Left-handed bat, high back-lift, quick foot movement, bat coming down at blistering speed on the ball. Can you picture, Brian Lara?
One of the legends of the game, Lara played international cricket for 16 years, thrashing bowlers from different generations, all around the globe.
Lara was born on May 2, 1969 in Trinidad and while he excelled in football, his love for cricket was eternal. He had amassed a staggering 745 runs when he was just 14 in a school tournament. This performance was a stepping stone to his selection in the West Indies U19 Team. Soon, he was leading the Trinidad and Tobago side. In the same year, the world saw Lara play Test cricket for the first time but not many knew that this was not just a mere talent. This was a player who was going to become a legend one day.
In 1994, the world of cricket saw Lara amassing 375 runs in a Test match. The same year also witnessed the left-handed bat score 501 runs in a first-class game. These records were achieved in a matter of 2 months. As the 20th century was approaching and West Indies was seeing one legend after the other retiring from the side, Lara was the lone man who performed with the bat in almost every series.
Captaincy came at one point for Lara but despite having won the ICC Champion Trophy, he cannot be hailed as a successful captain. In almost every series, his captaincy was under the sword. His leadership neither inspired teammates nor produced fruitful results. Although his own performance never died down during this phase.
Lara retired after the 2007 World Cup in his home. It was not the befitting end to a glittering career though. Lara could only manage one fifty in the seven matches he led in.
With a total of 11953 runs in Test matches and 10405 runs in ODIs, Lara bid goodbye.