Hill Street Blues, Viv Richards and a Delhi Daredevils win
Former West Indian master-blaster, who has joined Delhi Daredevils as an advisor, says he borrowed a famous quote from a popular television serial of the Eighties to fire up Mahela Jayawardene's team that was low on morale.
What was the secret behind Virender Sehwag's blazing knock at the Kotla on Sunday night? It could probably be a line recited by Vivian Richards from a famous television serial of the Eighties - Hill Street Blues. The serial is an American police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987.
Richards seems to have given Delhi Daredevils the magic touch they were seemingly missing. In a stunning batting performance, Delhi crushed Mumbai Indians by nine wickets, with Sehwag scoring a breezy 57-ball 95 not out. This was Delhi's first win of IPL 2013 and their first after six defeats in-a-row.
So what did Richards tell the Delhi boys before Sunday's big game?
The Caribbean legend said he borrowed a famous quote from Hill Street Blues to motivate the players during a team huddle. Just the carefree way he batted, Richards told them "Do it to them before they do it to you," in a reference to suggest that the opposition (Mumbai Indians) must be killed before it gets you (Daredevils).
"The tournament is almost halfway through. These players have enormous talent and I marvel at the strokes they are playing. My job is to get their head straight and have a sound mind to do so," Richards said in an interview.
Richards has compared the "passion" of the Indian Premier League to the zeal with soccer is played in Brazil. Richards, whose destructive batting style, is part of cricket's folklore, feels the passion with which IPL is followed in India is no less than the way football is played and revered in the land of Samba.
"I have been watching IPL over the years on telly at my home, but not that I am here watching it, these guys (cricketers) are loved and the fans are seriously passionate about the sport and this can be compared to what you get to see in Brazil," he said.
Delhi could not have asked for a better master-stroke from the legend himself. But the Daredevils still have "streets" to go to make the last-four of the IPL and the "blues" must not surface again in the upcoming games. Richards will surely be watching.