Brian Lara will be remembered forever as one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era, bracketed alongside Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Jacques Kallis ‘s elite business.
Armed with a high backlift, Lara was equally efficient against spin and pace, generating that typical Caribbean flourish. Lara initially excelled in junior soccer and table tennis, but his greatest passion was cricket. As a 15-year-old lad at Fatima College in Port of Spain, in a single season of inter-school competition, Lara accumulated as many as seven three-figure scores. There was no look back as Lara was named captain of T&T at the age of 20, and thus claimed the distinction of being the youngest ever to lead Trinidad and Tobago.
Lara was granted his Test debut the same year against Pakistan in Lahore in the absence of Viv Richards, making it 44 and 6. Lara soon identified himself as the principal man of the West Indies. While the rest of the team was in doldrums during World Cup 1992, Lara opened the batting and rattled at a breezy pace of 333. Lara was great at making, and he was a titan of all time.
It was not Lara ‘s fault since he lacked sufficient support. Under his rule, West Indies suffered from the ignominy of their first whitewash at South Africa’s hands until they lost to England in the Caribbean. Lara assumed the position of an army of one man. It was a shame that Lara’s glorious career coincided with the hurtling to an abyss of the West Indies.
Ever the warrior, Lara inspired his troops to win the 2004 ICC champions trophy title in Old Blighty, which remains his captaincy ‘s highlight. After the World Cup 2007, Lara hung up his perfectly worn international boots, where West Indies hosts advanced into the Super Eight series. Speculations that his run-ins with authority had swelled to a crescendo at the time of Lara ‘s departure were rife, but his outstanding contribution to the sport can not be undermined. Lara plunged into the T20s after retirement, signed up for the now-disbanded Indian Cricket League, and acted as Mumbai Champs’ skipper.
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