A day before the final ODI, Richards lauded the cricket stadium in Abu Dhabi after having been more accustomed to the popular Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
“This is a magnificent venue,” Sir Viv said. “This is my first time here and I am very impressed. It is great to see how well the game has developed in the UAE.
“We used to play in Sharjah previously, but now to see this here in Abu Dhabi, it is as impressive as anywhere in the world. I am very happy to be here amongst such wonderful people.”
The Caribbean legend also praised the mix of young and old people who thronged to the matches held in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) International Cricket Manager, Usman Wallah expressed his joy at the level of interest that the people of Abu Dhabi have shown in the series which helps Pakistan gain more fan following in the UAE, their adoptive home.
“We haven’t been able to play at home in Pakistan, but this is our home ground now,” Wallah opined. “Our test record in particular at this ground in Abu Dhabi has been phenomenal and that is literally because of all the support we get from Abu Dhabi Cricket Club in order to put up our games here.”
Wallah also spoke about the impact of the PCB’s partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, which has helped in drawing big crowds to the games at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
“It is the initiatives that the Sports Council has taken and our working together with them that has resulted in big crowds coming to the game. We want to keep this partnership going to make sure that cricket remains healthy and that we keep coming back to Abu Dhabi.”
David East, the chief executive of the Emirates Cricket Board, lauded the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support in encouraging more cricket to reach Abu Dhabi.
The three-match ODI series has already been won 2-0 by Pakistan after they dominated in the first two ODIs that were held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. It remains to be seen whether a change of venue will lead to a change of fortunes for the Windies.
The UAE Under-19s could not have asked for a better start to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign as they outclassed Kuwait by nine wickets on Monday.
The youngsters needed just nine overs to wrap up the comprehensive victory with Fahad Choudhary (18no) and Ali Mirza (18no) knocking off the winning runs to ease to their 49-run target at Kelub Aman in Malaysia.
Pace did the trick for the UAE thanks to Ethisham Saddique and captain Yodhin Punja, who each finished with identical records of 3-18, while all-rounder Aryan Lakra took two as Kuwait were all out for 48 in the 50-over match.
Only lower-order batsman Abdul Tufail (12) reached double figures but the UAE could have been chasing a lower target had it not been for their 19 extras.
The UAE will now face Hong Kong today and will fancy their chances of a second straight win having won the three-match series 2-1 last week.
UAE coach Dom Telo has told his team they must “hit the ground running” when the Under-19 side open their 2018 Division Two World Cup qualifying campaign against Kuwait today.
The two sides begin their quest of reaching the showpiece event in New Zealand at Kelab Aman in Kuala Lumpur with the top two nations from the 10-team event advancing to the Division One competition in December.
Kuwait, Hong Kong and Thailand also make up Group B that will see the UAE play four 50-over matches in six days.
With the top two sides qualifying for the semi-finals, Telo is fully aware of the challenge ahead and has warned his troops cannot afford to get off to a slow start.
“The tournament is quite short in terms of length and the most important thing is to hit the ground running,” said the former Derbyshire cricketer.
“We need to make sure we start really well and the boys know that. They will know what their roles are and what is required of them.”
The UAE go into the game on the back of a 2-1 series win over Hong Kong, despite losing the third and final match in Dubai on Friday.
Barring the blip, the South African was impressed with what he saw and is confident they can put on a good show.
“All in all, I’m happy with where we are at,” said the 30-year-old. “There was a hiccup in Friday’s loss but am happy it happened there rather at the tournament.
“They haven’t panicked when they are on the field and we have a really well-balanced squad.”