Former West Indies captain and batting maestro Brian Lara has said that he is considering making an entrance into the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). Lara, who just two months ago, came out of three-years of retirement to play competitive cricket in Zimbabwe's domestic Twenty20 competition, added that he wants to be match-fit to be able to join the IPL's 2011 season.
"If I was to give myself a chance to play in the IPL, then I need to start now," said Lara. "I tried negotiating with Surrey in May and that fell through. I am not going to say that I am ready for the IPL. The option is around the corner, and I have put my name in the hat."
But rather than joining the league as merely a player, he said he would prefer to fill the role of a mentor, something along the lines of what Stephen Fleming has done. Therefore, he would look at being a batting consultant or contributing with the coaching staff for a particular side. "I don't want to be fighting with the youngsters for a game. I would like to see myself as someone who can make a contribution even if I am not in the final XI. I would like to get involved in a holistic way and not just as a player."
Apart from his recent role with Zimbabwe's Twenty20 League, Lara's only involvement with the quickest form of the game came in a one-year stint with the now discontinued Indian Cricket League (ICL). In retrospect Lara says that he is not sorry for taking that decision to sign with the ICL, especially since it had the likes to Tony Greig and Kapil Dev associated with it.
"I put my name in ink, which was obviously a mistake at the end of it", admitted Lara. "But I have no regrets. That's gone. I played one season and I asked them to excuse me, because obviously after having such a long career, you don't want to be playing ICL cricket and considered a rebel and banned from all levels of cricket."