"I often have to explain to people he didn't score all of the 375 off me," Chris Lewis quips as he reflects with mixed emotions on Brian Lara's astonishing record knock in Antigua.

It is 25 years to the day since Lara whipped an expectant Antigua crowd into a frenzy by hooking Lewis to the boundary to eclipse fellow West Indies legend Garry Sobers' long-standing highest Test score of 365 not out.

A quarter of a century on, that historic moment is still fresh in the memory of former England all-rounder Lewis.

"Oh no," Lewis replies when asked if he would mind sharing his recollection of an incredible tour de force from one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

That must have been what the England bowlers were thinking when captain Michael Atherton asked them to warm up as Lara majestically piled on the runs.

The Windies had been reduced to 12-2 on day one of the final match of the series, but Lara spent 12 hours and 46 minutes at the crease to surpass a record set by Sobers back in 1958.

Lewis had tried everything to remove the elegant left hander, whose foot dislodged a bail - which fell back into the groove - as he swung around after hitting one of 45 fours to make history.

He told Omnisport: "People identify me with running in to bowl that ball to Brian, so I often have to explain to people he didn't score all of the 375 off me!

"But I remember running in to bowl the ball and really just thinking, 'I've tried everything else, so I'll have a go at getting [the ball] as high as I can', and there were two men back, so see what happens.

"I bowled the ball, he whacked it for four and it was chaotic, with the game stopped halfway through, people came onto the field - including Garry Sobers - and we're just spectators taking it in, not quite believing what's going on.

"While that was happening, Jack [Russell, England wicketkeeper] came up to me and said, 'Do you know he stepped on his stumps when he hooked it?' I had no idea.

"Here we are 25 years later and certainly I didn't want Brian to break the record, certainly not off my bowling and certainly not against our team. I wouldn't say I was happy to be a part of it but I'm happy for Brian. He was the best batter I ever played against, one of the most exciting cricketers I've ever seen and he deserves it."

Lewis added: "It was really surreal. I remember Brian getting his hundred and I remember thinking, he's got his hundred so sooner or later - hopefully sooner - he'll probably chip one to cover or point or something like that, because it often happens - batsmen give it away after getting to the century.

"But he kept going and after day one nobody was thinking of the world record, then during the second day there almost seemed to be a build-up and an inevitably about it."

While Lewis is now happy to doff his cap to Lara - who went on to make an unbeaten 400 on the same ground against the same opponents to reclaim the Test record 10 years later - for his herculean knock, it was too painful to appreciate at the time.

"I must admit it took me a while to be admiring it, because it's a bit like being in the midst of a boxing fight and someone has given you a great right hook and you stand back and admire," the 51-year-old said. 

"It's very much later when there is not so much aggression going on or in some cases even after your career when you can look back. I didn't want to admire batters too much, it was a competition, but 25 years later Brian Lara coming into bat... if I wasn't bowling it would be a very enjoyable day!"

 

- Lewis is currently on tour for The Long Walk Back, a theatre production based on his fall from grace. 

Brian Lara made 375 to break the record for most runs in a Test innings 25 years ago - and his unbeaten 400 a decade on remains the highest score today. 

Wallabies and Waratahs back Israel Folau is contesting the breach notice issued to him by Rugby Australia (RA), requesting a code of conduct hearing.

Folau was issued a breach notice by RA on Monday after the devout Christian sparked outrage with his online activity last week, delivering another anti-homosexual post.

Facing the sack, the 30-year-old has requested a hearing, with RA to make arrangements with the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) on the matter.

"Israel has responded formally today to request a code of conduct hearing which, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected outcome," RA chief executive Raelene Castle said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We will now work to confirm a date for the hearing as soon as possible.

"After the date for the hearing is confirmed Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union will make no further comment on the matter until the code of conduct process has concluded."

On Monday, Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika all but ruled out Folau's chances of featuring at the Rugby World Cup.

England international Billy Vunipola has been given a formal warning by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) after he showed support to Israel Folau following his latest controversial social media posts.

Folau sparked outrage last week with his views on homosexuality and gender, stating in a message on Instagram that "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters, as well as: "REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES".

The Waratahs and Wallabies star is set to be sacked by Rugby Australia, but Vunipola also came in for criticism having 'liked' Folau's post, the Saracens number eight later posting on Instagram that his beliefs had been insulted but he did not "hate" anyone.

Saracens released a statement condemning Vunipola's "serious error of judgement" and he was called to a meeting with the RFU to discuss the issue, with the governing body announcing on Tuesday the player had received a formal warning and been reminded of his responsibilities.

In a statement, the RFU said: "Following a meeting between the RFU and Billy Vunipola, the Saracens forward has been issued with a formal warning under RFU rule 5.12 for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game.

"The warning will be retained on his disciplinary record for a period of five years and may be taken into account in future disciplinary proceedings.

"During the meeting the player expressed genuine regret at his public comments and understood that he had caused hurt and offence as a result of his actions.

"He has been reminded of his responsibilities as an England player and as an ambassador for the game, which values inclusivity and respect."

Saracens have formally warned Billy Vunipola over his future conduct after the England international offered a defence of Israel Folau's controversial social media posts.

Last week, Folau sparked outrage with his opinions on homosexuality and gender, posting a message on Instagram that said "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters, as well as: "REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES".

Having avoided punishment last year for sharing similar sentiments, Folau on Monday was hit with a breach notice by Rugby Australia, who confirmed the full-back has 48 hours to request a hearing or face the sack.

Vunipola 'liked' Folau's post before later offering an explanation for his actions, claiming his beliefs had been insulted. On Monday, Saracens released a statement condemning the number eight's "serious error of judgement".

"Senior representatives of the club yesterday held lengthy discussions with Billy Vunipola regarding his recent social media activity," the statement read.

"At Saracens, we are one family, open to all with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility. We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy's intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence.

"However, he made a serious error of judgement in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations. The player has been formally warned about his future conduct."

Sarries simultaneously released a statement from Vunipola, who took the opportunity to once again explain his support of Folau's post.

"I can see that my recent post has hurt people," Vunipola said. "My intention was never to cause suffering. My intention was to express my belief in the word of God.

"These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life. This is deeply personal and does not represent the views of my team. 

"Anyone who knows me, knows I live with kindness and love towards ALL people.

"I have faith. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life. God has given and continues to give me many reasons in life to be grateful."

Saracens have formally warned Billy Vunipola over his future conduct after the England international offered a defence of Israel Folau's controversial social media posts.

Last week, Folau sparked outrage with his opinions on homosexuality and gender, posting a message on Instagram that said "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters, as well as: "REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES".

Having avoided punishment last year for sharing similar sentiments, Folau on Monday was hit with a breach notice by Rugby Australia, who confirmed the full-back has 48 hours to request a hearing or face the sack.

Vunipola 'liked' Folau's post before later offering an explanation for his actions, claiming his beliefs had been insulted. On Monday, Saracens released a statement condemning the number eight's "serious error of judgement".

"Senior representatives of the club yesterday held lengthy discussions with Billy Vunipola regarding his recent social media activity," the statement read.

"At Saracens, we are one family, open to all with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility. We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy's intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence.

"However, he made a serious error of judgement in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations. The player has been formally warned about his future conduct."

Sarries simultaneously released a statement from Vunipola, who took the opportunity to once again explain his support of Folau's post.

"I can see that my recent post has hurt people," Vunipola said. "My intention was never to cause suffering. My intention was to express my belief in the word of God.

"These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life. This is deeply personal and does not represent the views of my team. 

"Anyone who knows me, knows I live with kindness and love towards ALL people.

"I have faith. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life. God has given and continues to give me many reasons in life to be grateful."

Israel Folau has 48 hours to request a hearing or be sacked by Rugby Australia (RA) over his controversial social media posts, while Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika dismissed the full-back's Rugby World Cup hopes.

RA on Monday issued Folau with a breach notice after the devout Christian sparked outrage with his online activity last week, delivering another anti-homosexual post.

Folau – who avoided punishment last year after stating homosexuals should go to "hell" unless they "repent their sins and turn to God" – also caused a stir with his stance on the Tasmanian Parliament passing a legislation to make gender optional on birth certificates and allow people 16 years and older to legally change gender without parental consent.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle said the 30-year-old has been charged with a "high-level" code of conduct breach and can either accept the finding and the consequent termination of his contract or ask for a hearing.

Earlier in the day, Cheika all but ruled out Folau's chances of representing Australia at the World Cup in Japan, starting in September.

"As it stands right now … you wouldn't be able to," Cheika told reporters when asked whether he would be able to select Folau, who has also been stood down by Super Rugby team the Waratahs.

Cheika added: "No I didn't [think the issue would return] to be honest. We had discussion after the last time and made it pretty clear about his right to believe and our support in that — if that's what he wants — to be part of the team.

"But getting out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what our team is about. When you play in the gold jersey we represent everyone in Australia, everyone.

"Everyone that is out there supporting us, we don't pick and choose.

"We want everyone on that wagon with us to the World Cup for example, or in a Bledisloe Cup, we want everyone there fighting with us and standing with us.

"Because often those games are difficult and we need everyone with us and that's what you do, you represent everyone when you get that opportunity to put that jersey on.

"Whether it's a player playing in that number somewhere in a grade, somewhere around Australia, or the people who could never play there, who didn't have the ability or the chance.

"People who just love the game, that volunteer for the game at all levels, club-level participation, at junior grades, all of that stuff.

"I know that sounds a little bit romantic in itself but it's the truth of the matter. I know from having never played for Australia, so I look up to the guys that play for Australia with that same eye to say, 'You represent me every time you go out there.'"

Australia international Israel Folau remains unrepentant about his controversial social media posts and is willing to stop playing rugby if that is "God's will".

The devout Christian sparked outrage this week with an anti-homosexual post and caused a stir with his stance on the Tasmanian Parliament passing a legislation to make gender optional on birth certificates and allow people 16 years and older to legally change gender without parental contest.

Folau posted a message on Instagram that stated "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters, along with "REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES".

Last year, the Waratahs full-back avoided punishment for a similar statement in which he said homosexuals should go to "hell" unless they "repent their sins and turn to God".

But Rugby Australia responded to his latest posts by stating their intention to terminate his contract and he has been stood down by the Waratahs until further notice.

Breaking his silence to the Sydney Morning Herald, Folau insists he would have no qualms about quitting the sport.

"Absolutely [I'd walk away]," Folau said. "First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think.

"If that's not to continue on playing, so be it. In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I'll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first."

Folau was guarded on whether he would pursue a legal case for religious discrimination against Rugby Australia if his contract is torn up.

"It's obviously a decision that's in the process right now but I believe in a God that's in control of all things," Folau added.

"Whatever His will is, whether that's to continue playing or not, I'm more than happy to do what He wants me to do."

While Folau's comments have been widely condemned, he insists he does regret his stance.

"I'll stand on what the Bible says. I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people's reactions are the total opposite to how I'm sharing it," he continued.

"But in Ezekiel, chapter 33, verse 11, it says that 'God has no pleasure in the person that's living in sin'. He's a loving God and he wants people to turn away from what they're living in and he'll give them life.

"That's the message that I'm trying to share, even though it comes across as harsh. I can't change what the word of God says."

Haseeb Hameed made his first County Championship century since 2016 to boost his hopes of earning an England recall for this year's Ashes.

The batsman was horribly out of form last season, averaging 9.7 as Lancashire suffered relegation in first-class cricket, but followed up a recent double century against Loughborough MCCU by passing three figures against Middlesex in his county's first Division Two fixture of 2019.

Hameed, who made his England debut in India in November 2016 aged 19 but suffered a finger injury in his third Test appearance, reached the milestone with a pulled six off paceman Toby Roland-Jones.

But the 22-year-old was dismissed for 117, caught and bowled by Dawid Malan after leading Lancashire towards a first-innings lead at Lord's.

Keaton Jennings, another England opener aiming to earn an Ashes chance this year, made 52 in a 123-run partnership with Hameed for the first wicket.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is seeking a meeting with Billy Vunipola after his defence of Israel Folau's latest controversial social media posts.

Folau is set to be sacked by Rugby Australia after the Wallabies and Waratahs star sparked outrage with his opinions on homosexuality and gender this week.

The full-back, who escaped punishment for similar statements last year, was widely criticised but had support from England international Vunipola on Friday.

Vunipola took to his own Instagram account to explain why he had 'liked' Folau's post, claiming his beliefs had been insulted but that he did not "hate" anyone.

He said: "Man was made for woman to procreate - that was the goal, no?"

The RFU stated the body does not agree with Vunipola's comments, with the issue to be discussed with the player.

"Rugby is an inclusive sport, and we do not support these views," a spokesperson said. "We will be meeting with Billy to discuss his social media posts."

Vunipola's club side Saracens also released a statement, promising to take the matter "very seriously".

"Saracens proudly embraces diversity and warmly welcomes everyone to the club regardless of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation," it read.

"Our sport is open to all and we strive for it to be free from all forms of discrimination.

"We recognise that people have different belief systems and we expect everyone to be treated equally with respect and humility.

"As representatives and role models, Saracens players have a responsibility not only to themselves but to the club and wider society.

"Billy Vunipola's recent social media posts are inconsistent with this and we take this matter very seriously. It will be handled internally."

England international Billy Vunipola has offered a defence of Israel Folau's latest controversial social media posts.

Rugby Australia announced plans to sack Folau after the Wallabies and Waratahs full-back sparked outrage with his opinions on homosexuality and gender this week.

Folau posted a message on Instagram that said "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters along with "REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES". He had avoided punishment last year after stating homosexuals should go to "hell" unless they "repent their sins and turn to God".

The dual-code international also caused a stir with his stance on the passing of legislation in Tasmania that makes gender optional on birth certificates and allows people 16 years and older to legally change gender without parental approval.

Vunipola took to his own Instagram account on Friday to explain why he had 'liked' Folau's post, claiming his beliefs had been insulted but that he did not "hate" anyone.

"So this morning I got 3 phone calls from people telling me to 'unlike' the Izzy Folau post," Vunipola wrote alongside a picture of a Bible passage.

"This is my position on it. I don't HATE anyone, neither do I think I'm perfect. There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough.

"What he's saying isn't that he doesn't like or love those people. He's saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be. Man was made for woman to procreate - that was the goal, no?

"I'm not perfect, I'm at least everything on that list at least at one point in my life. It hurts to know that.

"But that's why I believe there's a God. To guide and protect us and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

According to reports in Australia, Folau has been stood down by the Waratahs until further notice. 

Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have met with Israel Folau following his latest controversial social media posts.

The Australia and Waratahs full-back sparked outrage with his opinions on homosexuality and gender earlier this week. He had avoided punishment for similar statements last year.

Rugby Australia responded with a statement, revealing that it had not been able to contact Folau about the "unacceptable" comments.

The union added that it planned to sack the player "in the absence of compelling mitigating factors".

A meeting with Folau followed on Friday and the NSW Rugby Union stated that the discussion would be relayed to board members to "consider next steps" but its position "is unchanged".

"Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union have met with Israel Folau in Sydney today," a statement read.

"As the meeting was held in confidence between the player and his employers, Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union will not comment on the discussions at the meeting.

"Following today's meeting, the two organisations will update their respective boards on the matter to consider next steps. Our joint position regarding Israel Folau is unchanged."

Folau posted a message on Instagram that stated "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters along with "REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES".

He added: "Those that are living in sin will end up in hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him."

Folau also caused a stir with his stance on the passing of legislation in Tasmania that makes gender optional on birth certificates and allows people 16 years and older to legally change gender without parental contest.

He tweeted: "The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free."

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced Floyd Reifer will take over as interim head coach from Richard Pybus as part of a shake-up announced by new president Ricky Skerritt.

Pybus was placed in temporary charge earlier this year and oversaw a famous home Test-series victory over England.

However, Skerritt confirmed on Thursday that Reifer will resume a role he undertook during the Windies' tour of Bangladesh last year.

It was also announced that Robert Haynes will replace Courtney Browne as interim head of selectors.

"In the midst of change, we have no doubt that our West Indian players, led expertly by Jason Holder, will be well prepared going to the World Cup," Skerritt said via a statement on CWI's official website.

"What we are now enforcing ahead of the upcoming World Cup is a new approach to strategic thinking while reviving authentic West Indian team spirit. 

"Former West Indies captain and award-winning coach, Floyd Reifer, has therefore been chosen as the interim head coach of the men's senior team because he has lived the same principles West Indian excellence that we now insist must prevail in our cricket.

"Up to the end of 2018 Floyd Reifer had been identified as the outstanding emerging local coach. He displayed this by leading the West Indies A team successfully, including victories against the England Lions, and ended the past year by coaching the senior men's team to a T20 series win in Bangladesh. 

"I have no doubt that coach Reifer is the right man at the right time."

On Haynes' appointment, he added: "[Haynes] is the most experienced and best suited for this responsibility at this time. 

"We are confident that in Mr Haynes we have found an interim chairman who shares the philosophy of inclusiveness and therefore believes in our new selection policy. 

"Because of his impressive track record of good relations with players and past players, we have no doubt that Mr Haynes will engage with players everywhere, strictly in the interest of what is best for West Indian cricket."

England scrum-half Dan Robson will miss three months as he recovers from deep vein thrombosis, his club side Wasps have confirmed.

Robson pulled out of England's final Six Nations match against Scotland last month and has not featured for the Premiership side since.

A Wasps statement confirmed Robson will play no further part in 2018-19 but he should return to training in July – two months before England's Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan.

"Dan Robson unfortunately developed a deep vein thrombosis," Wasps' statement read. 

"He is undergoing treatment which is expected to conclude following three months. 

"This means he will not be available for selection for Wasps for the remainder of the season, however it should enable him to be available for selection for the World Cup preparations."

England coach Eddie Jones will hope both Robson and first-choice number nine Ben Youngs, who will miss the rest of Leicester Tigers' season with a shoulder injury, can quickly regain fitness ahead of the World Cup.

Rugby Australia intends to terminate Israel Folau's contract following his latest controversial social media posts.

The Australia and Waratahs full-back sparked further outrage with his opinions on homosexuality and gender on Wednesday.

Folau avoided punishment last year after stating homosexuals should go to "hell" unless they "repent their sins and turn to God".

Rugby Australia described devout Christian Folau's latest posts as "unacceptable" and revealed on Thursday it plans to sack the 30-year-old but has not been able to contact him.

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