Lifting world cup will be momentous occasion: Lara

Published: Tuesday, March 6, 2007, 0:22 [IST]
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London:West Indies captain Brian Lara does no longer think himself as the leading batsman in his side but says lifting the World Cup at home as captain would be a momentous occasion in the twilight of his career.

''It's going to be a special occasion for myself and every single player in my side will feel the same. As someone who's been around for a while, to pull the curtains on my one-day career in the West Indies as captain and the possibility of lifting a trophy will be a momentous occasion,'' Lara, one of the greatest cricketers of his generation, told Sun tabloid in an interview.

When asked whether he felt pressure as the leading West Indian batsman, the 37-year-old left-hander said, ''I wouldn't say I'm the leading light in the one-day side - that accolade could go to a few players, so it takes the pressure off.''

''For example, Chris Gayle was named man of the tournament in the recent ICC Trophy. To win a World Cup we must all come to the party,'' said Lara, who is one of the six cricketers who have scored more than 10,000 runs in the shorter version of the game.

He predicted that Australia will 'safely' reach the last four stage but said the other three semi-finalists can beat them if they had built up a winning momentum by then.

''Australia have 10 or 11 match winners. To compete with them, you can't be dependent on one or two players, you have to be performing as team.'' Lara named Pakistan and England as dark horses as they have some world-class players and can be dangerous on their day.

''If they pick up some momentum and go into the Super Eight feeling good about themselves, then they could be a title contender,'' he said.

When asked about the home advantage, Lara said, ''The host nations haven't had the best World Cups to date but the Caribbean is a bit special and the pitches aren't belters, they'll be tricky to bat on and that gives us some advantage.''


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