Dubai: King Viv Richards received an unforgettable birthday gift on his 66th birthday from 19-year-old cricketer Hasan Khan on Wednesday night during the Quetta Gladiators and Multan Sultans match at the Dubai International stadium.
Khan thrilled Richards by hitting a six, which is similar to his favourite shot over midwicket, and won the match for Quetta with two balls to spare.
Richards rushed to the ground and hugged the boy and told him that he has presented him with the best birthday gift.
Legendary cricketers such as Inzamam-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi too had celebrated their birthdays last week during the PSL but when a King celebrates his birthday it is bound to have a lot of drama associated with it.
Gulf News trailed Richards, who cut a cake that was presented to him by the Quetta team management with star batsman Kevin Pietersen cheering beside him.
For Richards, the joy of a victory through an aggressive shot, that too from a cricketer who wasn’t even born when he retired from the game, was his biggest joy.
“This is the best gift one can get,” he said. “See what the young man has achieved. There cannot be a better gift for me.”
Khan had captained Pakistan team in the recent Under-19 World Cup.
'King' Viv Richards cut his birthday cake in the presence of Kevin Pietersen after Quetta Gladiators exciting two wicket win at the Dubai International Stadium
It was close to midnight when the match got over and Richards looked at his watch and remarked “I am happy that it happened before my birthday is over so all of you can quickly wish me happy birthday.”
It was suspense until the end as nine runs were needed off the last over and Richards never expected a teenager to surprise him with a winning six.
Earlier, his daughter Masaba Gupta flew in from India along with her mother and actress Neena Gupta and surprised him by being with him for a family reunion. Masaba wrote on her posting in social media “I dropped every single thing I was doing to come surprise my dad on his birthday.”
Richards even gave message to the Pakistan fans. “All I can say is keep on supporting. Let us hope that at some point that we get cricket back to where it belongs because to be fair Pakistan fans are just as good as any fans around the world. The sooner the Pakistan players can play in their home land it will be special.”
Safraz Ahmad, the captain of the Quetta team hailed Richards’ role in the victory. “No better present for Richards. The way he motivates the team, it’s his confidence which gives us the motivation. Such close wins definitely boost the morale of a team. We needed luck today. There were critical big-hits from 2-3 different players at the death.”