Following his epic unbeaten maiden Test century in Grenada on Saturday, West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua da Silva has come in for lavish praise from compatriot Brian Lara, one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

In a marathon innings lasting 257 balls, the 23-year-old da Silva scored 100 not out as the West Indies chasing England’s first innings score of 204, made 297 all out in the third and final Apex test in Grenada.

He was the sheet anchor in key partnerships of 33 with Kyle Mayers, 49 with Alzarri Joseph, 68 with Kemar Roach and 52 with Jayden Seales to help the West Indies recover from a precarious 95-6 into a position of ascendancy.

For Lara, it was a joy to watch.

“The discipline and mental strength this young man showed was admirable. The partnerships with the lower order to get us into this winning position is what Test cricket is all about,” said Lara, who is currently in India as the batting coach for IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The man who scored a mammoth 11953 runs from 131 Tests for the West Indies also lavished praise for da Silva’s teammates as well.

“It will be remiss of me not to congratulate all the batters and bowlers that fought throughout the series culminating into this on the brink of a series win against England. I salute the captain for his tenacity throughout the series with the bat and his leadership,” said the proud West Indies icon.

“To all players and staff, I commend you and at the same time urge you to continue working on having the appetite to go out there on the battlefield for all five days of a Test match giving your all each and every single time you don the burgundy cap. At the end, you will lose some, draw some and win a lot more but more importantly, you will understand what Test cricket is all about.”

At the time of publication, the West Indies were chasing 28 runs for victory after bowling England out for 120 on Sunday.

Kyle Mayers took a career-best  5-18, Kemar Roach 2-10 while there was a wicket each for Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph.

With players choosing to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) over representing their respective countries in Test cricket, West Indies batting legend Brian Lara is urging the International Cricket Council to take the necessary steps to address the vexing issue.

Over the past decade or so several West Indies players have dropped their ambitions of representing the West Indies at Test cricket for the IPL where they have earned millions of dollars. In more recent times, South Africa has been facing similar challenges.

Reports indicate that the Proteas could lose all their front line bowlers for the upcoming Tests against Bangladesh, increasing the prospect of Cricket South Africa fielding a much-weakened team for the series.

The situation has irked Lara, who played 131 Tests for the West Indies during which he scored 11,953 runs at a healthy average of 52.9. The Trinidadian believes a player’s country should take precedent.

“Playing for the country should come first,” said Lara, who is the strategic advisor and batting coach of the Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

He was speaking during an interview with Sportstar when he also said Test cricket also provides chances for players to make a good living for players.

“Because I played for the West Indies, other opportunities opened up for me. It’s disappointing to see young cricketers leaving Test cricket. The ICC should come up with a rule stating a cricketer must play a certain number of games for his country before he can play in the Twenty20 leagues. Something needs to be done.”

Brian Lara is one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket with feats that many who play the game can only dream of.

The world record holder for the highest individual scores in both Test cricket (400 not out) and First-Class cricket (501 not out) has also been gracious enough to lend his knowledge of the game to the current crop of players and has been appointed as the batting coach for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

One of his pupils will be his Trinidadian countryman and fellow stylish left-hander Nicholas Pooran, a prospect the current West Indies T20 vice-captain is excited about.

“Yeah, we have had a couple of conversations in the recent past. He's simply superb, amazing when it comes to batting and how he views the game. So yeah, looking forward to that opportunity to work with him,” Pooran said in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.

The West Indian great Lara scored 11,953 runs in Test cricket with 34 hundreds at an average of 52.88 in 131 matches. He scored 10,405 runs in 299 ODIs with 19 hundreds at an average of 40.48.

The 2022 edition of the IPL kicks off on March 26th while Pooran and Lara’s Sunrisers have their first game on March 29th against the Rajasthan Royals.

Pooran is coming off scores of 61, 62 and 61 in the three T20 Internationals against India last month and if his current form is anything to go by, he should have a stellar IPL season. The input of Brian Lara should certainly help.

 

On the back of the sudden passing of Australian cricket great Shane Warne on Friday, tributes have begun to pour in from many members of the global cricket fraternity.

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara had many battles with Warne on the pitch during their careers. He was rendered speechless by the news.

“Heartbroken and speechless at the moment. I literally don’t know how to sum up this situation. My friend is gone!!!,” Lara said on Instagram.

“We have lost one of the greatest sportsmen of all time!! My condolences go out to his family. RIP Warnie!! You will be missed,” he added.

Lara played against Australia in 31 test matches from 1992-2005 and made 2856 runs at an average of 51.00 with nine centuries and 11 fifties.

Another all-time great, Sachin Tendulkar, also reacted with shock to news of Warne’s death on Instagram.

“Shocked, stunned and miserable…Will miss you, Warnie. There was never a dull moment with you around, on or off the field. Will always treasure our on-field duels and off-field banter. You always had a special place for India and Indians had a special place for you. Gone too young!”

Tendulkar also had a long history of battles with Warne, playing against Australia in 39 tests from 1991-2013, amassing 3630 runs at an average of 55.00 with 11 centuries and 16 fifties.

West Indian great Sir Viv Richards never played against Warne but was a part of the Melbourne Stars Australian Big Bash League franchise at one point with him.

“Unbelievable. I am shocked to the core. This can’t be true. There are no words to describe how I feel right now. A huge loss for cricket,” Richards said on Twitter.

Legendary English all-rounder Ian Botham mourned the loss of the Australian spinner.

“I’ve lost a great friend on and off the playing field. RIP Warnster,” he said on Twitter.

Warne leaves behind an untouchable legacy in the sport, finishing his career in 2007 with 708 wickets in 145 Tests and 293 wickets in 194 ODIs.

 

 

Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad has brought West Indies batting legend, Brian Lara, onboard ahead of the coming season.

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has been named a brand ambassador for Indian consumer deliverables company USHA International.

West Indies batting great Brian Lara does not believe it would be a good idea to drop an out of form Chris Gayle at this point, despite the player’s struggles at the T20 World Cup thus far.

The 42-year-old batsman has faced heavy scrutiny in recent weeks and has managed just a total of 25 runs in two heavy losses for the Windies at the tournament so far.  The storm of criticism surrounding the batsman, however, extends beyond that.

Heading into the tournament, Gayle had struggled to look like anything close to the player who has scored over 14,000 runs in T20 cricket.  In the last 16 matches, the batsman has averaged 15.93 and scored 239 runs with a strike rate of 13.80, well below his career average of 138.46.

Despite that, however, Lara, considered one of the game’s greatest ever batsmen, believes the player could still have a role to play in the team and should remain a part of the line-up at this point in time.

 "Chris Gayle is already in the World Cup and his experience and the fact that he can pass on something to the younger players is key,” Lara said recently on Star Sports.

"I personally believe that Chris Gayle has to be given a proper send-off. This, I think, is his last tournament. Dismissing Chris Gayle at this stage of the tournament, I am not sure it's the right thing. I would like to see some sort of nice approach for the rest of the tournament. I think he can still make an impression on the younger players even if he doesn't score," he added.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, has questioned whether West Indies and regional cricketers are aggressive enough with their approach to honing their craft and overall self-improvement.

The issue comes to the for on the back of a tough, lopsided loss to South Africa, where the batsmen, in particular, struggled to deal with the guile and pace of the opposition bowlers.  Many, however, will point to the team’s proclivity to succumb to batting collapses as a chronic illness.  From his perspective, the situation has left the former batsman to ponder about the amount of work and investment being put in by individual players behind the scenes.

He, however, admitted that the overall issue was a complicated and difficult one to assess.

“Is it that heading into a Test series we aren’t preparing well enough technically and mentally, or is it that when players have their own downtime they are not targeting key areas that are critical,” Adams asked on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Any successful player, at the international level or the elite level, who stays there for any period of time, would have spent all of that time doing remedial work because the cycle never ends,” he added.

“If you get exposed, you cover that gap.  When you think you have that gap covered you get exposed somewhere else.  You talk to any of them, the Laras the Ricky Pontings, the Sachins, they can confirm that they spent all their careers doing remedial work.”

Against the South Africans, the Windies batsmen were floored for 97 in the first innings and never managed to make 200 in any of the four innings against the visitors.

 “I would throw it out for consideration, do we have that mindset amongst our quote and quote elite players? I’m not talking about just international players; I’m talking about first-class cricketers as well.  Are they attacking themselves enough?

“Not just batsmen, bowlers, and wicketkeepers as well.  The one thing that you can guarantee at the international level is you will know where your weaknesses are.  If you are deaf and blind, then the rest of the world will know.  The critical question is am I as a player embracing that? I am taking ownership in a way that as soon as I have my spare time I am attacking myself, I am getting at my weaknesses because the opposition already has it.”

 

 

West Indies legend Brian Lara has tipped for T20 captain, Jason Holder, as the Windies player who could shine most brightly in the India Premier League (IPL) this season.

 The all-rounder was retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for the new campaign, after only coming in as a substitute for Australian Mitchell Marsh last season.

Holder went on to score 66 runs, in seven matches, at an average of 33, and claimed 14 wickets, the third most on the team despite playing less than half the games.  Lara, who is part of a commentary panel for this season’s tournament, has tipped the player to carry on in the same vein.

“Jason Holder could do pretty well. He ended up replacing Mitchell Marsh in the 2020 IPL, so I expect him to maybe come up with trumps this year,” Lara told StarSports.

“The tracks are not so favourable to the pace where he is playing at present, but he is such a good all-round player that I hope he can maintain his play and really show that the West Indians are here to stay,” he added.

Holder could, however, have plenty of competition for the top West Indian player with the likes of Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, and Nicholas Pooran also taking part in this season’s competition.

 

 

The West Indies Legends were denied in their bid to reach the inaugural final of the Road Safety World Series (RSWS) T20 after losing by 12 runs to the India Legends.

India batting great Sachin Tendulkar led the way with 65, as the host team posted 218 for 3 after facing their 20 overs.  Earlier, the match was lit up by a cameo from Virender Sehwag who made 35, while Yuvraj Singh cashed in with three sixes in his brisk 37 off 20.

In pursuit of the target, a 99-runs second wicket partnership between opener Dwayne Smith and Narsingh Deonarine got the Windies off to a strong start.  While Batting icon Brian Lara’s 46 from 28 balls brought the Windies to within 24 runs of the target with two overs remaining.

However, a stifling spell from Indian seamers Vinjay Kumar and Irfan Pathan scuppered the regional team’s run chase.  It was Kumar who accounted for the dangerous Lara in the 19th over and also removed bowler Tino Best at a crucial juncture.  The West Indies finished on 206 for 6.  Best claimed two wickets, including that of Tendulkar in the first innings.  Kumar claimed two for the India Legends who will face Sri Lanka Legends in Friday’s final.

 

Kirk Edwards had a top score of 46 and Brian Lara scored an unbeaten 31 to spur West Indies Legends to their first win, a five-wicket victory over Bangladesh Legends in the Road Safety World Series Friday night.

Sri Lanka Legends defeated West Indies Legends by five wickets with six balls to spare in the Road Safety World Series in Raipur, India on Friday.

Legendary West Indies batsman, Brian Lara, has pointed to a performance that emanated from one of the uglier, darker moments of a largely sparkling career as one of his most memorable.

In one of a few instances the batting star was not greeted by applause and gestures of widespread adoration on his sojourn to the crease, Lara was booed by the Sabina Park crowd when strode out for the second Test of the 1999 Australia tour of the West Indies.

During a tumultuous period for the Windies, the issue for some home fans stemmed from what they believed to be disrespect shown to bowling legend Courtney Walsh in what they deemed to be a hostile takeover of the captaincy by the Trinidadian.  Walsh, who was appointed captain in 1994, served as captain for 22 Test matches before being replaced by Lara in 1998.  On the back of a heavy loss to Australia in the first Test and having also previously been whitewashed by South Africa, The Prince found himself occupying the unusual status of public enemy.

His response, a classy, shot-filed 213, which would go on to underpin a massive 10 wicket win at Sabina Park to level the series, it must be said, went a long way in lightening the mood.

“Everyone says the 153 was second maybe to Sir Don Bradman’s (Against England at Melbourne in 1936-1937), maybe post-war, one of the better innings, but a week before that I was in Jamaica where we played against Australia in that second Test match,” Lara told 7Cricket.

“We came off scoring 51 in the fourth innings in Trinidad and I stood there in Jamaica, I was given the captaincy for two Test matches, on probation, never before had that happened in the history of West Indies cricket…that 213 in Jamaica was for me (special) in terms of not just batsmanship but my inner strength to come out of that situation I was in,” he went on.

“I was facing expulsion as the captain, of course, I was going to be playing, the captaincy was not that important to me that I wouldn’t play, but the threat of the expulsion and the fact that everyone was sort of jeering against me, in the Caribbean, was just unbelievable.”

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