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The rankings of the 50 best batsmen and bowlers in limited overs cricket was published yesterday, a day after the release of a list of the best 100 of each in Tests -- Australian Don Bradman and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan taking the honours there.
Richards, who accumulated 6 721 runs in 167 one-day innings, was third behind Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar in Wisden's Test rankings but leapfrogs the Indian into first place with his fellow West Indian Brian Lara in third.
Bradman does not appear in the list because the shorter version of the game was not played in his day, but Muralitharan is rated as the seventh best bowler.
Fast bowler Wasim's acquisition of 488 wickets in limited overs matches gives him 220 more than South African Allan Donald in second place, while his fellow Pakistani Waqar Younis is third in the list ahead of Australia's Glenn McGrath.
Wasim, who was ranked 15th in the Test list, became the first man to play in 350 one-day internationals earlier this month and has said he intends to retire after the World Cup in southern Africa early next year.
The ratings were based on a thorough analysis of one-day internationals since their inception in the 1970s, with runs scored and wickets taken accorded greater or lesser weight depending on the quality of opposition and the importance of the match.
The minimum criterion for each category was at least 2 500 runs scored and 100 wickets taken, which means that few players from the earliest era of the limited overs game made the lists.
Given the proliferation of one-day cricket in recent years, the list more accurately reflects the modern balance of power within the game.
While the Test lists had only two active batsmen -- Tendulkar and Lara (10) -- and active three bowlers -- Muralitharan, Warne and McGrath (6), most of those highly-ranked in one-dayers are still playing.
And while England was well represented in the Test rankings, they have just four batsmen and three bowlers in the top 50 one-day lists.
1. Viv Richards (West Indies)
2. Sachin Tendulkar (India)
3. Brian Lara (West Indies)
4. Dean Jones (Australia)
5. Michael Bevan (Australia)
6. Sourav Ganguly (India)
7. Mark Waugh (Australia)
8. Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan)
9. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
10. Saeed Anwar (Pakistan)
1. Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
2. Allan Donald (South Africa)
3. Waqar Younis (Pakistan)
4. Glenn McGrath (Australia)
5. Joel Garner (West Indies)
6. Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan)
7. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
8. Shaun Pollock (South Africa)
9. Shane Warne (Australia)
10. Dennis Lillee (Australia)