Lara announces full retirement

West Indies captain Brian Lara has announced that he will retire from international cricket following the West Indies final Super Eight match against England at the Kensington Oval.

Lara told a press conference that “I’ve given this extensive consideration and on Saturday I will be bidding farewell to international cricket as a player. I’ve already spoken to the board and to my players.”

Lara has played international cricket for 17 years, making his debut in 1990, and has played 131 Tests scoring 11,953 runs with 34 centuries at an average of 52.88.

Lara has also played 298 one-day internationals scoring 10,387 runs with 19 centuries at an average of 40.57.

Lara went onto say at the press conference that “I want to be remembered as a batsman who provided entertainment to the fans and in adversity tried my best to perform.”

“I just want to be remembered as someone who went out there and tried to entertain – it is a sport where people pay to come through the turnstiles and watch you and it is most important that someone can leave and say they have enjoyed watching Brian Lara play and enjoyed watching West Indies play.”

“Another thing I am really proud of myself for is that I have been knocked down so many times as a player, as a person, and it is that strength, that I suppose comes from my parents, to be able to pick myself up each time and go out there in the face of adversity.”

“That is something that I didn’t read in a book or wake up in the morning with, it is deep down and it is a part of my family trait.”

Lara hinted that current vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan should become the new captain saying “He’s matured. He’s been vice-captain for some time. It’s important that whoever gets the job, he gets whole hearted support.”

Lara dismissed the fact that contract negotiations affected the West Indies performance during the World Cup and were behind his retirement.

“We’ve got a players association and a West Indies cricket board. These matters are handled at that level by people who are astute enough to understand the delicate situation. We are just the players.”

“Whatever the situation, when we go on the cricket field we try our best. I know the disappointment of the cricket fans. I am sad that we have disappointed the Caribbean and our supporters around the world.”

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