Former West Indies captain Brian Lara signed a contract with a local New South Wales pub cricket team after being offered to play for them during his visit to Hunter Valley in Sydney.
The 47-year old, who last played for his country in 2007, signed on the contract before asking, “What time do we play tomorrow?”
As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, the players found him to be “really approachable”, even as they met him at a hotel bar and thought of it to be the perfect opportunity to rope in one of the biggest names in the game.
After he had provided his signature on the dotted line, the papers were submitted to the Newcastle C&S Association with a picture of Lara, along with an email that read “this is not hoax”.
Joking about Lara’s association with the club, Centurions player Darren Wilton quipped that the left-hander will find it difficult to fit in the playing XI, “given our team’s recent good form”.
After sportingly agreeing to sign the contract as soon as it was offered, Lara posed with the team players, each of whom was delighted to rub shoulders with the former world record holder for the most runs in Tests.
Lara was in town for a number of public events, and was present at the Albion Hotel in Wickham when the players approached him. The signing form was printed at the bar itself by the Centurions players, and was readily signed by Lara, much to the happiness of his new teammates.
The Trinidadian, who boasts of an impressive batting resume, scored 11,953 runs in 131 Tests and 10405 runs in 299 one-day internationals, holding the record for the highest individual score in a Test match, having scored an unbeaten 400 against England in 2004.
He was last seen playing for the Leo Lions in the Masters Champions League early this year. Prior to that, he played for Sachin Tendulkar’s side in the All Stars tournament that was held in the US last year.
Although Lara’s association with his newest team was just a sporting gesture from the West Indian superstar in response to the players’ request, it would have been worth watching the left-hander back in action. His unusual stance and silken strokeplay is still in the hearts of cricket fans of the 90s.