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Thread: Atherton's scathing views on Brian Lara and his legacy

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    vvk
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    Atherton's scathing views on Brian Lara and his legacy

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/mai...3/ixcrick.html

    West Indies dispel myth they can't live without Lara
    By Michael Atherton
    (Filed: 03/04/2005)

    I wonder what Brian Lara was doing on the first day of the ongoing Test match between the West Indies and South Africa? Did he watch the stirring batting of stand-in captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Wavell Hinds on a television in his mountain-top retreat overlooking the Queen's Park savannah? If he did, then an enduring truth may have suddenly dawned upon him: that no matter how great you are, or think you are, cricket and life will go on without you.

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    Throughout the past decade, since his genius was confirmed with the first of his two world-record innings in Antigua, Lara has often behaved in a manner which suggested that he thought West Indies cricket was about one thing and one thing only: Brian Charles Lara. On their tour of England in 1995 Lara was a central figure in the dressing-room turmoil which dogged that tour. Think of the manoeuvring that took place before both his appointments as West Indies' captain; scheming that put an end to Courtney Walsh's captaincy in 1998, and Carl Hooper's career five years later.

    Not that Lara's self-delusion is not understandable. If you are the biggest of fish in the smallest of ponds, surrounded constantly by well-wishers and sycophants, and if every achievement is celebrated as if the wellbeing of a nation itself is reliant on such matters, then it is easy to see how the head of a young man might be turned. How would any of us have coped with the adulation heaped on Lara throughout the past 10 years?

    If you get told you are indispensable enough times, you start to believe it.

    That is not to say that the rest of the Caribbean should have been taken in. Somehow the myth has been perpetuated that the West Indies simply cannot do without Lara in the team or at the helm. Yet they could hardly do any worse: Lara's career has coincided with a sad decline in standards and discipline of a once-proud team and of the 40 games played under Lara's leadership they have lost 23. Perhaps Tony Howard, the West Indies manager, saw things clearly when he announced on the eve of the first Test against South Africa that "we are trying to build a team that will work together". Not a comment that suggested a great deal of faith or sympathy in what had gone before.

    Of all the good things to emerge from the Bourda ground, as Hinds and Chanderpaul put South Africa to the sword, the recognition that West Indies cricket is about more than one man was the best of all. Many of the fears on the eve of the match simply did not materialise. Although extra players were flown in as cover, the players' strike did not happen. And the Guyanese public, even though newspaper and radio polls suggested their loyalties lay with the discarded players, went in their thousands to support home-boy Chanderpaul and his makeshift team. Two of those not selected because of their arrangements with Cable & Wireless, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, suddenly realised their complete irrelevance in the grander scheme of things, and announced they had rescinded their contracts with immediate effect. No doubt the rest will soon follow.

    The West Indies Cricket Board have taken a lot of flak over the dispute between the rival phone companies and sponsors, Digicel and Cable & Wireless. No doubt the matter should have been resolved at the outset and the problems foreseen. I have no doubt that over the last decade the WICB have been among the most incompetent of cricket administrations - the shabbiest of a shabby bunch - but on this matter they deserve some sympathy.

    They were right to take a hard-line stance against the players and the increasingly militant players' association. The board have been criticised in the past for failing to invest in the future of West Indies cricket - the money from a sponsor like Digicel (10.6 million over five years) enables them to do so. Digicel, in return, deserve to get what they paid for - which is support of the whole team, not just a rump of it.

    Many observers in the Caribbean saw the build-up to the Test against South Africa as the culmination of a decade of decline, administrative incompetence, greed and insularity.

    Perhaps it should be seen at the start of a new era. The board have at last stamped their authority and before this Test it was noted that the West Indies practised with a vigour, intensity and unity of spirit that hadn't been seen for a long time. The new coach, Bennett King, is from Australia - a land where such basics of preparation have long been the norm and where the notion that one player has more worth than any of the other 10 is inconceivable. Will he be strong enough to grasp the nettle in the next few weeks, though? Chanderpaul is probably not the man to lead them to the promised land, but any new era must start without Lara.

    ----

    I feel this article is an absolute disgrace, and Atherton is simply taking advantage of the events of this one single test match. He is not fit to lick Lara's boots, let alone classify him as a parasite that West Indies cricket needs to rid.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    I love how these former players suddenly grow a voice after they have retired, how about when they're still playing?

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    Last edited by Mister Wright; 04-04-2005 at 05:40 AM.
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    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    I usually like Atherton's cricket writing, and I think he has something of a point in certain sections of this article, about the obvious selfishness and internal division which has hurt West Indies cricket very badly in recent times.

    However, Lara doesn't deserve to face the bulk of the criticism for this, and Atherton shouldn't be criticising such a champion player who, unlike other talents, HAS actually proven that he can carry his side time and again. It's not like he's pointlessly thrown his wicket away time and again like Hooper or not shown up when his team needed him the most like Shoaib.
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    SJS
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    The article should be seen for what it is saying and not whether its writer, as a batsman was fit to lick Lara's shoes (if at all batsmanship requires one to do that).

    There are some home truths in the article not the least of which is that the West Indies have put up a stirring show in the on going test, which, lets be honest and admit, we NEVER thought they could do. To do it without some of their top players INCLUDING lara defies logic but it is done.

    The timing of the announce ment by Sarwan and company about rescinding of their contracts is bound to raise eyebrows.

    Atherton being a news reporter is going to use thew language of the media. The gloves off as far as he is concerned. Would it be more acceptable if the article were written by someone who had not been a cricketer himself ? The answer to that should tell us how we should look at Atherton and his role as the writer of this article.

    If it means some of our icons are being shown up, with or without adequate justifictaion is not for me to argue, we should accept it as normal.


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    Some points, more rubbish.
    Sreesanth said, "Next ball he was beaten and I said, 'is this the King Charles Lara? Who is this impostor, moving around nervously? I should have kept my mouth shut for the next ball - mind you, it was a length ball - Lara just pulled it over the church beyond the boundary! He is a true legend."


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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mxyzptlk


    Some points, more rubbish.
    Spicy rubbish sells more papers than bland points

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    Cricketer Of The Year Kweek's Avatar
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    Good Artical all i can say
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    Ahh Atherton the consummate hypocrite par excellence !

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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legglancer
    Ahh Atherton the consummate hypocrite par excellence !
    If he makes valid points, hypocrisy doesnt matter.

    Most Indian politicians are being hypocritical when they denounce corruption in politics but the fact is it needs to be denounced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    If he makes valid points, hypocrisy doesnt matter.

    Most Indian politicians are being hypocritical when they denounce corruption in politics but the fact is it needs to be denounced.
    Well Ichoose not to agree ...... their is a small matter of "Personal Integrity" that would give a statement a measure of validity.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    If he makes valid points, hypocrisy doesnt matter.
    what he states about the current state of decline of west indian cricket is accurate, what he says about lara's special status in the windies is again accurate, but then these are known facts and have been known for quite some time....what is he telling us that we don't know? that since lara's career has coincided for the most part with the decline in the team's cricketing standards, he is responsible for it in a major way? that is pure b.s! for a long time...he has been their only member that most of the time single-handedly made the team look not so mediocre....and based on the result of one test, he has suddenly decided that lara is not needed anymore and everything is hunky-dory with windies cricket the way it is right now....
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    Most Indian politicians are being hypocritical when they denounce corruption in politics but the fact is it needs to be denounced.
    that denunciation becomes an empty, meaningless phrase when the listener(in this case, you) knows that the politician is just grandstanding to grab votes or stick to power and doesn't mean a word he says...

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    As good a batsman as Lara is, I've never rated as a figure particularly fit to lead the West Indies.. Assuming they have Lara back as a batsman, Id still give Shiv the captaincy..
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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legglancer
    Well Ichoose not to agree ...... their is a small matter of "Personal Integrity" that would give a statement a measure of validity.
    Why should the validity of a point depend upon who makes it?
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    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legglancer
    Ahh Atherton the consummate hypocrite par excellence !
    On what basis is he a hypocrite?
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