Lara bids Adieu!
Posted by Dresonic on April 21, 2007
Capacity crowd set for master batsman’s departure
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Strangely enough, organisers are expecting a full house for the last World Cup Super Eight match between West Indies and England today at Kensington Oval which has absolutely no significance in the outcome of the competition.
|West Indies captain Brian Lara raises his bat while leaving the nets during a training session at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, yesterday. (Photo: AP)|
The lines outside ticket centres in the Barbados capital were lengthy, and a match that promised very little since both teams have failed to reach the semi-finals will provide the backdrop for a grand farewell for two loyal servants of the game.
The retirement from international cricket of West Indies captain Brian Lara and influential England coach Duncan Fletcher will take centre stage when the two teams meet.
West Indies coach Bennett King spoke glowingly about Lara’s contribution to the game.
He labelled the batting superstar as “a genius”, and said he will be sorely missed from the international arena.
“He’s a genius,” King said. He’s a person who can hit balls in virtually any area of the field off the same sort of ball.
“He could do things that other people couldn’t. He was very resilient. He always stayed on the field, hardly ever comes off. He was a tough cricketer. His mental fortitude was amongst the best I’ve seen.”
King felt that Lara sometimes could be a little different to what people think with his tactics.
“With the side that we’ve got and the skills we’ve got, we have to try different things,” King said.
“Generally, it’s very hard for us to take some wickets or create opportunities to win. He was prepared to take the risk, and I always encouraged him to take a risk.
“We’re losing a wonderful cricketer, a cricketer who brought people through the turnstiles. We don’t want to create robots and certainly he was one of a kind.”
King described his relationship with Lara as “good”, despite they did not always see eye-to-eye.
“As coach, sometimes you have to speak firmly, and as captain, he speaks firmly back,” he said.
“Generally speaking, we had a good relationship. I’d certainly invite him to dinner, and I’d hope he’d invite me.
“He is something to see. He hasn’t got a Test average of 52 for nothing. He’s done it in adverse situations, most of the times when our backs are to the wall. He’s come out fighting. It’s just a wonderful trait he’s got.”
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