viv is the only one who deserved to be on the list. And rightly so. He beat the other contenders by a massive 3 times in terms of points. Truly happy that the swashbuckling great got the attention that is rightfully his. There is going to be a whole case of sour grapes and brickbats throughout the comments section because the so-called "God of Cricket" wasn't chosen. Sachin is my countryman, and without doubt the greatest batsman of this generation, but it took something else to raise the game to the next level, which Viv did. A big salute to you Sir. Enjoy the glory.

  • POSTED BY Sachin_now_Kohli_Painful_WC_Losses on | March 10, 2015, 10:58 GMT

    It is not necessary the opinion of jury is 100 percent correct if you collect data through out the whole world then the fact and the conclusion is that Sachin Tendulkar is greatest ever Cricketer ever to played cricket I am sure he got more then 50 percent votes and remember what is Don Bradman said to Tendulkar in 1999?

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | March 10, 2015, 10:37 GMT

    I played a bit of first class and know the game. Secondly I watched international cricket from 70s and until today. So here is my take: 90% of the bowlers facing Viv were terrorised by the way he went around on the wicket. His body language made them feel inferior to him. He was imposing and to back that fact, he was an agressive top class batsman. I would rate him higher than Tandulkar because of three main factors (1) With no helmets, no field restrictions like today he did a brilliant job, actually much ahead of other greats in his time in his approach (2) Wickets then were mostly fast and it was an era of great fast bowlers. I'll say if fast bowling then was on index 100, then today is 55 on the same index (3) Viv was a good of-spin bowler too who bowled his quota in nearly all the matches.

  • POSTED BY Eranga Fernando on | March 10, 2015, 10:14 GMT

    no doubt that viv is by far the best. but sachin is at no 2??? dhoni is much better than him in every sense. wicket keeper batsman, a great finisher and one of the best captain that india has ever produced who lifted the team to an unbeatable level. exchange sachin with dhoni then the list will be completed.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 10, 2015, 10:08 GMT

    Yes! Great decision by jury. He was no doubt the best batsman in an era when fast bowlers were free like wild beasts, field & bowling restrictions and modern bats were not introduced... :) Disappointed to see MSD at no.5... :(

  • POSTED BY ReverseLeggie on | March 10, 2015, 10:04 GMT

    Comparison is a infectious disease humanity is suffering with. You shouldn't be comparing people even from the same era. I don't agree with this article comparing greats and say one is good of all. For me I don't believe in greatest player of all time. I only believe in best player who tasted a lot of success in ODIs. Because every player is unique. I enjoy Richards smacking 90 mile bouncers over cow corner, I would love Tendulkar's adaptability to the format, How can I forget the Dangerous Akram's swingers, Don't forget the entertainment Gilly and MSD bring to the game. I have lot of other players on my list take G Greenidge, K Srikanth, Richie Richardson, Mark Taylor, Micheal Bevan, Saqlain Mustaq, Glen McGrath, A Caddick, D Gough, hufffffff.....The list never ends. I never compare hence I enjoy everyone's game. Comparison is for those who interested in Maths and Statistics, not for a Cricket lover

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | March 10, 2015, 9:34 GMT

    Wonderful choice. Quite puzzled how Dhoni made it to the 5. As a keeper and batsman, both ABdV and Sanga are light years ahead. His inclusion diluted the shortlist.

  • POSTED BY shaalim on | March 10, 2015, 9:34 GMT

    No objection on selection of viv but most of the people have objection the contestants. Every one would give different names mostly associated to their own country. It is difficult to prepare a list and pick a winner. For me; I don't have objection on Wasim but Imran Khan we be on higher position then him. So simply it's a good effort but it can be more sensible if we prepare like different list for each associate country and then have a contest among all toppers.

  • POSTED BY westindiesupporter on | March 10, 2015, 9:32 GMT

    great decision. Correct. He is the best

  • POSTED BY SupportTestCricket on | March 10, 2015, 9:31 GMT

    I am happy that I had chosen Richards in the poll! There was no contest actually. Richards was the greatest of them all. Statistics do not carry importance. Not that much anyway. Richards dominated. Period!

  • POSTED BY Dharm_Guru on | March 10, 2015, 9:19 GMT

    All hail King Viv! Beyond doubt the most feared batsman in Cricket!

  • POSTED BY Dolci on | March 10, 2015, 9:18 GMT

    I think it is silly to try and compare players from different generations, there just too many factors. Instead it would be better to compare and rank players on the number or percentage of 'man of the match' rewards.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 10, 2015, 9:14 GMT

    @android_user on : Perhaps you did not understand the real meaning of all time. Even Viv Richards had played cricket in 3 generations i.e in 70's, 80's and early 90's. What people like AB De Villiers are doing now, Richards used to do that 3 decades ago which shows how much ahead Viv Richards was ahead of his peers and time. Tendulkar has been a very consistent ODI player but he has not created the biggest impact like Richards did. I am surprised to see Dhoni at 5. He should actually be ahead of Gilchrist. Dhoni is far ahead of Gilchrist as an ODI player.

  • POSTED BY firey1 on | March 10, 2015, 9:11 GMT

    No ponting??? No wonder Viv won.

  • POSTED BY Nalin Ryan Kastner on | March 10, 2015, 9:03 GMT

    no..that names are not the right names..i think.s.jayasuriya,R Ponting,K Sangakkara,W Sehwag,J Kallis,

  • POSTED BY itsprogressive on | March 10, 2015, 8:57 GMT

    I am so delighted to know that people judged him to be the greatest cricketer. Tendulkar had been an excellent cricketer, and so as Wasim but calling them greatest cricketers will be too much. I was a bit surprised of inclusion of Dhoni and Gilchrist in the list. At the same time, it is shocking not seeing Shane Warne though, surly many other will also be shocked.

  • POSTED BY BRNUGGET on | March 10, 2015, 8:46 GMT

    The perfect choice in all respects. Stats and numbers are sometimes meaningless when you consider a cricketer who generated fear and awe in the opposition ranks when he walked into bat. No comparision here for there was no who could hold a candle to the incomparable all time great SIR ISSAC VIVIAN ALEXANDER RICHARDS or simply known as KING VIV or SIR VIV....Smokey was a destroyer of bowling attacks and there was no fast bowler (plenty during his era) who held fear for him. On other hand he generated fear in them and lorded over them on the pitch which was a delight to watch. His very presence was a magic, that walk, aura, disdain and ultimate stamp of utter presence at the crease is what made him a class apart who still evokes awe and admiration even after 30 plus years of retirement. He was the one and only KING RICHARDS....thanks for all the fabolous memories and fun which will be cherished until i die.!!!!

  • POSTED BY TughralDar on | March 10, 2015, 8:28 GMT

    There is no doubt Viv was the King and he will always remain so. He played without helmet aginst fast bowlers on bowling friendly wickets and still mastered them. This a modern day batsment cannot even think in there dreams. It was like a swordsman fighting with others without any protective gear or shied. Modern day batsmen come up fully sheilded with armour and excecute there shots without the fear of getting hurt. This differnce is so huge that we cannot even think of comparing modern day batsmen with the King. Long Live the King.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | March 10, 2015, 8:26 GMT

    I don't want to sound negative, but most of the people in the jury are the old folks who played with Viv , whereas the other four players in the running are from an era after that. That being said, Viv is my favourite ODI batsman along with Inzamam and Aravinda De Silva . Greatest ODI player in my opinion is Wasim Akram without a shadow of doubt. Sachin has number to back him , VIV was so far ahead of his contemporaries but Wasim being an allrounder takes the cake for me, add to that his phenominal captaincy skills and the fact that he won so many man of the match awards( not to men the 92 final) , he for me is the greatest ODI bowler ever who turned ao many matched on his own, won many with his batting alone and also impacted many games where he was alongside Waqar and helped Waqar turn matches around for Pakistan by creating pressure on the other end. An absolute legend.

  • POSTED BY Pak_Green on | March 10, 2015, 8:25 GMT

    Very truely honored so, anyone who has watched him play JUST cann't argue against the decision. He was a true king in an era where batsmen as great as Sunil Gawasker used to crawled to 34* in 60 overs, Richards strike rate of around 90% in that era is much much more than 180% in this era.

    People favoring Sachin are mislead, he stands nowhere the class of Richards.

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | March 10, 2015, 8:24 GMT

    Spot on. No doubts about that. These days you see so many scoring centuries, and so many scoring at 100+ strike rate. Those days when 70+ strike rate was consdered good, he was scoring at 90 + Sachin Tendulkar and Wasin Akrma a close 2 and 3 also correct. Tendulkar used to score at 85+ when most of his contemporaries were scoring at 75+ or maximum 80 and Akram in terns of the sheer variety and the wicket taking capabiulity at crunch situations, peerless Not much to choose between SRT and Wasim Akram, though I would have thought that Akram would have edged SRT to No 2

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 10, 2015, 8:23 GMT

    Yes, Richard the brave heart.

  • POSTED BY Sampath_KCS on | March 10, 2015, 8:21 GMT

    Yes he's the best..We were not lucky to see him though..But a notable omission is "Sanath Jayasuriya" who revolutionized ODI cricket in 1996..& with his wickets bag & catches, I put him before Gilchrist & Dhoni...

  • POSTED BY Cricfan3La on | March 10, 2015, 8:19 GMT

    I wasn't alive when he was batting, but I wish I was...

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 10, 2015, 8:16 GMT

    A great pick........ Sir Vivan Richard is indeed best for the business..... Not wearing a helmet overall and having average of 47 and S.R of 90 ...... Its unbelievable man..... Salute to this man

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 10, 2015, 8:10 GMT

    This selection is naive coz u said 'best batsman in odi alltime" ..now sachin is the only one who has seen 3 ages of cricketing population and has amassed big runs till the end. Dissapointed to see that the jury didnt understand the meaning of the crown. all time meant all time guys ..

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 10, 2015, 8:08 GMT

    Good decision Sir Viv richards really deserve .. but i would like to say that the greatest ever sultan of swing must be at No. 2

  • POSTED BY 10thdrop on | March 10, 2015, 8:05 GMT

    No contest. The original Master Blaster. What a hero.