Brian Charles Lara’s cricketing credentials assure the left-handed former maestro a place in the annals of West Indies and world cricket history.
But his achievements, including the world record for the highest Test score and highest first class score—and at one time most runs in Tests—were not enough to guarantee his spot in the Wisden all-time Test World XI and according to former Test cricketer Deryck Murray, Lara’s joins “an elite group of players who were not included in the list.”
Earlier this week Australia great Don Bradman was named captain of an all-time Test World XI to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
Also included is his compatriot Shane Warne, who during the 1990s established himself as arguably the greatest leg-spinner in the game.
West Indies provided three players on the list in Vivian Richards, widely regarded as the best batsman of his generation, Garfield Sobers, frequently referred to as the greatest all-rounder cricket has known and Malcolm Marshall, viewed as arguably the best in a long line of top-class Caribbean fast-bowlers.
But Lara’s name was a glaring omission.
Murray, an-ex West Indies Test wicket-keeper, did not want to comment on Wisden’s list, but did praise the former West Indies skipper’s career as “exceptional”.
He said: “When you look back at the history of Test cricket, it is impossible to choose 11 people who are the best of all time and I think it is easier to comment on people who are left out than the people who made it into the list.
“Yes, Lara had an exceptional career and I think West Indians will question his omission and so too the Indians will have their opinions on it (the list),” he explained.
India provided one player in the list in the soon-to-retire Sachin Tendulkar, Test cricket’s leading run-scorer of all-time.
There was no room on the list for Indian great Sunil Gavaskar or Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
“You just have to go through the history of the game and I think you will find that it is impossible to choose an (all-time Test) XI without causing some kind of discussions from people around the world, not just in the West Indies.”
“Lara is a magnificent player and I would say he joins an elite group of players who were not included in the list,” Murray added.
Brian Lara Fact Box
11,953 runs at an average of 52.88
48 half centuries
High Score: 401 not out (World Record)
10,405 runs at an average of 40.48
63 half centuries
High Score: 169
22,156 runs at an average of 51.88
88 half centuries
High Score: 501 not out (World Record)