ICL: Indian Cricket League

Lara gets Sobers backing after strong criticism


laraBeleaguered West Indian captain Brian Lara on Saturday got the support of one of region’s cricket legends Sir Garfield Sobers in the face of stinging criticism from several other West Indian greats.

“Lara, in my estimation, is still the most knowledgeable person in West Indies cricket,” Sobers, regarded among cricket history’s most successful all-rounders, told reporters.

“Lara knows his cricket. He may look like a supremo as people may try to say but whenever you look around West Indies and West Indies cricket, if you could find a man that you think is better than Lara, fair enough. But I don’t think there is a person who has that same knowledge and that same ability as Brian Lara,” said the former West Indian captain.

Lara has been under fire from various quarters for failing to show good leadership qualities in the World Cup. The West Indians are almost out of the World Cup and several ex-Test players including West Indies fast bowling trio of Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft have all called for the sacking of Lara.

But Sobers, 70, Sir Garry pointed out that in the last two-and-a-half years, West Indies “have had a tremendous amount of problems and Lara was “always criticised”.

“There have always been criticisms about Lara. I don’t know what people expect of him. I don’t know if the people expect him to hold their (the players) hands and to take them away and make them perform,” he said.

Former batting maestro Sir Everton Weekes also expressed similar feelings saying that the criticism against Lara was too harsh.

“While Lara might not be the best captain, he hasn’t got a good team,” said the 82-year-old from Barbados.

“All of the great captains had great teams. Lara has not got a great team and I wouldn’t go as far as saying that he should be fired. Lara is still the best batsman in the side.

“He might not be the best captain and he is not the best captain because he hasn’t got a good team,” he explained.

He added: “When you go back to all of the winning captains, you’ll see that they’ve had very good players and great players. Unfortunately for Lara, he hasn’t got any of those in his side. The bowling is very average, he has got a couple of good batsmen with him and that’s it. But I think people can be a bit unfair sometimes in comparing players and teams and that sort of thing but I wouldn’t be that drastic to have them all removed. I think in the heat of things people say things that sometimes they are very sorry about.”

After a bad start to the Super Eight stage, West Indies must win their other three matches against South Africa at the Queen’s Park National Stadium in St George’s (April 10), Bangladesh (April 19) and England (April 21) — both at Kensington Oval in Barbados — to remain in contention for a place in the semifinals.
Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 9th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.

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