Christian Vieri believes he plays cricket like Chris Gayle and says he “would’ve been the best batsman in the world”.
Italian football legend Christian Vieri believes he’s on the verge of a comeback from retirement at 47 – but to play cricket.
In fact, the former superstar forward has claimed he “would’ve been the best batsman in the world” if he’d opted for a career in cricket, while he’s even compared himself to West Indian hero Chris Gayle.
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Vieri, whose brother Max played six games with the Socceroos, says plans are in place to join Italy’s national cricket team soon.
“Two months ago before the second coronavirus wave, I spoke to someone from the cricket association. I’m going to start playing in March, April,” Vieri told Stats Perform News.
“It’s a small thing in Italy. In Milan there is a cricket team. I spoke with the Italian cricket captain. They said, ‘Listen, when you want to play with us, just come’.
“I said, ‘Listen, one thing is playing with a tennis ball when you’re 14, one thing is playing with professionals. I want to come three or four days, train with you guys and see how it is’.”
It’d be audacious for arguably anyone in the world to compare their game to that of Gayle, let alone someone who’s never played professional cricket, but that is exactly what Vieri did.
Gayle is arguably the greatest T20 cricketer of all time, having blasted a record 13584 runs and 1101 sixes.
But Vieri clearly thinks he’s a second ‘Universe Boss’.
“I think [I play like] Chris Gayle from West Indies,” Vieri said.
“I’m a left-hander. When I used to play – I’m not a Test match guy – I wanted to smash the ball outside the stadium. I think I would’ve been good.
“I watch all the West Indies’ games – Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Joel Garner, all those guys. I would watch Australia, but in those days the Windies were too strong for everyone.”
Italy might even have its own Mr Cricket.
“I’m on YouTube a lot watching cricket,” Vieri said.
“My wife always says, ‘What are you watching? What is this?’ Three hours a day watching games from 1984 and 1986, and she is going, ‘What is wrong with you? Why aren’t you normal?’
“I say to her, ‘Listen, I grew up there, these are the days I was there following cricket’.
“She takes the piss out of me.
“Pakistan had Imran Khan. I know the players. England had Ian Botham. It was fun.
“I think I would’ve been the best batsman in the world if I played cricket. I was an all-rounder. I was really good.”
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