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    November 27, 2005

    In celebration of Brian Lara

    Brian Lara is perhaps only rivalled by Warne and to some extent, Ganguly for the number of twists and turns his cricketing career has gone through.

    He has been dropped due to sponsor clashes, one of the top batsman in the world for a decade now, set many records, scored 400 in a test innings, criticized for his role in the Cable & Wireless fiasco and extensively analyzed by his peers and writers/commentators.

    The verdict however still remains. He is a genius. Yesterday, he reached yet another pinnacle when he went past Allan Border to become the record holder for the most runs by a batsman in tests. In fact, he scored a double century on the first day. I think the last person to do that was Virender Sehwag at Multan last year.

    The first time I heard his name was in a report in 'The Hindu' during India's tour to West Indies in 1989. He had thrashed the bowlers around to make 182 in a tour game. But he disappeared after that, without enough opportunities in a side where the senior players, such as Greenidge, Richards, Haynes etc. were still going strong. I watched him for the first time in the 1992 World Cup against Pakistan where he blasted the bowling all around the ground before he retired hurt thanks to an absolutely unplayable toe-crusher from Wasim Akram, who was the only bowler to escape Lara's theme. Of course, after that he has never been anonymous.

    Here is a collection of tributes to the master. I will keep updating this list as and when I find new columns. You're encouraged to leave comments here pointing to other columns so that I don't have to do all the hunting :)
  • Simon Hughes
  • Vanessa Baksh
  • Peter Roebuck
  • Michael Atherton
  • Martin Gough
  • Andrew Ramsey
  • Tony Cozier
  • Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:40 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    Yes Lara is a genius. Some may call him a flawed genius. I disagree. Like all creative people, a batting artiste like Lara is also entitled tohis own eccentricities. But, he has come out of them time and again to showcase his class, which I suspect has left behind a certain little master in its wake.

    By Blogger Srini at the Movies (28-Nov-2005, 2:59:00 PM)  

    Yeah, but is perhaps fair to say that he has been responsible for the general downward trend in West Indies cricket. He has backed out of tours, had protracted payment related disputes, created coteries to fight the board etc. Ultimately the sponsors will only shell out more money if the team wins. West Indies is not, by any stretch of imagination.

    They could have got Australia all out for around 300 at Adelaide, instead Australia got a first innings lead and WI collapsed in the second knock and now Australia will win easily, a result that might have been different.

    By Blogger Jagadish (28-Nov-2005, 3:32:00 PM)  

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