Lara - Teammates were my motivation

Asian Age article.

Brian Lara’s knack of scoring big hundreds in Test cricket won him accolades during his glittering 16-year-old international career, but also invited criticism from certain quarters.

The 44-year-old who retired in 2006, though dismissed his critics’ claims that he played for himself, saying his teammates were his biggest motivators.

“A lot of media and people said a lot of success was individual.

How wrong could that be. My biggest motivation in life has been my teammates. Playing within the team is what motivated me.

“My performances might have led to individual praise but for me playing within the team was the best thing that ever happened to me. I believe a team is a sum of individuals and each individual is dependent on the other,” Lara said during an event here.

The style left-hander from the West Indies, considered as one of the all time best batsman, has nine scores in excess of 200 in his 34 Test centuries. Besides he also has 10 scores in excess of 150. He still holds the highest individual score record of 501 not out in first class cricket and 400 in Test cricket.

Lara’s penchant for big knocks may have utilised too much time to deny his team a chance of victory on some occasions feel his detractors but Lara said he always played according to the situation. “The 400, I scored was at a time when England were leading 3-0 in the series in the West Indies, with one Test to go. Drawing that Test was more important than anything else. We got to 750. Some people said we batted too long,” he said.

“I came at a time when the West Indian cricket was on decline and played to my best of ability. I loved to show character in adverse situations,” the Trinidadian added.

Lara said he was more critical of himself when he scored big. “I was critical because the bowlers will study your innings and note the weakness. I worked hard on my game to be a step ahead of the bowlers and did my homework well. I was least critical when I didn’t score and kept self-belief in bad patches,” he said.

The former West Indian skipper was willing to give his records away for team success. “I believe most records I achieved was because of destiny. I would give any record away for success.”

First Published In The Asian Age.

Fri, 06/21/2013 - 16:18