Brian Lara~the end of an era

“He’s a genius and there’s not many in the world that can put themselves in that genius bracket” – Michael Vaughan

It would be remiss of us here at BU not to recognize the passing of an era with what many now consider to be the premature retirement of Brian Lara. Days before his sudden action; rumour was rampant in Barbados that the West Indies team selected to go to England next month would be “Laraless”. This situation is interesting when we consider that Lara admitted in his farewell press conference that he sat with the West Indies selectors in Antigua to pick the team for England and he was included in the squad. Let BU recognize a genius which was produced from a region less than 6 million people which in itself is a tremendous achievement. During the last two decades he has moved around the cricket world like a colossus at a time when West Indies cricket is in shambles and currently ranked number 8 out of 10 test playing countries.

During Lara’s tenure he has had to endure the insularity bred by a region which has been stoked by a political directorate which has been disunited since the days of the failed federation. Lara unlike Richards, Lloyd, Greenidge and others have had to carry the aspirations of our island nations on his back like the proverbial albatross. At BU we accept the passion which we feel as a nation towards our cricket while at the same time acknowledging that the archaic WIBC structure has not metamorphosized to keep pace with changes in the cricketing world. Perhaps this is the one area that the region will miss Lara. His achievements like none before him has ensured that he is in a position to challenge the establishment without the financial insecurity which a Richards or Lloyd would have encountered. We are sure that Lara is the force behind WIPA through its figure head Ramnarine. Of the current crop of players, who will be able to fill the void left by Lara? It is not about filling his cricket shoes but the leadership, hopes and dreams he brought to a small region through cricketing genius.

The historians of our past have all touched on the “smallness” of our region which makes it difficult for icons to function easily in our small and often times insular societies. CLR James and Hilary Beckles have recorded these propositions in several of writings over the years. It is insightful to note that Lara referred to Hilary Beckles as a resource which he freely accessed when arriving at his final decision to prematurely retire. His sense of history and his role has been underscored in this episode. At BU we feel that Lara’s new role now as an ex-player will signal the dismantling of the colonial club structure which has oversight for cricket in the West Indies. There is no doubt that history will record Lara’s achievement in the context of a changing environment which has seen the displacement of King Cricket with other interest; driven by the heavy North American influence which permeates our societies.

Unfortunately we are of the view that the change process to attempt to move West Indies back to the pinnacle will be long and hard. At BU our hearts hurt at what is in store for West Indians who have been fed on a diet of Lloyd and his charges.

Lara we love you, you will be missed!


Read Colin Croft talking foolishness over on Caribbean Cricket blog.

Would Lara trade in his runs?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007Colin Croft: I am very sure that Lara would have traded half of those runs simply to have been known as the successful leader that he has not been and it is something he craved.


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