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    April 26, 2006

    Brian Lara is captain

    The West Indies Cricket Board announced that Brian Lara was the new West Indies captain. Given that the release makes no explicit mention of his tenure, it is perhaps to be understood that he will be captain till the 2007 World Cup at least.

    The captain's slot has been lying vacant for a couple of weeks now, ever since Chanderpaul resigned. The captain was to have been announced a week ago, but the fracas over contracts delayed the proceedings.

    Ryan, from the Caribbean Cricket blog, has the 'live' coverage of the press conference where Lara's appointment and the squad against Zimbabwe were announced.

    Lara has already captained West Indies in two stints earlier, 1997 to 2000 and 2002 to 2004. While his batting stats improved, particularly in tests, the same didn't quite apply to the West Indies test and one-day teams, despite a famous win in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy in England.

    I think this is a retrograde step for West Indies cricket. It isn't as though they have no time till the 2007 World Cup. There is still a year to go. If stadiums can be built in that time even though there's absolutely no confidence in the authorities' statements, surely a new captain can take control of the team, given the right support from his team, the coaching & support staff and more importantly, the WICB management. This was the best opportunity to give Ramnaresh Sarwan a go, given that he'd been groomed for a long time as vice-captain. Then again, perhaps non-chuckers shouldn't be made captains!

    If Sarwan was unwilling, I'd have given the job to another Trinidadian, Dwayne Bravo. From what I've seen, he is a real talent and is one of the few chaps whose place in the side is guaranteed purely because of his performances. It'd have been a daring punt, but they have come off quite well in the past - MAK Pataudi, Stephen Fleming, Graeme Smith and Tatenda Taibu come to mind. But there is also the obvious counter-example of Sachin Tendulkar. Right now, West Indies need to invest in the youth. Brian Lara is a great batsman and certainly a master tactician, a captain needs to have that something extra to motivate his players. Perhaps it is discipline or perhaps it is empathizing with players with lesser abilities. Lara certainly lacks those qualities, in my opinion.

    Let's put it this way. If Brian Lara were my captain, I'd not run through a brick wall. I'd do it if Steve Waugh or Rahul Dravid was my captain. Then again, if Waugh or Dravid captained me in any form of cricket, I'd be pinching myself!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:50 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    I am perhaps one of the few people who feels that this is a good decision. I blogged on it and linked to this post as well.

    Do check it out here: http://www.sportolysis.com/2006/04/27/on-lara-and-captaincy/

    By Anonymous Pratyush (28-Apr-2006, 12:53:00 AM)  

    Fair call, Pratyush. But given that there's absolutely no guarantee that WI will do well when Lara is captain [I pointed out their abysmal test and one-day records], it is tough to see how he can change things around. Like I said, Lara is a very good strategist. He obviously did get his captaincy right especially when India collapsed for 81 chasing 120 at Barbados in 1996/7 (his first test as captain after Walsh pulled out). But I can't see him integrating the team.

    By Blogger Jagadish (28-Apr-2006, 1:21:00 AM)  


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