Lara hints at ODI retirement after World Cup

Published: Sunday, December 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Close on the heels of retirements announced by Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, West Indies skipper Brian Lara has also hinted at quitting One-day cricket after next year's World Cup to prolong his Test career by a couple of years.

''I cut back on One-day cricket a couple of months ago because Test cricket is what I really love. Test cricket is the true test of your ability and that's the one game I'd love to play a bit longer.

(Quitting One-day cricket) is looking that way. Since taking over the captaincy again, it has had an effect on me mentally and physically,'' Lara, who is holidaying here told the Sunday Telegraph.

''I'm not sure how much One-day cricket I'll be playing after the World Cup. Hopefully we can win it and that would be a great way to go out. I don't know if I'll get to 40 but I want to play as long as I can. My enthusiasm is still there. I know I still have some Tests ahead of me - and hopefully more big innings,'' he added as he spoke about his future.

The 38-year-old, rated as one of the greatest batsmen in the world, lamented the fact that his career started in a team, which was on the decline, and said despite the honour of leading his nation, he was willing to give up all his records for a chance to play for the current Australian team.

''I would give up any runs, any record just to be a part of the current Australian cricket team or the West Indies team of the 1970s and 1980s,'' said Lara.

''It would be great to turn up for a Test where the percentage of you winning is far greater than anything else. Unfortunately, my career has been through the declining years of West Indies cricket and it's given me great sadness. There is a sense of unfulfilment,'' he explained as he spoke of the disappointing decline of the West Indian team.

The explosive left-hander, though not very optimistic of acheiving anything with the team, was still hopeful of touching many personal milestones before saying goodbye to the game.

''It's been a great honour to achieve individual things for West Indies but it's all about how the team does, and that concerns me more,'' he said.

Reacting to the retirements announced by Warne and McGrath, Lara said he would talk to the duo before commenting on their decisions.

''I want to speak to Shane and Glenn before I say anything publicly. But I was surprised, I didn't see it coming. Australian cricket will miss them. Shane and Glenn are as good as anyone I have played against,'' he said.

Lara, who has scored 11,953 runs at a magnificent average of 52.88 in Tests, said he wants to revive the West Indian fortunes the way Warne revived the dying art of spin bolwing.

''I just want to see West Indies turn that corner and I want to be instrumental in doing it. I don't have the luxury of a Shane Warne to help us to be on top of the world. But I'd love to be able to sit back in an armchair watching a West Indian team that is as great as this Australian team,'' he said.


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