Port of Spain (Trinidad), Jun 3: Batting legend Viv Richards has not seen Sir Donald Bradman but of all those he has seen, including compatriot Brian Lara, none has been better than iconic Indian Sachin Tendulkar.
"I didn't see Don but to me, in all my years associated with the game, I haven't seen a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar," said Richards in a eulogy to the "little man", who openly professes to have idolised him while growing up.
"If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn't arrived yet."
In one stroke, Richards put Tendulkar in a pedestal above his contemporaries such as Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis and even to the legends such as Sunil Gavaskar and Javed Miandad of his era.
As for Bradman, his career lasted 20 years including a few years disrupted by Second World War. Tendulkar is already in his 22nd year of international cricket. Bradman scored 29 centuries in 52 Tests.
In all formats of the game, Tendulkar has 99 international centuries so far.
"To me the most remarkable thing about Tendulkar is how he has completed the full cycle of his cricketing career, overcoming, pain, agony, failures, fatigue, injuries yet continuing relentlessly till the point the circle was complete.
"He is the most complete package, the cricketer I respect more than anyone else."
Richards also defended Tendulkar's decision to skip the complete West Indies tour, saying that it was best he save his strength for England.