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Lara upstages Fletcher departure

Martin Gough | 23:48 UK time, Thursday, 19 April 2007

Martin GoughBarbados - That was more like it! The way in which West Indies great Brian Lara announced his retirement was a complete contrast to England coach Duncan Fletcher’s resignation earlier the same day.

A tired, irritable Lara had already faced more than 10 minutes of questions, continually being probed on the off-field problems that have beset the side through the World Cup and on his own future, with a tour to England imminent.

There was just one last question, which was not as testing as some that had preceded it but it proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

"This is the last question,” he said. “I’ll just say, I’ve given it extensive consideration and on Saturday I'll be bidding farewell to international cricket as a player.

"I've already spoken to the board and my players."

And that was it. Test cricket’s all-time leading run-maker and one of the finest batsmen I have ever watched had just ended his career, right there in a humid lecture theatre.

Apparently he had planned to save the announcement either until the eve of the England game or for afterwards.

Perhaps the about-turn was more of a shock because of the low-key game that had preceded it, West Indies taking advantage of some decent bounce to skittle Bangladesh 99 runs short.

It counted for little except prize money as both sides had already been eliminated from the semi-finals.

At least Lara, who is 38 in a fortnight, will get the chance to bow out against England, who he has a habit of turning on his best for, like the world record Test scores of 375 in 1994 and 400 not out 10 years later.

Many believed West Indies were a dark horse to win the World Cup on home soil but the hopes of the home fans exploded as the team lost their first three games of the Super 8 stage.

Lara’s leadership has come in for criticism, with suggestions he is unable to empathise with less naturally gifted members of the side.

But there have been plenty of rumblings in the background, too, with suggestions of a rift between the selection panel and team management and an admission by team coordinator Clive Lloyd that the side lack the video technology enjoyed by most other teams.

For reasons that have gone unexplained, Lara has been moved up and down the batting order, batting at six against Bangladesh, but has provided 251 with a battling 77 against Australia.

He wanted to retire from one-day cricket some time ago but was persuaded to stay on for the first ever World Cup in the Caribbean.

In all probability disillusioned by the experience, he has gone back on a recent assertion that he would like to play Test cricket into his 40s.

Lara said he would not “go into hibernation”, suggesting he would like to continue to play a part in West Indies cricket, although the cricket board may have other ideas.

For now, we have one last chance to watch Lara in all his glory, with a demoralised England the target. Duncan Fletcher’s farewell game could be a cracker.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:09 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Yashiv wrote:

I've always enjoyed Brian's batting. I'm sorry he had to leave on such a low like this. There will not be another like him from the WI in a long time. Thanks Brian!

  • 2.
  • At 12:12 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • A.H.Ali. wrote:

I fully support the decision of Brian. How much criticism can one man take? I will like to know what contribution to West Indies & International Cricket persons such as Michael Holding,Joel Garner, Colin Croft,Tony Cozier and the other niggardly grudging critics of Brian Lara made to be in a position to even speak of Cricket & Brian's perfromance. They should take lessons from Geff Boycott who has always supported Brian in good and /or bad times.

As a supporter of West Indies cricket from the age of 10 I want to wish Brian all the best for NONE of his pre-decessors who have retired even have the earning potential equal to 10% of the post-retirement potential of Brian.

So good luck in your future endeavours.

Maybe Trinidad & Tobago should now work towards relieving themselves of any West Indies Cricket formation [similar to World Cup Football] and resister with the I.C.C. on its' own. In that way we can develop into being our own Cricket force. Food for thaught.

Always Trini to the Bone........

A.H.Ali.

  • 3.
  • At 12:13 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Headline grabbing?????

Sorry pal, I will mourn the loss of the bloke that turned England from the worst test side into the best far far far far more than the loss of the bloke who capitilised on the stench that was then English cricket.


  • 4.
  • At 12:19 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Nishant wrote:

This is instructive -- great players need to go before the inevitable downward spiral begins. It is tempting to stick around for ad money and the feeling that a revival is just around the corner. However, it is better to be like Sunil Gavaskar and Mark Taylor who left while still very successful batsmen. I hope Tendulkar goes sooner rather than later.

The end of an era. Lara was a true icon; the demise of cricket in the West Indies is coupled with the loss of Brian Lara. Hopefully he will become England's batting coach :)

  • 6.
  • At 12:30 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Patch wrote:

I suppose it will now remain to be seen, post Lara, whether those who have been clamouring for his head to be chopped off as the 'fix" for Windies cricket will be proven right or wrong. I think Lara's decision to go was right, as I do think he is past his best, brilliant as he was. I think one never argues with a sportsman who retires while he is still receiving accolades, and I think Brian may have waited just a bit too long. I will, however, regret that I shall never again see live, at Sabina Park, a Brian Lara in full cry, flaying an Aussie bowling attack, as I have so many times in the past. God bless him and I hope his future is far better than his recent past.

  • 7.
  • At 12:30 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Jason Skeete wrote:

Now that Brian Lara has decided to quit I hope people like Tony Cozier and the rest who spend all their time bashing W.I cricket are happy.

The problem with W.I cricket for years has been the WICB and their inability to put systems in place to develop the sport. They treat the game in a manner that is still so common to the 80s and talk of the great players ,and what have they done to ensure that we continue to have more great players, nothing.

Our domestic cricket has been on the decline for years and they did nothing, we have had fittness problems with players breaking down and showing no conditioning and they did nothing, the WICB has had a number of issues with the decipline of players and did nothing, the WICB has a decipline problem for themselves so they are in no position to correct anyone.

Lara was on his way out he will be 38 this year so his leaving was always on the cards, but, the decline of W.I cricket was on the way a long time before. It does not matter who the capt. is as long as the board continues to govern in this (........) manner , our cricket in the W.I will continue to fall. The Board has to go from top to bottom, the selectors must go also. If we are to rebuild we must do so with fresh blood , fresh ideas fresh everything.

I have more to say but not now.

  • 8.
  • At 12:35 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Raf wrote:

It's a great day and yet very sad. It was the right time for him to pack away his blade but it would have been wonderful to see him finish off by touring England one last time.

But fair dues to him. He didn't want to play 1 day cricket anymore but fronted up for the WC. The Windies have failed because the openers, specifically Gayle, haven't fired at all and the bowlers, who have done well, haven't been provided with good targets.

By not batting at 3 Lara really signalled his time was over and we can only hope he gets a good dig against England.

He truly has bestridden the cricket world like a colossus. Tendulkar for me will never carry the greatness of Lara although his stats may better. Simply because Lara was a heroic figure, with all the ups and downs that befits a genius.

He played in a time when his team struggled and he was often all that kept them going. Who can forget that epic series against Australia in 2000 or the way he could still make big scores even in the later stages of his career.

He caused strong feelings both ways but that is the nature of a player of his talent and the baggage that comes with it.

His career should be celebrated because he alone kept the flame of genius at the crease so very much alive.

  • 9.
  • At 12:41 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Ron wrote:

At long last.... let's hope the Prince of Port of Spain goes out in fine style, like only he knows how. Although he has been equally loved and loathed I hope he is accorded all the accolades that he so rightfully deserves for carrying millions of hopes over the past decade...1

  • 10.
  • At 12:45 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Caro wrote:

Of course Lara's announcement would upstage that of Fletcher's! Fletcher is, afterall, only the England coach, no one important. "Duncan Fletcher's last game" on Saturday - his game, not Vaughan and the team's game. Is that what's wrong with English cricket?

I have never, ever heard wins or losses by the Aussies, to be attributed to John Buchanan. We have this strange idea that's its to do with the players!

  • 11.
  • At 12:58 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Raghu wrote:

It is hard to digest that Brian Charles Lara is quitting all forms of International Cricket. He is one of the best quality batsmen the cricket world has ever produced and I have no doubt that no current player is there with such batting skills. He is still a great batsman in tests and scored loads of runs for his team, being a captain or as a player. He should be retained in the test team, having said that, I feel this is a good decision taken by Lara considering the lack of support he has got from the team mangement, selectors and mainly from his players. However, I feel really sad that his farewell is not going to be celebrated. Being a champion batsman, Lara does not deserve this ugly treatment from his cricket board. Hope Sachin Tendulkar gets a great farewell which he truly deserved! Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure that Lara will be terribly missed for his pure batting wonders and elegance, and I will retire from watching cricket!!

  • 12.
  • At 12:58 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Ted wrote:

I think this will be good for the team.
I think there was too much division in the team,
they need start from bottom, everyone on the same level.
Lara his one of the best batsman the game has ever seen if not the best .
But not a good leader ,you most lead with good example on and off the field.

My thanks to Lara for those criketing years has a
batsman.

  • 13.
  • At 12:59 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • matt wrote:

Brian Lara for his country was an all time great and quitting at this time was the best thing for him before his form declined.

  • 14.
  • At 01:02 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Ibn e Iqbal wrote:

Shocking!to see him retire from all forms of the game.I must say that the Prince of Batting Lara still was playing as majestically as I have seen him over the years,but he faced the same fate as the King of Batting,Siar Vivian Richards.No doubt he was forced to retire.It would have been great if he played in Test cricket.I must say that the retirement comes too early in Tests for a man of Lara's calibre,if Bradman can come out at 40 so can Lara,who is no doubt far delicate,stylish and naturally talented that Bradman.

Lara showed the world that he is peerless and more greater batsman than his rivals of modern day cricket.

Post Lara era is dark.Mar my words,as Windies will take a long time to find someone to dig that deep as Lara and hold the team together in tough times.I would love to see West Indies prosper but unfortunately,I cant see light at the end of the tunnel.

I would like to take the opportunity to Thank him for all those happy moments he gave me as an individual,that 153 not out against Australia and that 400 not out against England still make me proud of my choice of Lara as my favourite.

Lara my prayers are always going to be with you.May GOD Bless You.

  • 15.
  • At 01:08 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Chio wrote:

Recent W.Indies history aside, all good things come to an end and after this weekend we will be bidding farewell to one of the greatest batsmen of all time. His records will stand for years to come. I just hope that for W.Indies cricket someone of the same class of a Lara or Richards will be able to consitently fill the void. Until then a big thanks and farewell to Brian Charles Lara - many thanks for the many great memories. A sad day as a true legend takes the final curtain.

Chio

  • 16.
  • At 01:32 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Namal wrote:

Sad to see king is departing from world cricket. What a player he was.... We sri-lankans enjoyed his batting..

  • 17.
  • At 01:48 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Aanand Krishnan wrote:

Brian Lara was one of the top batsman of the last decade, certainly the most flamboyant and attractive. His innings against Australia are the stuff of legend and will be remembered for a long time. Cricket will be poorer without Lara. We are also 2-3 years away from the retirement of another legend - Sachin Tendulkar. Those of us who have been harsh to both these greats will regret it when they are gone.

  • 18.
  • At 01:49 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Savan wrote:

Captain is as good as the team is;however Lara is simply the greatest batsman of the generation.

  • 19.
  • At 02:06 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Savan wrote:

Captain is as good as the team is;however Lara is simply the greatest batsman of the generation.

  • 20.
  • At 02:17 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • JPA wrote:

The news that Brian Lara will retire from all international cricket after the final game of the Super 8's is sad news indeed. Although it will deprive many England fans the chance to bid farewell to such a wonderful player, no-one will begrudge him it.

He will eventually be regarded as one among the true greats of West Indian and world cricket for his feats, largely in an average team, of breaking the world record in tests twice and the first class record. The criticisms that can be levelled at him of poor captaincy are excusable, because captaining a side tends to detract somewhat from individual performances, especially in a side with such little talent to draw from.

I think now is the time for West Indian cricket to salute Brian Charles Lara, and then to undergo a major upheaval in the test and one day squads. The time is right, with the talisman leaving, to unseat some of the older players and begin to blood the next Lara, Richards, Marshall et al.

  • 21.
  • At 02:21 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Tej wrote:

It's sad to see him retire like this. He has been the best test batsmen for more than a decade - better than Tendulkar, Steve Waugh and Ponting. He should have retired following a test series. I think the England-West Indies test match following this world cup will be far better with Lara retiring - I would say even better than this world cup(even if the Aussies somehow lose, we know they're the best because one match does not make a big difference).

  • 22.
  • At 02:33 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • sad lara fan wrote:

Sad but to be expected I guess. As for me - no Jordan, no basketball. No Lara, no cricket : (
It was GREAT while it lasted

  • 23.
  • At 02:41 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Kyle Jackman wrote:

Lara we thank you for all you have given to WI cricket and cricket worldwide. You would be missed.

  • 24.
  • At 02:41 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Papo wrote:

No matter how you feel about him Brian Lara has made a significant contribution to the development of West Indies cricket. He failed as a leader not as a batsman. There's an unfortunate tendency to believe that a great player will automatically make a great captain...the experiences of Brian and Sachin proves that this is not so. Perhaps Brian's greatest failing was not to have recognised and accept that his greatest gift to the West Indies was via his batting, not his captaincy. He would have suffered much less criticism had he had the foresight to refuse the captaincy and be the great batsman that he was. I hope he does well.

  • 25.
  • At 02:48 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Jailall Jairam wrote:

I must say that Brian Charles Lara is probably the best, if not the best batsman in international cricket for the past two decade. As a West Indian I have witness some marvelous and spectacular innings played by this great son of West Indies cricket. We as West Indian will forever cherish all the great memorable innings that he played. I witness the 153 he made against the mighty Aussies, Lara single handedly won that match for West Indies. Every time the West Indies play we can depend on him to carry the team through and win a match alone. Cricket in general will miss him. We will miss his exquisite square cut, his magnificent cover drive and his glorious pull shot. Bowlers from all corners will welcome this news because in his hayday he could reduce the best bowlers to nothing. I mean NOTHING! Because of the declining state in West Indies cricket we all know that we had Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul to win us a match but after Saturday we will see the last of the great Brian Charles Lara. Hope he will play one last mighty innings against England and give West Indians more memories to cherish. I will sit on my couch Saturday morning in Missouri and invite my American friends over to see the last of this great son of West Indies cricket. Never mind they do not know anything about cricket.
Jailall Jairam

  • 26.
  • At 03:10 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • sunny wrote:

its a shock for me as a Lara fan, i wanted to see
him continue playing test cricket for a year or
two.

from following cricket since i was a child , there
has never been any doubt that this guy has
been the greatest bat i have ever seen.

he bats like a man possessed out there ,
demolishing every bowler that comes his way.

he is a batting god and always will be

  • 27.
  • At 03:22 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • R Sivasubramaniam wrote:

Brian LARA - the greatest batsman of this generation.
Thank you Brian for the fine performances - everyonf of them a MASTERCLASS.
Just one last request - a CENTURY on your final innings - PLEASE.
Siva

  • 28.
  • At 03:25 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Carol Mandela wrote:

It is indeed sad to see Lara leave under these conditions. Some of the Ex West Indies players have wanted his exit for some time now. West Indies cricket is at a low now, and we don't have the talent like in former days. How unfair life is at times, Lara got all the blame from some of the former cricketers as though cricket is a one man game. There is obviously some serious issues surrounding West Indies Cricket. I expect a resignation from Mr. Ken Gordon and then I will sit and watch all the jokes being played out.

  • 29.
  • At 03:48 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Emery A. Cournand wrote:

I think that the stage was always set for Brian Lara to exit from West Indies prematurely. Everything including his place of birth, conspired to make this happen. The miracle is that he has been able to put off his retirement for so long, and yet make some kind of contribution.

Now if he could only write the book that really needs to be written about West Indies Cricket, including the politics behind the game, so as to explain to a dumfounded world, that while there may in the future be a few very good players, there will never again be a great West Indian team. It is not the end of a career, but the end of a dream. Perhaps the islands should all go there separate ways, like happened with the W.I Federation. If the governments rally behind their teams, I can qucker see a great Jamaican, or Barbados, or T&T than a great W.I team. Remember in football, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in the past have already qualified for the World Cup.


  • 30.
  • At 03:51 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • kay wrote:

lara ur the greatest batsman ever its sad ur ending ur international career this way. its even more sadder that after ur departure there are chances that west indies may slip even below bangladesh i feel very sorry that u were always critisized by some foolish skunts(holding, roberts,cozier).they dont realize how necessary ur to get windies back to glory days.after u retire i will stop watching cricket .cricket is not the same without u.i pay tribute to u &wish u a happy life ahead.

  • 31.
  • At 03:59 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • archis wrote:

It is certainly a sad day for me as a Lara fan, I was hoping that he would play tests for a season or two, but I guess he knew the board was about to axe him believe it or not for the England tour.This signals the end of my cricket watching days atleast for a while like after the retirement of Sunny Gavaskar some 20 years ago.His 153 no is the best ever innings I have ever witnessed in Test cricket

  • 32.
  • At 04:07 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Kevin Donaldson wrote:

The world will see for the final time against England, one of the or even the greatest batsman to have played cricket.

  • 33.
  • At 04:08 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • west indies fan wrote:

Lara was as brilliant with the bat and was just as brilliant in destroying West Indies cricket. He is a selfish player and I am glad he is retiring. Too many bad decisions were made not to question his abilities as a captain and as a person. I can list several but I might run out of space to type.

However no one can say otherwise that he was one of greatest batsmen ever. But cricket is a team sport not a one man team.

  • 34.
  • At 04:12 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Rush wrote:

It is ironic that one man,Brian Charles Lara, is blamed repeatedly for the failures of the West Indies team. Critics have asked for his, and he has handed it to them on a siler platter. For a long time now, Holding, Croft and Cozier have treated him like their Easter Bobolee. Yet, he took it all in stride and continued to do the job that was asked of him.

Brian exemplies class and great sportsmanship. He has distinguished himself, not only as one of the finest players to have played the sport, but also as remarkable gentleman. It is indeed sad to see him leave.

However, I think he has made the right decision. How much more can one man take? Brian, you have my full support. You have left an indelible mark in this "game of glorious uncertainties."

  • 35.
  • At 04:12 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • mushfiqur rahman wrote:

I am too depressed of this news.Actually i feel earlier the time is ending. I will never be able to see lara's batting anymore.I am a bangladeshi. You will find one of those crazy fan of lara. I never missed watching his batting. I liked him more than anything else on those good time of his carrear. I know one day he has to depart.
Whatever happened in his carrear
He will always be my favourite no 1

It would have been good for Brian Lara to have retired 'on a high' but all the same he has been a great batsman.

The retirement of Lara and the resignation of Fletcher will bring another dimension to the last match of the Super 8 stage as both ponder what could have been.

  • 37.
  • At 04:49 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • don't_go_Lara!! wrote:

My childhood cricketing hero has finally quit and this is a very sad day. He was the most gifted and elegant batsmen I've ever watched. His ability to concentrate and hit those massive scores was an amazing and unique talent that couldn't be taught. I have never seen another batsmen with this super human ability not even Tendulkar.
As for all this rubbish about his bad captaincy, the role of the captain in cricket is totally over rated anyway, if your apart of a good team (which he wasn't) it doesn't really matter who is leading.
I'll miss you Lara, thanks for the precious memories i hope you destroy England and go out on a high, even if you don't i still rate you as the best ever.

  • 38.
  • At 04:53 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • MSR (BOSTON, MA) wrote:

No matter who wins the WC, every 4 years it put down curtain on a generation ….............…..and this years casualty include some of the most gifted players cricket has ever produced............ Inzi, Lara, and Jayasuriya…………….Inzi has gone, Lara has one more to go…………..and Jaya might have the last laugh!

  • 39.
  • At 04:53 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Ironhors wrote:

He should not retired cause west indies still need him . He still have couple of matches to be played in odi

  • 40.
  • At 04:54 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Roshan Fernando wrote:

I thought after Viv Richards retired we would have to wait a long time to see a great anywhere near that caliber. Well we didn't have to wait that long - a mere three years after the original Master Blaster retired in came Brian Lara, not quite as formidable as Viv but almost as feared by opposing bowlers. He had only one contender to the title of best batsman - Sachin Tendulkar. But I think considering the impact he had and the panache with which he played the game Brian Lara was surely the greatest batsman of the post Viv Richards era.

Sadly captaincy was not his forte and inevitably his greatness has been tainted by the memory of his leadership fallacies. But that should not take anything away from his contribution to this lovely game and the many wonderful innings he played.

I think he should have continued playing test cricket for another two years or so allowing the Windies to develop batsman around him. Now I think Sarwan and co. are going to find that they have just lost the one man among the current West Indian armoury who could have sent shivers down the spine of any bowler. After all he is the only batsman who could say that "Murali was a cake walk for me". Murali has to brought in to this as, inspite of some misled ignoramuses, he is the greatest bowler around but he could make no inroads into the game of Brain Charles Lara. People who love entertaining and classy cricket are surely going to miss him.

It's hard to digest and the feeling will take a couple of days to sink in.
Cricket's greatest entertainer ever and master batsman will no longer take the field after WI exit from WC.
Brian, Why such a haste???
Pls rethink...i and millions of your fans are finding hard to breathe since read about your decision.
I have been thinking about this for long and on this day,I swear to write your biograhpy...
For me cricket has lost its charm, forever...

Ashish

  • 42.
  • At 04:57 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Lamya Islam wrote:

I'm absolutely shocked.I watched the news on TV but my mind was not working properly & I was still under the impression that Lara is retiring only from ODIs.Only after reading the headline in the web did it register that Lara is retiring from tests as well :(
Lara wanted to play tests untill 40 so the rumors about him getting axed for the england tour must be true.
My heart bleeds from sorrow.
Lara doesn't deserve this type of exit.After serving WI cricket for so long & singlehandedly most of the times doesn't he atleast deserve a better exit.How can he not be picked for test when he still is the best batsman of the team.
The Lara bashers should look at their own contribution rather than critisising him for everything.

Anyways,all good things must come to an end & it was better for Lara to retire than to be blamed for eveything.Surely WI will have a terribly time in England & its better that Lara is not there to take the blame.But then again I was so sure that I will watch him in more tests that this news is really hard to swallow.

Lara,when I began watching cricket it was the peak of your career,I have enjoyed all your glittering innings,your articlulate speeches & will remember you as the best batsman I have ever watched.Your majestic & exquisite batting is 2nd to none(I think not even Bradman).You were a craftman with the bat & a genius.
We will miss you always & cricket will not be the same without you.
I don't have any interest to watch cricket anymore.
Lara you have always been in my prayers,we the Bangladeshis love you & would have loved to see further great innings from you.
May Allah bless you.

  • 43.
  • At 05:25 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • glen wrote:

In my book, Lara will be the greatest. He led a rather weak team by West Indian standards, but what a player!!! sheer genius. I will miss him. To you Lara, my love and best wishes - always

  • 44.
  • At 05:29 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Venu wrote:

Lara,
For Old time's sake another World Record this Saturday against England. It's hard to see the West Indies really doing well without you. It's a shame that for the most of your cricket life you had to shepherd youngsters who never really made it. Thanks for all the memories. It will be a sad day to see you leave.

  • 45.
  • At 05:34 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • ilanchezhian wrote:

Its a socking news for me, I thought , he would play test cricket at least for another one or two years, to entertain people like me who is hard core fan of him . May be, i will also quit watching Lara and the cricket. I stopped watching India cricket when i started watching Lara.

  • 46.
  • At 05:43 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

eXQUISITE STROKEPLAY, high BACKLIFT, eLEGANCE, CLASS, sHANEWARNE tORN APART, MURALI'S GREATEST NIGHTMARE..gREAT BATTLES WITH mCGRATH, CLASS ELEGANCE,
400 RUNS; 375 runs;501 IN COUNTY; 277 AGAINST VICIOUS AUSTRALIA; gREATEST TEST INNINGS OF 153;AND COUNTLESS MARVELOUS INNINGS;mORE DOUBLE CENTURIES THAN ANYONE SINCE BRADMAN;WALKS OFF eACH TIME HE KNOWS HE IS OUT, lIKES TO HAVE FUN AND dOESNT TRY TO hide IT; Lara's legacy is that he is genuine and he is a natural...what A batsMAN..WHAT A WONDERFUL baTSMAN LARA HAS BEEN OVER THE YEARS...CLEARLY THE RETIREMENT OF THE MOST ELEGANT CRICKETER SINCE DON BRADMAN...Thank you Brian Charles Lara; you are the reason i watched cricket so long. Thank you!

  • 47.
  • At 06:30 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • goliache wrote:

Excellent news this is... The moment has FINALLY ARRIVED, the record of most test runs is now up for grabs. Ponting is the only current batsmen capable of surpassing Lara, but he needs to make 2586 runs within the next three to four years [ASSUMING HE HAS NO INJURIES OR SEVERE FORM SLUMPS ETC] and I see it as highly unlikely of him doing so which is a real shame...

Laras other record of highest score in an innings of 400 not out will not be beaten though period. Not at least for another 100 years or so...

Simply because, cricket is the most strategic sport around and no winning team in their right mind would keep a batsmen out there for a such a "long time" and risk jeopardising a winning position...

  • 48.
  • At 06:40 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • R Phillip wrote:

To me cricket was a very boring sport until I dislocated my colar bone and being home and cannot sleep comfortable at nights, the television was my only comfort.Then West Indies was playing Australia and seeing Lara bat they way he did at Sydney was truely remarkable. I watch cricket because people like Lara, Mc Grath and Warne brought some rivalary to the game when playing against Lara ( not the west Indies). Some may say he is selfish , others may say he is truely brilliant but history will be the judge. Lara is deserving of all he has achieve and will alaways be a honoured citizen of our twin island republic .LARA YOU ARE A LEGEND

  • 49.
  • At 06:42 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

At the risk of upsetting so many of Lara's fans, let me be the voice of reason and truth.

Lara, the batting genius, master stroke player, blah, blah, blah, etc., won very few matched for the West Indies as a player. Yes, he had some big innings, but what good is it when he is scoring 400 runs after the series is lost? How many matches did he win that really mattered? How many match saving, series saying innings did he play?

Answer my friends and therein you will find the true legacy of Brian Charles Lara.

Breado

  • 50.
  • At 07:06 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Rajitha Gurusinghe wrote:

Brian Charles Lara is by far the greatest batsmen I have ever had the privilege of watching and in my opinion the greatest batsmen of all time. People speak of Tendulkars consistency or Gavaskars technique, of Chappells mental steel and of Bradmans average but for me Lara reigns supreme. There is no greater sight in sport than a determined Lara in full unadulterated flow. He would anticipate, his front knee bent, catlike waiting to pounce, eyes level, head still. . His blade would sweep down with mesmerizing speed. The ball would be shot to the boundary as hapless fielders stood unmoved, a man amongst children. The loud thud on the advertising board would shatter the silence and the crowds would erupt. When on song bowler were dismissed with disdain. The looks on the poor blokes faces often said it all, Shock mixed with begrudging admiration. He belonged in another era, alongside the legends of the 70s not amongst this rag tag bunch of no hopers.

To follow his career was to be reminded of a Greek tragedy. His genius was never in doubt. There was the record breaking 375 and 501 within the space of a few months. THAT 1998 series where he single handed defied the best team in the world and the 688 princely runs in Muralis backyard. Watching Lara play spin was to watch a ballet performance, Graceful, flowing, precise. He always raised his game when the chips were down. On countless occasions he kept the ship assail when West Indian cricket was drowning in the abyss. These were Deeds not of a man but of a superhuman.

Lara was also undoubtedly flawed. His captaincy often failed to deceive. The claims of selfishness and of arrogance rang loud. And his batting by his own admission was never consistent. Breathtaking peaks went hand in hand with patches of poor scores.

However it is this contrast that makes Lara so endearing to us all. This is why we feel such a connection to the man. We don’t want our heroes to be omnipotent; we don’t want them to be immortal. We prefer it if they fail at times like the rest of us. Then for a moment at least we can put ourselves in their shoes. These flawed demi gods give us hope.


People feel less connected to Superman than they do to Spiderman. This is because Clark is too perfect almost robotic. While Peter is constantly fighting his inner daemons. It is this human connection to someone greater than us that draws us to them.

So when he does finally hang up his boots on Saturday thank him for the good times, but don’t lambaste him for the bad ones. Cheers Brian you changed the game, you took it to new heights but you struggled at times and I respect you more for it. Cricket will never see the likes of you again. How appropriate that you should play your last game against a foe you have tormented so many times. One more breathtaking knock would be fitting but so would a quick fire 30 or a scratchy duck. That is the beauty of his legacy.


  • 51.
  • At 07:13 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Fong KM wrote:

Brian Lara is the best player of this generation. It is shameful how former players did not recognize his contributions whenever they lose. They should know that he is part of a very weak team and regardless of who the captain is, the team will still lose if the other players do not contribute. Look at the other captains during this period - Walsh & Chanderpaul. They did not fare any better than Lara. I still recall when WI won the ICC Championship in 2004 and WI beat India 4-1 last year, his captaincy was praised. Now, when they lose, he is lambasted by every armchair critic in West Indies. As for tactics during the present WC, what is wrong with opening the bowling with Dwayne Smith? Didn't New Zealand open the bowling with Dipak Patel (a spinner) during the WC in the 90s?

For me, Brian Lara is and always will be a LEGEND!!

Breado, I think you got it wrong. Lara statistically did not win many matches but ensured that Windies were not always beaten in 2 days as is becoming habit (when he was out cheaply). I can think of 3 matches against the mighty Aussies won (1998 in Perth scoring a match winning 132, 1999: 213 in Jamaica and 153 chasing 311). I can think of several against England (1995 3 successive hindreds for us to win 3-0 and 2 in1998 for us to win 3-1), 1994 in India a match winning 92 for us to draw that series. These stand out but there were many victories. The 400 not out was not a dead test for us, we could easily be whitewashedby the old enemy England and avoiding it on homesoil was as good as a test win.
Sure he had bad habits but can we deny Maradona the player? why then should we deny Lara the batsman?
Hats off to one of the greatest players ever...learn your lesson Breado, maybe that is why no one is having an argument over thel ikes of Cozier (a journalst) or Croft (a rebel) or Breado, an armchair critic.

  • 53.
  • At 07:25 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Shashank wrote:

Guys
this is a sad day for cricket, I will be missing Lara the best batsman I have ever seen, I don't know how many times I have seen his 277 at the sydney cricket ground, his 153* against Australia (bridgetown) is by far the best innings that I have ever seen. I hope Sachin Tendulkar learns from Lara about timing the retirement.
Thanks Brian lara

  • 54.
  • At 07:41 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Richard Johnson wrote:

This world cup in many ways has marked an important watershed in the history of the game. I cannot remember so many great players and coaches departing the scene in such huge numbers. Perhaps we all need to look at the pressures placed on teams to win and do more to get the fun back into the sport. We salute those that have gone and look forward to a new generation of players who can take on the mantle. Enjoy your retremnet Brian you have given us lots of special memories during your time!

  • 55.
  • At 07:46 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • KAMALRAM SAJIV wrote:

Brian Lara was a colossus in the time of neo colonialism. In a globalized world where intrinsic sporting talents of a genius never blooms even to its optimum potential the legacy of Lara will be etched on the epitaph of the real cricketing spirit of the foregone era. Yes, cricket surely will be another game without Lara. Cricket minus Lara (and West Indies) will leave us a recipe of Australian robotics and Indian marketing which is the winning formula derived by ICC for the new breed cricket.

  • 56.
  • At 07:58 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • saravanan wrote:

At 38, most criketeres would have hang up their boots, but brilliant cricketers like Lara always have something to offer. He is one crickter whom everyone, even his bitter critics, would love to watch. This man played lovely cricket and he still may have another two years of cricket.
I remeber, all my friends were awake (2.30 AM), watching a test match against Oz, where he just had the company of Walsh to lead WI to a famous victory. He played like a man possessed.

  • 57.
  • At 08:04 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Sasa wrote:

Thanks for the memories Brian. You are up there among the greatest men to ever walk to the crease.

  • 58.
  • At 08:14 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Vijeth wrote:

Absolute Shock! But probably very well timed.

For all those on this blog who say that Lara did not score when required or Lara did not win matches, or criticising Lara for whatever he did, here are few words:

1) Though Lara always wanted to pass the baton of leadership and responsibility to a player like Sarwan, Gayle or Shiv, none of them have ever behaved responsibly enough to take the opportunity. He repeatedly came down the order to give others an opportunity. If he were to be selfish, he would have made more runs by coming at the top of order.

2) Lara was always trying to back gifted bowlers like Lawson, Best and Edwards who could win matches, but was given bowlers like Collymore, Bradshaw and a few unknowns who could never be devastating.

3) The current breed of players including Bravo and Smith are absolute disaster. Only Sarwan stands out but he is irresponsible. One cannot win a test or an ODI with players of this kind.

4) Lara's runs have come quite often in winning causes. ODI: 16 centuries out of 19 and nearly 6500 runs have come in winning cause.

5) Tests: Though unsure about this, atleast 8 centuries in winning cause.. and other centuries like in Sri Lanka went in vain because the others in the team were not good.

Yes, as a captain his team selection or use of players on field certainly raised eybrows, but sadly his team was never good enough to win consistently.

Does anybody still have complaints about Lara?

  • 59.
  • At 08:18 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Charlie wrote:

I Met Sir lara at Gatwick when they flew back from a tour to South Africa, he took time out to shake hands, say a few words and have some photo's, a true "legend" of the game and there are not many about, A message for you Brian, if you fancy a couple of knocks for us down at Staplefield Village in Sussex this season, your more than welcome...............good luck to you.

  • 60.
  • At 08:28 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Geoffrey Briggs wrote:

I will remember him as the greatest batsman of his generation, following Hutton, Sobers, Graeme Pollock and Vivian Richards who enhanced the lives of cricket lovers everywhere. I hope he is not lost to the game.

  • 61.
  • At 08:33 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

What a sad day for cricket, in my opinion he was the best batsman of the modern generation.

  • 62.
  • At 08:36 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Phil Davey wrote:

I've followed test cricket since the middle 60's, and more especially since Graveney, Murray, Higgs and Snow turned it round against the West Indies at the Oval in '66. Amongst the many names I'll recall during the 40 years since, Lara will be one of the names I remember above all. I feel privileged to have been around to witness his batting skills. The game won't be quite the same without him. The picture of his effortless, timed batting will stay in my mind for a very long time. Good luck in your retirement Brian.

  • 63.
  • At 08:45 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Damo wrote:

I really hope that Brian Lara is not remembered as the last of the West Indian cricketing greats but sadly there does not to appear to be too much else on the horizon at the moment.

I saw him in Trinidad in 2003 making his first ever century at his home ground. Brett Lee was bowling magnificently when he was in his 90's and the contest was between them was superb. Even as an Aussie I was delighted to see him reach his ton - though also happy when he finally got out.

People will talk about his 375 (a worthy innings for being the highest score) and his 400 (less great as the English had a couple of bowlers injured) but for me his two greatest innings were the 213 and 153 not out (probably the best innings of all time) he made in consecutive tests against Australia in 1999.

  • 64.
  • At 08:46 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • David wrote:

I was really looking forward to seeing Brian Lara in the tests against England this summer.

The end of a great career; a pity it couldn't end of a high.

  • 65.
  • At 08:52 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

Not his fault that he played (towards the end of his career) in a poor team. Would he have scored more runs in a better team? Definitely one of the greats though!

  • 66.
  • At 08:56 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • ظہير چغتائی wrote:

World Cup never ended without sacrificing some of greatest Cricket Superstars. 92 Worldcup took Imran Khan, 96 took Javed Miandad, 99 took Azher Ud Din, 2003 took Wasim, Waqar, Saeed and now 2007 took some of the best batsmans in the whole cricketing history, Lara and Inzamam. Lara was very stylish and even more sensible batsman. He entertained his fans throughout his carear and his loyalty towards the West Indeas was marvellous. He has also single handedly win many matches for West Indeas. Personally i want him to play more Cricket at least till next World Cup but now as he announced his retirement, i wish him good luck in his future endeavours on behlaf of his all Pakistani fans. We love you Lara.

  • 67.
  • At 08:58 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Keith M wrote:

Brian Lara was the greatest player i've ever had the oportunity of seeing play cricket. i've seen him live and on TV and was lucky enough to meet the great man at the oval in 2004 when W.I won the champions thropy.

I wish Brian Charles all the best with whatever he does in the future and say a big thank you for the numerous entertainment he provided.

Good luvk you will be missed

  • 68.
  • At 08:59 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • krish rajah wrote:

without a shadow of doubt the greatest batsman we have seen over the last 10-15 years. He may have had his flaws as a captain but never forget his genius....he is a living legend, thanks BCL

  • 69.
  • At 08:59 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Ashertron wrote:

I'm not really a cricket fan but this guy was truely something else - i remember when he took back his record when one of the aussies had taken it a year or so earlier - it was like there was an air of inevitability about it- and when he he did it he just took his helmet off - wonderful piece of sport no matter if you like the game or not -and also when he batted against warne and co in sydney was truley fabulous - Ali, Maradonna, Federer, Jordan, Brian Charles Lara - for me that is the most fitting tribute is that he is up there with the best

  • 70.
  • At 08:59 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Brianne Larosa wrote:

Sad news; I was looking forward to watching Lara in action in a month's time. The England - West Indies series just doesn't seem as exciting without his presence.

This is what the endless hounding by the media of players leads to; they just get to the stage where they can't take it anymore and turn there back on everything, even though in their heart they maybe would want to continue to play.

A great player, and he will be missed.

  • 71.
  • At 09:03 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • KEvin wrote:

for Mohamed (Breado)

Did you not see the home series vs Australia in 99 when Lara almost single handily kept the all conquering Aussies to a 2-2 draw??

That 153 no chasing down around 300 was one of the best innings you will see under pressure in my opinion.

No one person can lift a (poor inconsistent) team to glory consistently no matter how good he is.

Lets take Ryan Giggs (football)...one of the best players of the recent generation generation, won everything you can thing of at club level but what has he ever done for Wales?? The sum of the parts is what counts. Yet this does not make him any less of a player.

If you want to talk about a great batsman not batting well under pressure then Tendulkar is your man and look at the other top quality players he has always had around him!!

  • 72.
  • At 09:07 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • KEvin wrote:

for Mohamed (Breado)

Did you not see the home series vs Australia in 99 when Lara almost single handily kept the all conquering Aussies to a 2-2 draw??

That 153 no chasing down around 300 was one of the best innings you will see under pressure in my opinion.

No one person can lift a (poor inconsistent) team to glory consistently no matter how good he is.

Lets take Ryan Giggs (football)...one of the best players of the recent generation generation, won everything you can thing of at club level but what has he ever done for Wales?? The sum of the parts is what counts. Yet this does not make him any less of a player.

If you want to talk about a great batsman not batting well under pressure then Tendulkar is your man and look at the other top quality players he has always had around him!!

  • 73.
  • At 09:08 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Khalid Bryce wrote:

Lara is a legend and its sad to see him not have one final tour. Have some great memories from Lara. Seeing him smash Mcgrath over the park is one of them!!!

  • 74.
  • At 09:09 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Nasser wrote:

All genuine cricket fans will be disappointed at the news that Lara will now not come to England with the Windies. Perhaps he knew something we didn't?

Anyway he's left us all with great memories. Let's hope there is something still left in the tank come Saturday.

  • 75.
  • At 09:18 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • mikesiva wrote:

Mohamed Breado has a point....

There is no doubt that Lara is a great batsman, and I have enjoyed watching him play down the years. I am also saddened that I won't see him touring England in a month's time. I wanted to get a final glimpse of him in action. And his two world record scores, his winning effort against Australia in Barbados, and his skill against the spinners, are just some of the many joys he provided with the bat.

But he was a poor leader. He was not a team man, and therefore not the type of player you need leading your team, in much the same way taht Worrell was a better leader than Sobers.

He undermined the captaincy of Logie at trinidad, and then Richardson and Walsh in the Windies team. So many legends of the game have had reason to criticise Lara - Holding, Roberts, Richards, the list goes on and on!

Even members of his own team don't like him. When he retired, Jacobs was similarly critical of Lara as a leader.

I hoped that Lara would be retained as a player for the tour of england, not the captain. But sadly that's not to be....

  • 76.
  • At 09:22 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Ronnie not Sarwan wrote:

The most elegant and devastating batsman of the last 15 years. A match winner and an unselfish player who would play for his team unlike Tendulkar. Doubts about his captaincy but what a wonderful player. The world will miss this genius.

  • 77.
  • At 09:24 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Tso One-two wrote:

His batting genius will be missed and never forgotten.

  • 78.
  • At 09:27 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • VSG Harihar wrote:

Each and every time when Brian Lara comes to bat its special for me. Bradman had that incomparable super human stats, but for me Brian Lara has been innumerably better than any one else in the game. I always saw Brian Lara as a divine and I will continue to take his inspirations throughout my life. It pains to see Brian Lara being unfairly criticized.

I will ask all those who say Lara a selfish, to answer my question.
Which selfish will ever walk even when umpire doesn't give him out?
Which selfish will ever bat as low as at No.9 to give his younger player a chance?
Any one who had watched his spectacular double hundred against Pakistan would know what I am saying. He had a chance to reach his 200 before the close of play. Instead he refused his singles to protect his lower order batsman.
Can any of those who say Brian Lara a selfish name a batsman who refused to reach their 200 for saving their tail enders?

People who judge batsmen by their stats are waste. There would be players who could match Brian Lara statistically (Bradman will even double it), but can any one of them would be able to give the amount of joy that this genius Brian Lara could give?

Statistically Bradman is twice as good as any one else, but in my opinion (and thats the reality too) Brian Lara is tens of thousands of times better than any one else that ever played the game.

By birth I am an Indian, but my heart and soul belongs to Brian Lara and Brian Lara only.

Love you my lord Brian Lara, through thick and thin.

My dear Brian Lara,

Please reconsider your retirement decision.

NO LARA NO CRICKET
KNOW LARA KNOW CRICKET

You should have retired in a good note. Sorry to see lara retiring! We can't chant slogans "Lara Kya Mara" here in India & we will really miss a great player like you appreciated worldwide and our own players think you higher. Sachin also thinks Lara is the best player in the world. This is how you are & it's sad to see you retire. sexy sixes, entertainment knocks, impressive style, cracking the opposition....everything will be remembered.

Well done & Wish you best of luck for future. We wish Lara could be our coach (Indian team).

  • 80.
  • At 09:52 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Mimmer wrote:

I would just like to pay a big tribute to Brian Lara. I have loved watching him play cricket over the years, and growing up he was one of my sporting heroes and still is to date. I for one will be standing up and applauding him when he walks off that field against us on a saturday. He is just one of those sportsmen i am lucky enough to say I have seen in this lifetime. Cricket wont be the same without you Brian thanks for the cricketing memories.

  • 81.
  • At 09:54 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • chris wrote:

As an England fan who has suffered at the hands of many players over the last 30 years watching cricket I would honestly have to say that Brian Lara is simply the best and most exciting batsman that I have seen. His style was thrilling and while he has had his lows, usually associated with captaincy or off the field antics with West Indian cricket politics, there has always been a great sense of anticipation whever he came to the wicket amongst true cricket supporters of all countries. It is a tragedy that he has had to play much of his career in a relatively weak West Indian side, however that may have brought the best out of him in some ways, specifically the 400* may not have been achieved in a stronger team. I truly hope that players of all countries learn from this genius and that West Indies find another all time great to take his place soon as cricket needs a strong and unified West Indies team who play the way typified by Brian.

  • 82.
  • At 09:59 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • mse wrote:

What a player.

If you asked me to recall just one series it would be v.Australia in the Caribbean 1999. In consecutive tests Lara hit 213 in Jamaica, the unbelievable 153 at Kensington batting with the Ambroses and Walshes to reel in a 300+ target and then slapping Alan Dale all over the ARG for an even 100. Incredible batting.

His contribution needs to be seen in the context of a team in decline, a team unwilling or unable to take some of the burden from him and poisonous politics surrounding the sport in the caribbean, not least the lack of support from ex players.

The stats only tell part of the story with Lara. An all-time great. I shall miss him.

MSE

  • 83.
  • At 10:01 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Douglas Lee wrote:

Let's hope he bows out with another monumental score against England.

  • 84.
  • At 10:04 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • VOM wrote:

Farewell to a legend, for me the best batsman since Viv. An honour to have seen him play, his 277 in Sydney is by far the best innings I ever saw.
Here's hoping for a double ton on Saturday!

  • 85.
  • At 10:09 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • oliver fuge wrote:

lara is the reason i took up cricket, as a young, english 10 year old i probably should have supported my national team but there was something about this man that made me want to copy him and follow the west indies, 14 years later i am still playing regularly, trying, usually failing, to copy his high backlift and extravagant no-holds barred style, normally resulting in myself getting out for single figures but on the few occasions its paid off it has felt amazing, my highest score being 83 off 45 deliveries, thank you brian for the memories. i hold you responsible for my, sometimes unhealthy, obsession of cricket.

  • 86.
  • At 10:35 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Penelope Abrantes wrote:

There is a certain magic about cricket but, sadly
since I don't understand the game, it escapes
me. Where can I learn a bit about it ? Please
let me know !

  • 87.
  • At 11:13 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Simon Ward wrote:

Thanks for the memories, Brian, even if some of them weren't particularly good ones! Watching him single-handedly put Durham to the sword was pretty demoralising from a supporter's point of view (this supporter's view, at any rate!) although seeing him play 'live', rather than on TV, really brought it home to me that Lara was something special despite the monumental kicking he was giving my home county!

It would be a tragedy if he didn't remain involved with cricket at some level, international or otherwise, and doubly so if his involvement is hindered by the political machinations of the WICB.

Like the original post said, only Tendulkar comes anywhere near to being considered Brian Lara's equal, and it'll be a long time until we see his like again, if indeed we ever do. How long before Sachin decides to call it quits?

  • 88.
  • At 11:19 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • SEAN wrote:

Farewell, Brian Lara. You were the one true artist of this generation of cricketers. It's a pity that he doesn't have a final send-off in Test Cricket like Steve Waugh did because he deserves it.
The problems of West Indies cricket belong in another blog. Just remember every the runs he scored and the bowlers he tormented.

  • 89.
  • At 11:21 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

Brian was a great player, but without the support (or the ability to create it) from the rest of the team, he'll go down as an 'almost great player'. On individual performance: not many can match him. On team performance: sorry mate... you lose (again).

  • 90.
  • At 11:32 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • julian wrote:

Thanks Brian, simply the best.

Records glore, style, class and grit the best of his generation. i hope the crowd give him the send off he deserves. His performances were nothing short of incredible, single handidly taking on one of the best attacks in test match history ( OZ in the tied series of 94 i think ) was the best display of batting I have ever seen. Two break one test match highest score was good, but to do it again when Hayden took it off him against some part timers shows the measure of the man. Fantastic! A pleasure to watch you.

  • 91.
  • At 11:49 AM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Mahesh S. Panicker wrote:

If Brian Lara, that Gifted greatest batsman of the modern era has been forced out of the team, and if it is similar situation to that of Sanath Jayasuriya, the WICB or who so ever in control of the game in the West Indies, has inflicted a huge lose on the cricket world!. in the present day WI team, there is noone half as good as this young man of 38, and the case of those who are to come in seems to be not much better. Lara had at least 2 years of test cricket left in him, and those who forced this upon him has deprived the cricketing community from enjoying it.

all these could have been alright if they could have come up with a decent batting sied at the test level. now they have Shiv, Sarwan, and may be Gayle at his not too often mad best. it was Lara's batting ability that helped them to survive at test cricket all these years.
without him, the cricket world will be much poorer, and I am sure that if the WI administraters wanted to open up some wonderful era without Lara, their dreams will just be shattered.

now if England can not win the coming series 3-0, that will be a huge huge surprise!!!.

  • 92.
  • At 12:07 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • J Whittock wrote:

Brian Lara - one of the all-time great batsmen. Consider his 400 NOT OUT and his 501 NOT OUT - one these days he hit batting perfection - no bowler in the world would have got him on those days. We live in era of great batsmen - Tendulkar, Ponting, Jayasuriya, Mohammed Youssef - but Lara is the greatest of our era. Good luck and farewell, BCL.

  • 93.
  • At 12:09 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • karuhanga.T.M wrote:

I've never watched a live ODI match nor a Test match in my life but have been an ardent fan of cricket.It will never be the same again without Lara.I owe him a lot of thanks for the wonderful entertainment and I wish him a happy retirement.Lara you have made your indelible legacy.Bye bye and good luck.

  • 94.
  • At 12:37 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • red_coat wrote:

I agree with several others, Lara is by far the great batsman of the era I've watched cricket. Ironically, I've only seen him make 12 runs in four innings in person, but the 153 in 1999 was surely the best innings of modern time test cricket, and I also recall a 145 against England at Old Trafford in 1995: under pressure and with the tail Lara continued to find boundary after boundary.

His ability to remain focussed long enough to score 375, 400 and 501 in his career show his great concentration, a career average over 50 proof of consistency, and anyone who witnessed him in full flow would pay testimony to the sheer style and flair of his batting.

I for one am sad not to get the chance to watch him walk out for one more innings in England. One of the two modern day legends of the game, along with Warne. Perhaps Ponting will finish with better statistics, but he won't evoke quite the same memories for me.

  • 95.
  • At 12:41 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • luke neave wrote:

I'm sure the England players will give him a fitting tribute. I'm glad he didn't wait until after the game.

  • 96.
  • At 12:42 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Rohan Kallicharran wrote:

They say that genius is flawed, and few men have been so true to a cliche. However, rather than dissect the issues that run deeper in West Indian cricket, now is a time to be grateful for having seen one of the very greatest that this game will see.

A measure of a man in the modern game is he who could empty the corporate entertainment area and focus everyone on the cricket. No other in the modern game did it as well, and has provided so much entertainment, winning matches single-handedly.

BC, thanks for the memories. You are the best of your generation, and your record is testament to that, and whilst I may have been in Antigua and at Edgbaston, that Tuesday afternoon on Bridgetown (1999 vs Australia) is a cherished memory always.

  • 97.
  • At 12:45 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Steve Cox wrote:

Brian Lara is, undoubtedly, a great cricketer. However, he has presided over a declining West national team, and a fall in the sport's popularity in that region.

His wonderful scores are tremedous feats of concentration and skill, but had more than one eye on his bulging bank balance.

We shall hear great testimonies from the cricketing fratenity, but will anyone be bold enough to put their head avove the parapit and suggest that the Lara era heralded a selfish, individual attitude that was more interested in money than cricket.

  • 98.
  • At 12:51 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • eastdriver wrote:

Cheers for the memories. Farewell to a true modern day cricketing legend! i'm sure "The Don" was a great a player as his stats and the people who saw him play will testify but for those from another generation Brian Charles Lara will always be OUR Don Bradman! one last request...please score a ton against Englandshire!

  • 99.
  • At 12:51 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Alastair wrote:

I am disappointed to hear that lara is retiring. I was hoping to see him play against us this summer.

Being English I have one wish for Lara's last match, that he plays at his best, that he scores a magnificent century and gives us one last great memory of a legend.

  • 100.
  • At 01:04 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Garvin wrote:

This is really sad to see Lara leave and I don't think it was done willingly but to alleviate the embarrassment when the WI selectors leave him out the team for the England tour. Lara was sadly singled out as the "fall guy" and this is due to the green monster "jealousy" by the likes of his critics, Holding & others. Lara said over a year ago that he wanted to stop playing "one day", but did it for WI, not himself. Look at the performance of many good teams during this WC who did not do well as WI - who did they blame? Coaches, Captains, poor training, etc. But for WI it was only 'Lara' to blame. Did Lara have the power to control WI cricket? -- No, there are many others -- Selectors, Former WI pros and the WICB. I praise Lara for doing his best from what he had to work with. When the team won games, he was praised, when they lost they blamed him. PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD -- WAKE UP!! THIS IS A GAME. ALL THE TEAMS CAN'T BE WINNERS!! NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR TEAM IS!!

BRIAN ENJOY YOUR RETIREMENT!! -- If the WICB do not use the talent you are offering them in retirement -- I am sure you can continue to play County Cricket (many offers will come!), we will continue to follow you. LARA -- YOU ARE THE GREATEST!!

  • 101.
  • At 01:07 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • milton goodridge wrote:

we will always love you THANKS FOR THE MOMENT GO WITH GOD

  • 102.
  • At 01:36 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Cricket lovers all around the world will miss Brian Lara. Nothing can eraze the lives he led, the difference he made, the joy he brought to the cricket lovers. His presense deeply missed. Good luck Brian.!!!

  • 103.
  • At 01:56 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Chris in Calif. wrote:

I follow cricket via the internet in California and can feel the fear of most teams when Lara is at the crease. I can also sense their relief when he is out. He put his heart into WI cricket. Many times he carried the load alone. He failed as captain, because his team has failed him. He cannot bat and bowl for others. WI lack good bowlers and consistent batsmen. Even Ponting from Aus. or Smith of S/Africa couldn't be successful with such a team. Some, like Sarwan, Chanderpaul , Bravo and Gayle have been consistant. Lara needed much more than these to be successful. The team that beat Bangladesh is a good one. It still needs time to develope. Given the support it needs, this team could move mountains.
Lara will be greatly missed. I don't feel any other team would have allowed him to retire. Most times, we do not recognize a good thing, until it is gone. Sad!

  • 104.
  • At 02:16 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Bossman wrote:

Does this mean the end of Brian Lara Cricket games on the Playstation? Surely this would be the biggest shame?

  • 105.
  • At 02:43 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Rhy wrote:

In response to Dave's comment posted earlier about the loss of Fletcher being far more important than the loss of Lara, as Lara capitalised on "the stench that was then English cricket", I would like to remind Dave that Lara's 400 was scored against England's Ashes heroes including "the Fab Four" of Harmison, Flintoff, Hoggard and Jones, is that the "stench that was then English cricket" Dave? Maybe you should think about what you write before posting such utter rubbish.

Also, yes Fletcher did win the Ashes with England, but how can you compare that to Lara's performances against Australia (ie. his 277 in Sydney, his 153 not out to beat Australia in their prime in whatis arguable the greatest Test innings ever played), not to mention the fact that he is the leading Test runscorer of all time, holds the highest Test and First Class scores and also described by Shane Warne (England's arch nemesis) as the best batsman he has ever bowled to.

I think Dave should think before he writes such utter nonsense again.

  • 106.
  • At 04:39 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

A.H.A Ali (Comment 2) says "I will like to know what contribution to West Indies & International Cricket persons such as Michael Holding,Joel Garner, Colin Croft,Tony Cozier and the other niggardly grudging critics of Brian Lara made to be in a position to even speak of Cricket & Brian's perfromance."

I take it as you said you have supported the WI since the age of 10 you can be no older than 15 now because the 4 names you have mentioned are legends and I think you will find they were critical of his captaincy, which by any standards was not overly successful. The reasons for this is debateable but these guys know a thing or two about cricket in WI so when they talk about it I suggest you take notice.

  • 107.
  • At 05:13 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • twoomph wrote:

I live in the U.S. and the TMS has been a source to keep me updated, but this weekend is special since I am going to my cousin's house to watch the game....being an England fan I don't know whom to support tomorrow but I feel lucky that I will get a chance to watch Lara's last game......

  • 108.
  • At 05:17 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

The best of all time!
Surely this should go to the player who yoyu'd put your house on the line to see your team through, a player who has the will to win and control over any bowler in any condition. Has this player been born yet? if not here are a few players i'd put my house on the line to see the team through to victory against any opposition in any era:

Don Bradman
J Miandad
Viv Richards
Brian Lara
Allan Border
Mohammed Yousuf
Steve Waugh
Sunil Gavaskar
Geoff Boycott
Imran Khan

  • 109.
  • At 06:36 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • stuce wrote:

So why is there no "Lara's Career in pictures" feature on the BBC website. If they can do Fletcher's highlights and Shane Warne's and ever other cricketer, why not do one for one of the greatest batsmen that's ever played the game?

stu

  • 110.
  • At 07:15 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • daveWIforever wrote:

Its great to see all these positive posts about Sir Brian Charles Lara and I do hope he reads it sometime and know how much he meant to us all. The current situation of WI cricket is due to an elitist board which functions like its still mired in colonial times,but I remain optimistic and hope WI cricket can move foward.

I can never that forget being in barbados and watching that 153 which wisden rates as the second greatest test innings played. I want to wish Sir Brian all the best with whatever he does in the future and say a big thank you for the numerous entertainment he provided.

Long live Sir Brian Charles Lara -the greatest batsman ever to play the game!

Lara is the greatest.We will miss him.It is a pity that insularity and petty jealousy have hastened his departure. He had a few more years of cricket in him. Well Holding,Croft and Cozier (what has he done for West Indian Cricket? ) you must be smiling. Let us wait and see if West Indian cricket will revive with Lara's exit.
Loyal Fan

  • 112.
  • At 09:54 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Jerry Mitchell wrote:

Thank God.....its about time

  • 113.
  • At 10:27 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • Mohammed wrote:

Any bowler who looked Lara in the eye was frightened because they knew he would be a type of guy who would terrorise you and score 4's and 6's

So to see a batsman of his calibre leave the international stage is a shame because he would show the world how to bat even when he is not on form.

The 400 no against England will be unbeatable for many years and especially when a great batsman like him has done it then that will be remembered forever

Thank you Brian for everything you've done to the cricket world and its a shame to lose you

yeah chiris, we in the windies know about insularity and jealousy among former legends who are supposed to know about cricket. Holding in particular was busy badmouthing Lara even when he was scoring 375 against England in 1994. His theme has been consistent and whatever Croft says is usually taken with a pinch of salt in the Windies...who could be more selfish than him who left Windies cricket for the lure of Apartheid dollars or Cozier who was once a respected journalist but who now sadly is a shadow of himself and given to writing gossip in the Trinidad Express. These great men know a thing or two about cricket that's why they've done nothing to help. Wasn't Holding appointed to help Lawson with his action? Is lawson still playing? Indeed. Dey jus jealous of d blasted Prince of Port of spain.

  • 115.
  • At 05:02 PM on 21 Apr 2007,
  • Asha Pugh wrote:

It really is such a shame that Brian Lara's career has ended on low note. I trust that his many detractors will now be able to find a new whipping boy for West Indies cricket. It would have been fitting if they(the detractors/commentators) would refrain from attacking and or praising him today. We all know the praise lacks credibility. And the attacks ...well no point now is there?

  • 116.
  • At 08:20 AM on 22 Apr 2007,
  • tpe,india wrote:

Is there any doubt who is the best batsmen ever? all the above mails simply answers the question . Brian, you brought real entertainment to cricket fans all round the world. It is sad i will miss you. you are a legend.
I am an indian but for cricket i am west indian only because of you . I will continue to support west indies throughout my life. Thank you for our memories.

  • 117.
  • At 08:13 PM on 23 Apr 2007,
  • Earl wrote:

W.I cricket is losing its appeal with the younger generation, the excitement of cricket is no longer felt and the youth of today are focusing more on sports like basketball. We need to rejuvenate cricket from the bottom up. We need to instill discipline in all aspects of the game, make it more available to the masses where the gems will rise to the top. Another area to focus on is setting sports physiologists to work with each member of the top teams, this is something that is common place in North American and it works. More importantly we need to have people in place that understand success and how to develop an effective plan to with executables to get us there, not has-bins who may have been good at cricket but poor at leadership running the top office. We need an effective leader with a vision to get us back on track. We do not know how to work together anymore!

THere is so much more I can ad but this is not the place...

  • 118.
  • At 08:39 PM on 23 Apr 2007,
  • Sunny wrote:

We all hail lara one of the greatest crickets of all time, a massive 400* not out, he will always be remembered as the greatest test player of all time. Thank you for everything, and good luck in the future where ever your future lies, we wil all miss you

='(

  • 119.
  • At 11:36 PM on 03 May 2007,
  • sandra roberts wrote:

I COULDNT BELIEVE BRIAN LARA WAS RETIRING, HE WAS MY FAVOURITE BATSMAN OF ALL TIME. I CRIED WHEN I SAW HIM BEING RUN OUT ON TV AND KNOW THAT WAS THE LAST TIME I WOULD PROBABLY SEE HIM PLAY. I ABSOLUTLY LOVE WATCHING HIM PLAY. I WAS REALLY HOPING THAT HE WOULD CONTINUE TO PLAY TEST OR EVEN GIVE US THE OPPURTUNITY TO SEE HIM PLAY HIS LAST TEST IN ENGLAND.
WE LOVE U LARA.

FROM A MASSIVE OF US THAT LOVES WATCHING U. CRICKET WILL NEVER NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. BYE

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