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The former president of the Indian cricket team, Sir Vivian Richards, is among those to have paid tribute to the late Indian cricket star.

In a statement, Mr Richards said that “with his beautiful and beautiful life, Sir Virat Kohli is a true icon”.

“He was a shining example of what cricket should be,” Mr Richards added.

“I know Sir Virath Kohli’s passing brings great pain to our nation and I know his family and friends are devastated by it.”

India’s former captain Virat Mahinda died at the age of 71 in India’s World Cup opener against South Africa on Sunday, ending his illustrious career in international cricket.

His wife, the former English actress Maria, paid tribute on social media to the former captain’s legacy and “his determination and will to inspire and motivate others”.

“Sir Virat’s life and legacy will live on,” Maria said.

“He never forgot the people of India.

We are grateful for the support he always gave to his country.”

The former India captain and current Australian player Vivian Williams also paid tribute.

“Sir Vivian is truly missed and our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans,” he wrote on Twitter.”RIP Sir Viviyan Richards.

An inspiration to so many.

Rest in peace.

RIP!”

Williams was a leading figure in the Indian Premier League in the 1990s and 2000s, before joining English cricket at the start of the decade.

He was also a key figure in India cricket’s recent successful domestic campaigns and helped lead the team to victory at the World Twenty20 earlier this year.

In addition to paying tribute to Mr Richards, Mr Williams also said that he hoped to play some part in the celebrations of the World Cups centenary.

“For all those who want to watch this beautiful event, I will be there in person and have a look around the stadium,” he said.