Amidst the emotional outburst and flood of public sympathy for Lara, Holding held a different view. ''He stayed on longer than he should have. Now it is time to thank him and look forward,'' he said.
Another former fast bowler Joel Garner was also less complimentary to Lara, saying, ''It is his decision to retire and I can't say that it's wrong. A captain can only be judged by his success record and that's not good in his case. Now we have to take drastic steps to carry West Indies cricket forward.''
However, former captain Sir Garfield Sobers refused to lay all the blame at Lara's feet. ''The facts are that in the last two and a half years the West Indies have had a tremendous amount of problems,'' Sobers said.
''One, the West Indies Board didn't have enough money to have enough camps. Two, there were always problems with not being able to field a strong team, there were strikes and all kinds of problems.
To build a house, if you don't have a solid foundation, you are going to have problems later on. People don't seem to realise this,'' he pointed out.
Brian Lara's announcement that he was retiring from all forms of cricket evoked mixed reactions from former West Indies players.
According to former fast bowling great Wesley Hall, Lara's ''legacy is fantastic and he was a great batsman'', while former captain Jimmy Adams said Lara was nothing short of genius. ''His value to West Indian cricket has been enormous. He has been the standard-bearer for the last 10 years, almost single-handedly.'' ''He carried a hell of a load on his shoulders over that period and yet his statistics are just phenomenal,'' Adams added.