Lara proud of Trinidad~~s World Cup exploits

Published: Sunday, June 11, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St John's:West Indies captain Brian Lara paid tribute to the achievement of his native Trinidad and Tobago in earning a surprise draw in their first-ever match at the World Cup.

"I think it was a great result for T and T, and I just spoke to Dwight (Yorke), and he is very proud of the guys," Lara told reporters on Sunday.

"I understand Shaka Hislop, another good friend of mine, had a great game.

"It is nice to see a veteran get into the team, and he's a true professional and has played in the English Premiership for West Ham and Newcastle, and he was very reliable in goal."

Hislop, the well-travelled 37-year-old goalkeeper, was the hero as he kept Sweden at bay and the Soca Warriors survived the sending-off of Avery John to hold Sweden to a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

Former Manchester United star Yorke also played a key role as the tiny Caribbean nation exceeded all expectations.

Lara said: "It was a good moment for West Indian sport, and I am proud of the boys.

As Lara thought out how he would slow a rampaging India on the opening day of the second Test at the Beausejour Cricket Ground, his heart was hundreds of miles away in Dortmund, Germany, with his compatriots.

"I saw the first 35 minutes of the match, and they were screaming at us to get out on to the field, so it was good to see the national team out there in the middle," Lara said. "It gave us a bit of inspiration."

He gave a high-five to compatriot Dwayne Bravo when the result of the match was announced around the ground, and also celebrated with two other Trinidadians in the Windies side, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and opener Daren Ganga.

Lara, who was a talented footballer in his schooldays, when he played alongside Yorke, Hislop, Russell Latapy, and others, showed solidarity with the Warriors when he wore a T and T jersey to a pre-match news conference on Friday.

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