Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lara: Chanders, WICB can work it out

There is still a chance for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and senior regional cricketers to work out their differences.

So says former star batsman, Brian Lara.

Following his induction into the Queen's Park Cricket Club Hall of Fame, Lara was asked his opinion of the current player controversies, including veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul's war of words with the WICB.

The ex-Windies captain suggested that this issue is not a new one in West Indies cricket, but felt it can still be worked out.

"Hopefully they can rethink it, and hopefully they can come up with somebody that leaves the game in a good way, feeling good about West Indies cricket. I don't want that (bad end to his career) for Chanderpaul."

Asked how he felt the West Indies would fare in their upcoming series with World champions India, Lara said the regional team needs its senior players.

"Let's hope that we have (former skipper Chris) Gayle and (all-rounder Dwayne) Bravo," he stated. Those are two individuals who are doing very well in (the IPL in) India. I also like Jerome Taylor I hope he will come back and consideration will be given to him playing."

Lara said he was happy with West Indies' first Test win in over two years against Pakistan on Sunday, and hoped they can repeat in today's second Test in St Kitts. The lack of crowds, though, is worrying to the former batsman.

"Maybe we can pull people out of their houses, fill flights to St Kitts," he said. "It's important to West Indies cricket that we are seen to be moving in the right direction even though I believe administratively (and) player wise, we're not in the right groove. Until we're in the right groove, I wouldn't rest well."

Lara also described his induction into the Queen's Park Hall of Fame as "humbling" to be in the company of 30 other illustrious former sportsmen. Still, he was sad not to be able to share the moment with his mentor Joey Carew, who passed away earlier this year.

"It actually brought tears to my eyes seeing Joey Carew's name and seeing my name on the same stand and this man has meant so much to me. It's unbelievable.

"It's unfortunate that he's not here today...but I'm sure he's smiling," Lara said. "He's such a great man and played such a great role in my life that I would never ever forget about it."