Arguably one of the best players to have held a cricket bat, Brian Lara, celebrated his 47th birthday recently with his family and friends and members of children and elderly homes in his hometown.
The batting maestro spoke to the media at his house in Port of Spain about the condition of cricket in the nation and felt that there must be a change in the current domestic system of identification and transition of young players in the country.
Lara lamented that the amount of talent available in the Caribbean is second to none and that they have failed to identify the players properly. He also felt that the problems for West Indies cricket has been the transition from domestic cricket to international cricket.
“We got the best talent in the world, there is no other country that creates teenagers like the West Indies team but the transitioning to the international stage is where everyone is beating us.”
“We take very good talent and turn it into mediocre whereas the rest of the (world) takes mediocre and turns it into good talent,” Lara said talking to the media.
The 47-year old also added that he is ready to join and work with the young players in the nation to help move to the national team in the correct direction but revealed that he is willing to do so only if their plans are implemented.
The classy batsman was emotional talking about his team’s successes in the Sub-continent over the last few months.
The victories by the men and women in the World T20 along with the U-19 World Cup have given West Indies plenty of reasons to back their team up and Lara felt that lifting the three trophies will only build more confidence in the teams from the Caribbean.
Lara was also quick to jump to the rescue of skipper Darren Sammy.
Sammy recited a controversial speech right after lifting the World T20 earlier this year and found himself in trouble by the West Indies board. Many felt that Sammy should not have opened up while some felt that he had no other choice.
Lara however defender Sammy saying, “These guys won a major tournament and people may argue it may not be the best time to do it. However, he may feel it is the most potent time to do it on a world stage.”
He also spoke about the recent problems the WI cricketers have faced from the ICC.
Lara said, “ICC got their rules and regulations and as West Indians we have to put aside what the ICC said and seek ways to improve West Indies cricket.”
The 47-year old also acknowledged the fact that the West Indies players are not at the right place at the moment and revealed that he has had a similar fall-out with the board at his time.
“My experience with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) was not too far off from what these guys are experiencing at the moment. It is indeed troubling and disheartening especially when you’re playing your hearts out,” Lara added.