Brian Charles Lara, a wizard waving his bat on the pitch like a wand, a relentless force of nature and one of the greatest batsmen the modern era has seen.
Lara’s style would mesmerize not only common spectators but professional cricket players also. Breaking records and appetite for a humongous score was Lara’s bread and butter.
The 10th child of 11 siblings, Lara was taught cricket at the Harvard Coaching Clinic from the age of six. He used to play for Trinidad's junior footballand table tennis side, but cricket was his true love.
At just the age of 14, Brian made 745 runs at 126.6, which got him selected for the Trinidad’s Under-16 team. A year later, he was in Indies Under-19 side.
In the year 1990, Lara was the youngest captain of Trinidad and Tobago. He lead them to victory in the Geddes Grant Shield.
Lara made his test debut, scoring 44 and 6 against Pakistan. He had already made his ODI debut scoring 11 against Pakistan a month earlier.
Rise To Glory
Lara showed his class in January 1993 by scoring 277 against Australia in Sydney. His century was a turning point of the series and West Indies went on to win it 2-1.
Brian holds several records of three digit runs. Scoring 501 not out for Warwickshire in first class cricket and 375 not out for Indies in a test match against England.
Lara is the only player to register 400 in test cricket. He has scored nine double test centuries, which is the third highest after Donald Bradman’s 12 and Kumar Sangakkara’s 11.
Lara was appointed as captain of the West Indies team in 1998. However, he was sacked the same year due to player revolts over pay delays, and was made the captain again in 1999 against Australia.
He scored three hundreds in three consecutive matches of the series and received Man of the Series award. The test series ended in a 2–2 draw.
In the year 2000, Brian resigned as captain of the Indies side deciding to take a break from cricket for four months. He was re-appointed captaincy in 2003. In September 2004, Indies won ICC Champions Trophy under his captaincy.
In March 2005, Lara declined being selected for the West Indian side because of a dispute over sponsorship deal, but returned to the side scoring an emphatic 196. However, he lost his captaincy again to Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
On April 26th 2006 Lara was re-appointed captain for the third time which followed the resignation of Chanderpaul who was captaining the side for thirteen months.
Low points and high points in career
Highs and lows are part of a player’s career, and thee West Indies legend was not immune to it. Brian was overweight and had hamstring issues. Occasional hundreds were all that he scored.
After a gap of 4 months , he was back in action in 2001-02 against Sri Lanka when scored 221 and 130 in one test and 688 runs in the series, a record 42% of the West Indies output.
Same year, Lara was named Man of Carlton Series in Australia with an average of 46.50, the highest by an West Indian player in that series.
On 21st April 2007, Lara played his final international World Cup game against England. He could score just 18 runs and was run out after a miscommunication with Marlon Samuels.