Dejected Lara hints at relinquishing captaincy

Published: Monday, July 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Kingston::After becoming the first captain to lose a Test series against India at home in 35 years, Brian Lara said he would reconsider his decision to remain the West Indies skipper as he was not getting enough support from the national selectors.

In a startling revelation, Lara said he received a letter from West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) on the eve of the fourth and final Test here saying that he was one of the selectors since May 28. The skipper said he was completely unaware of it before the letter came and was not informed despite his repeated criticism of the selections and the pitch.

''I found out that I was a selector myself four days ago. Before the start of the match I got a letter endorsing I was a selector since May 28. I was definitely let down by the pitch and selections.

I must tell you there is a meeting coming up in a couple of weeks and depending on the outcome there I would definitely re-visit the decision whether I would captain the West Indies team,'' said Lara.

''Really and truly I have West Indies cricket at heart but I am in a situation where my reputation as captain is dragged down. This is the first win for the Indians in so many years,'' said Lara.

Lara also said that the selectors were not listening to him and some of their decisions were strange.

''After St Lucia I told in a press conference that maybe we should have played a spinner but two days later Dave Mohammad was dropped. And also when I said I have seven batsmen one too many, all of a sudden I have eight batsmen in the team. How do you explain all these? These things are very unfortunate,'' he said.

However, Lara asserted that the tiff did not affect his on-field performance.

''I made calls to the selctors when I thought I needed certain individuals in the team. But that was still up to the selectors to decide. This didn't affect my mood going in the match as I knew I had a job to do but these decisions are not becoming of any team or association or board,'' said Lara.

Lara also criticised the pitch for being tailor-made for Indians.

''The pitch in this Test match reminds me of the West Indies 20 years ago when we used to destroy Australia here but every time we went to Sydney we would lose. This surface -- it seems -- was totally prepared for the Indians. Today we were undone by a team that played better cricket on a pitch that I thought was not ready for such an important Test match,'' said Lara.Lara was also full of praise for Indian seamers and said they had a bright future ahead of them. ''Indian medium pacers were excellent. They definitely showed they have got professionalism. Munaf and Sreesanth put the ball in the right areas. I thought it was a mistake to play two fast bowlers here, but whenever they were called they showed they were strong enough to last and they got a break through here and there. Credit must be given to them,'' he added.

Lara was particularly impressed by VRV Singh, with whom he had a small chat before the day's stay, and advised Team India to nurture the young talent.

''I also like VRV Singh. I think he is very good player. He played his first Test match in Antigua and I thought he put the ball in right areas. India should keep a close eye on him. He has got the height and he seems to have the passion too.

''I spoke to him today, he called on me and asked me what he thought of his game and I coudn't tell him anything because I thought for a debutant he was exceptional,'' added Lara.

Lara praised his team too and said given the conditions he was proud of his boys not losing 3-0.

''We have got the players who showed character. Sarwan, who for the last two and a half months wasn't fit at all, was still able to put some runs together. Chanderpaul is fighting as well.

Unfortunately Chris Gayle has failed for the last three innings but I still think he has got the mettle. Our fast bowlers were exceptional too,'' said Lara.

At 37, Lara said he was not getting any younger and called on the younger members to rise up and lead from the front.

''It is tough playing both forms of the game. To maintain fitness and focus and also to be captain at 37 is difficult. I will give away my edge if I see the younger players come up. That's where the future of West Indies cricket lies, not with Brain Lara. I want the players coming up and swallowing me. Making me just a part of the team because I have experience. Everybody have to come forward and prove themselves,'' an emotional Windies skipper said.

''It happened 15 yrs ago when the likes of Richardson were fading. I saw that necessary to take the lead. I was young then in early 20s but I wanted to be the premier batsman of the team. We are getting there but we need the team to win away to show that that the reliance on Brian Lara is now fading away,'' he added.

Lara praised Dravid's innings and said this was the best he had seen.

''Dravid played so well for his 60 odd runs and then got an unplayable ball. But his batting throughout this series was exceptional. He led by example. I must say Dravid played exceptionally well. I have not seen a better innings or two innings put together in such a difficult situation. It was tremendous batting. He showed really why he is called The Wall,'' Lara said in in praise of his counterpart.

Write Comments