County news April 16, 2010

Lara lined up for Surrey comeback

Cricinfo staff
40

Surrey have confirmed they are in talks with Brian Lara in a bid to lure him out of retirement to play Twenty20 for them this season. Lara, who retired from international cricket after the 2007 World Cup, has not played competitively for two years.

"We have been in discussion with Brian regarding his possible involvement with the club," a Surrey spokesman told the BBC. "However we have no further comment to make at this stage."

Lara has already been in the nets at The Oval this week and has had talks with Surrey's cricket manager Chris Adams and chief executive Paul Sheldon.

The Indian press recently speculated Lara was planning a comeback there. A deal was said to be done with the Kochi franchise which joins the IPL next season, but nothing came of that.

Retirement has not come easy to Lara, and he has hinted he could be lured back several times. Last year he said of Twenty20: "I believe that at some point in time people are going to understand that they are tactical ways of playing it and then you are going to see the true talent come out."

Lara had a stint with the unofficial ICL in 2007-08, where he had a forgettable tournament with the bat and as captain of Mumbai Champs.

Surrey already have Andrew Symonds, the Australian all-rounder, registered for the domestic English Twenty20 competition, and - depending on his national commitments - Piyush Chawla, the Indian legspinner. The rules permit counties to enlist four overseas players in all for the tournament, with a maximum of two featuring in a single game.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 22, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    i wud lv 2 see this legend with Bat........again...Lara kya Mara

  • harikeshan on April 21, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    Lara has always been compared to other greats based on the West Indian Legacy left behind. No one apart from him and Chandrapaul really performed when Lara was playing along with some members of the present West Indian Side. The way he was left out to dry by WICB was not right after the World Cup. He did "Entertain No Matter what the scoreboard said" and was probably the only one who could turn a game on its head with his sheer brilliance and flamboyant style. Who could forget that 400 N.O when detractors were gunning for his head. Sachin is the greatest after the Don, but Lara - to watch when in full flow would have probably made even them wanting more. If Michael Schumacher can make a return at the Age of 41 to a more grueling and demanding sport like F1, why not Lara to play only county cricket? A true cricket lover would wish him well whilst hoping his Magic with the bat will enthrall viewers.

  • NASPAK on April 20, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    If Lara makes a successful back, he would be the most-watched cricketer in the world. No one has come close to his level in terms of performance and excitement than him since he left the scene rather unceremoneously two years ago. Others may have earned or scored more, but none has provided more entertainment value to the cricket fans around the world.

    Will eagerky kook forward to watching the reappearance of this star on the cricketing firmament.

  • claudie1975 on April 20, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    Amazing.detractors are saying that players.........professional players............want to play cricket for money???????????? What an implausible concept. People should really genuinely think of what they are saying. People say on here that Brian was inconsistent..REALLY? 131 tests nearly 12000 runs, an average of over 50, and the highest score ever! This man is alreday a cricketing legend........so why not get paid for it? Good Luck Brian, go on and make your money, you desrve every single penny of it. In his speech at the end of his career Brian asked "Did I entertain?" any true cricket fan should shout "YES". In the last 25 years few have entertained more. Not even the IPL could have enough coffers to pay this man , and if they are going to try..he should reap the reward.

  • claudie1975 on April 18, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    Finally! And Thank GOD! Keep your Sachin, Keep your Ponting, Keep your Afridi, a 40 year old Lara, better than them all! Always has been, always will be!The statistics speak for themselves! Whatever the occasion, the consumate performer......All hail the KING!!!

  • on April 17, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    welcome back hero of cricket

  • RD78 on April 17, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    Welcome back Lara....It must have been difficult for him to stay away from cricket for past 3 years....The moment I saw him with Lalit Modi In few matches of IPL, I was sure this is going to happen....IPL will have Lara for sure from next year......

  • gottalovetheraindance on April 17, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    has any1 seen the photo of lara labeled ' Brian Lara and a guest arrive for the Laureus Sports Awards 2010 welcome party, Abu Dhabi, March 9, 2010' how his eyes look red like that . lara look tired & sick anyway wonder if he would consider coming back 2 tests

    picture this batting lineup chanderpaul & gayle opening ' sarwan 3 lara 4 bravo 5 nash 6 ramdin 7 taylor8 benn9 fidel 10 roach 11 MMAAADD

  • NikhilPapad3 on April 17, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    I would also love to see Lara play the IPL and i will be intersted on his perfomance for Surrey. I hope he succeds, hes a nice player to watch, very stylish, really nice on the eye....I wonder what kind of ridiculous sum he will go for the ipl auction if he does decide to play.....maybe 750000 im guessing? Mayve some team like Kochi will buy him as an icon player, Anyway good luck Brian!

  • Sanks555 on April 17, 2010, 9:25 GMT

    Lara is my choice for the world's best batsman. A lion is a lion. People have played competitive cricket at the age of 50. So why cannot Lara play?

    Lara flopped in ICL and ICL flopped. Both events saddened me. But that is not destiny.

    As far as his physique is concerned, a few weeks of exercise is enough to get into shape.

    Hoping to see Lara play again. Hail the Prince.

  • on April 22, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    i wud lv 2 see this legend with Bat........again...Lara kya Mara

  • harikeshan on April 21, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    Lara has always been compared to other greats based on the West Indian Legacy left behind. No one apart from him and Chandrapaul really performed when Lara was playing along with some members of the present West Indian Side. The way he was left out to dry by WICB was not right after the World Cup. He did "Entertain No Matter what the scoreboard said" and was probably the only one who could turn a game on its head with his sheer brilliance and flamboyant style. Who could forget that 400 N.O when detractors were gunning for his head. Sachin is the greatest after the Don, but Lara - to watch when in full flow would have probably made even them wanting more. If Michael Schumacher can make a return at the Age of 41 to a more grueling and demanding sport like F1, why not Lara to play only county cricket? A true cricket lover would wish him well whilst hoping his Magic with the bat will enthrall viewers.

  • NASPAK on April 20, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    If Lara makes a successful back, he would be the most-watched cricketer in the world. No one has come close to his level in terms of performance and excitement than him since he left the scene rather unceremoneously two years ago. Others may have earned or scored more, but none has provided more entertainment value to the cricket fans around the world.

    Will eagerky kook forward to watching the reappearance of this star on the cricketing firmament.

  • claudie1975 on April 20, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    Amazing.detractors are saying that players.........professional players............want to play cricket for money???????????? What an implausible concept. People should really genuinely think of what they are saying. People say on here that Brian was inconsistent..REALLY? 131 tests nearly 12000 runs, an average of over 50, and the highest score ever! This man is alreday a cricketing legend........so why not get paid for it? Good Luck Brian, go on and make your money, you desrve every single penny of it. In his speech at the end of his career Brian asked "Did I entertain?" any true cricket fan should shout "YES". In the last 25 years few have entertained more. Not even the IPL could have enough coffers to pay this man , and if they are going to try..he should reap the reward.

  • claudie1975 on April 18, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    Finally! And Thank GOD! Keep your Sachin, Keep your Ponting, Keep your Afridi, a 40 year old Lara, better than them all! Always has been, always will be!The statistics speak for themselves! Whatever the occasion, the consumate performer......All hail the KING!!!

  • on April 17, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    welcome back hero of cricket

  • RD78 on April 17, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    Welcome back Lara....It must have been difficult for him to stay away from cricket for past 3 years....The moment I saw him with Lalit Modi In few matches of IPL, I was sure this is going to happen....IPL will have Lara for sure from next year......

  • gottalovetheraindance on April 17, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    has any1 seen the photo of lara labeled ' Brian Lara and a guest arrive for the Laureus Sports Awards 2010 welcome party, Abu Dhabi, March 9, 2010' how his eyes look red like that . lara look tired & sick anyway wonder if he would consider coming back 2 tests

    picture this batting lineup chanderpaul & gayle opening ' sarwan 3 lara 4 bravo 5 nash 6 ramdin 7 taylor8 benn9 fidel 10 roach 11 MMAAADD

  • NikhilPapad3 on April 17, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    I would also love to see Lara play the IPL and i will be intersted on his perfomance for Surrey. I hope he succeds, hes a nice player to watch, very stylish, really nice on the eye....I wonder what kind of ridiculous sum he will go for the ipl auction if he does decide to play.....maybe 750000 im guessing? Mayve some team like Kochi will buy him as an icon player, Anyway good luck Brian!

  • Sanks555 on April 17, 2010, 9:25 GMT

    Lara is my choice for the world's best batsman. A lion is a lion. People have played competitive cricket at the age of 50. So why cannot Lara play?

    Lara flopped in ICL and ICL flopped. Both events saddened me. But that is not destiny.

    As far as his physique is concerned, a few weeks of exercise is enough to get into shape.

    Hoping to see Lara play again. Hail the Prince.

  • SoftwareStar on April 17, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    i am super excited to see this news. Lara mentioned in an interview some time back that he was persuaded to play the ICL games with a shoulder injury. so its a new beginning.. he may be 41 years old.. but every BCL fan know one thing.. he would take about 20 balls for about 10 runs in the first few games to get his eye in, his winding backlift synchronized, his feet moving.., he may wait till his critics are at their loudest with their "i told you he's too old...". He may also probably wait till a 20 year old wicketkeeper opens his mouth and sledges him... when all the odds are stacked against and even the die hard BCL fan starts thinking "why did he come back..", suddenly out of nowhere a good length ball is savagely pulled for 6, a ball on middle-off stump is leg-glanced for 4 and anything called spin becomes catching practice for the crowd ... mayhem begins, providing joy to the cricketing world. Welcome Sir Brian Lara!

  • East_West on April 17, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    He may be one of the best BUT he hasn't done much in ICL rather waster their own team's chances...flashes of brilliance but never consistent! That's what LARA is!

  • azitabhajit on April 17, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    @Raja Fren yes.... lara is coming back only for money..... and that is he only reason why sachin plays for mumbai indians too..... this is quite evident from the fact that he doesn't play for india in t20is (leave alone playing for mumbai in ranji).... and this is no surprise... this is what cricketers like lee, bond and flintoff are doing and murali is about to do.

  • on April 17, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    i would love to see brian lara play t/20

  • on April 17, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    @Arrow011 You are saying Brian Lara's is a money based decision? You think sachin plays for mumbai indians for free? cricket is a professional game and profession means skill and money.get paid to showcase ur skills whatever the profession be. As to your arjuna and karna analogy may be ur right sachin has always been the pampered kid like arjuna.It will be a privilege to see Brian Lara play any form of cricket and as to his uncermonious exit(retirement) WICB pushed him as they did many other cricketers, had WI remotely had half good a team as australia or india when lara was at his peak, things would have been different..brian achieved all that he achieved despite an ever disintegrating windies team. I don't believe in god and i would like to see my GOD come back form retirement for one match and smash a 200 in ODI so that i can shut a lot of mouths,hands down. Sachin is a master accumulator and he will go on and on ...Brian always dominated(s) the bowlers.No comparisons .Period

  • on April 16, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Its nice for the cricket fans like me, I always enjoying the batting of Great Brian Lara, its nice to see him back in action. Idont know whats his physical fitness at this time, but the real great, like him doesnt require so much of that. I Wish him a sucess for his next inning but afraid if it goes like ICL season, then its not good for fans of Lara. I want him to perform well in this season and want to see him at least for one season in IPL. Best of luck for Lara.

  • on April 16, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    Brian Lara could be a freelance T20 cricketer and play for different teams in different leagues. This will help in educating other cricketers that "Play international matches now a bit of IPL-thing and after retirement at age of 35-37 they can play solely T20 cricket. Something Warne, Kumble, Gilchrist has done and others could do also

  • westindies4life on April 16, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    Yes he's back...... now let us see what he could produce, i personally think every man who dear bowl against him have a Lara Licking to get....... yes all....... PPL think about Lara in Mumbai eleven....... Lara an Sachin in de same team.......

  • simonviller on April 16, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    I was wondering when you would come back to play BCL ! I am sure if all those other retiries can come back and do well ,you can as well .Since you are a batsman only, you should endure the shorter form without too much fatigue . Please get the right fitness training program and you'll all good BCL .Hope yyou make lots of runs !!!

  • santhoshkudva on April 16, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    how about a test comeback Brian? considering the way the west indies are playing, you wouldn't do much worse.

  • cricdeep on April 16, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    Lara was a great cricketer but to call him back few years after his retirment is just not going to work out. T 20 was supposedly a young man's game, and a look at Lara's physique now, its surprising Surrey could not find anyother cricketer.

  • Arrow011 on April 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    I always get the feeling when comparing Lara with Tendulkar, that Lara is Karna & Tendulkar is Arjuna. (Please Google search Karna Vs Arjuna if you are not an Indian). Like Karna Lara has abundance of talent equal to Tendulkar is like Arjuna. Lara like Karna chose wrong paths, while Tendulkar like Arjuna was always on the right path with great career decisions. Lara retired without giving much thought after 2007 world cup, his exit was unceremonious, he had once in a South African tour, he withdrew from a 5 test series just because of pay issues with WICB, then he joined ICL like every other player who joined ICL, they were all ostracized from joining any cricket function like outcastes. Whereas Sachin never put money matters with BCCI infornt, he went on playing best cricket & he joined IPL which is endorsed by all boards.Now Lara after retirement is doing business, now he might have thought of playing cricket IPL seeing all the riches in store.It is a money based decision.Good Luck

  • OutCast on April 16, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    C'mon man, don't do a Jordan act and become ordinary.. a rusted ferrai is not the ferrari at prime... yes, we respect the extraordinary, and keep it that way.. remember Greg Chappell is gonna say "Lara desperately needs cricket to fulfil his financial needs, just like Ganguly".

  • on April 16, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    I would like to see Brian Lara, playing cricket again the game is not the same with out him. Some people were saying he would never play again. Go brian go Westindies yeaaaaaaaaa

  • Philip_Gnana on April 16, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    As long as Lara can prove his fitness and commitment, nothing should hinder him from playing. His natural talent should flow. Staying focussed is the key here. There is nothing to doubt his capabilities. We see all the verterans doing very well in the IPL. The difference being that they were never out of the game. I wish him all the luck as he is will be a joy to watch. The money, excitement, pleasure and the love of game. All in one there for the taking...got to be serious. Philip Gnana, New Malden, Surrey

  • PrinceofPortofSpain on April 16, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    Brian Lara made 400* vs England 6 years ago. He never performed well at T/20 cricket, therefore, do not expect him to do so now. His world records stand in 4 day First Class and 5 day Test cricket, very different from T/20 cricket. The shortest format will force him to play attacking shots that will lead to his early downfall. Look at my E-Mail name: princeofportofspain, one of his biggest fans but I also know my players and their capabilities.

  • on April 16, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    400 against a decent quality test attack - I don't think so !

  • on April 16, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    How many times have Lara proven the world wrong? To many to mention..i agree...he needs to get fit and play alot before we really see his impact on the game at age 40+...greats will ALWAYS be !

  • on April 16, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    AWESOME. I M A DIE HARD FAN OF BRIAN. I would love to see him bat again with his and only his high backlift. Age does matter but his class is tremendous. All thumbs up to him.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on April 16, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    He is 40+, I just hope Surrey and the world don't expect too much of him at this stage. He has had a break though and thus could be actually beneficial to his performances (truly great players don't suffer too much from not playing competitively for a while-it is time people sit up and notice that), which I expect should be better than his ICL stint but no-where close to outstanding.

  • tomjs100 on April 16, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    I think, considering the lack of quality of the rest of the Surrey team, Lara should be back for all formats. He's one of the all time greats, and just 3 years ago whacked 400 against a decent quality test attack. Surely county cricket at second division level can't be that much of a problem for him! Let's not forget many players of yesteryear (e.g. Boycott) played to well in excess of 40. Even in recent times many players are still playing at 40 and still do well. Lara, I cannot imagine, would be lower than their standard! Would be great to see him play.

  • Bilal_S on April 16, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    He is almost 41 years old and hasn't played competitive cricket for two years. If he makes a comeback, he will do so as a novelty act. I loved Lara, but he is past it. If he does come back, I doubt he will make any notable scores at all - I say he will not even punch in a fifty.

  • Jimmers on April 16, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    I tend to agree with Rake1, however I've never had the pleasure of seeing BCL play (apart from TV etc), so desperately hope I do get the chance. The IPL if nothing else has shown that the senior players have got a huge role to play in modern T20 - look at the list of top run-scorers this year. Fingers crossed.

  • on April 16, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Great he's back, but the question is that is he fully fit? Can his body handle the demands of modern day cricket? 40+ age, ummmm, hmmm. :|

  • AAJS on April 16, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Some people just can't accpet the fact that the fat lady has sung.. this comeback is purely an ego and money trip. Lara WAS a great batsman; he was having trouble coping with Dominic Cork bowling at his body when he was the captain on grounds of his trouble with eyes and now he thinks with age and not having played for more than 2 years has cured that problem..!! I don't think so! I thought Chris Adams had some nounce.. at the moment he is clutching at straws..

  • gyanesh_don on April 16, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Too much of anything leads to disaster, I am a die heart cricket fan but I doubt if so much of T20 will leads to its overkill.

  • on April 16, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    ya his way of batting is xtremely good i liked his style the way he bats is wonderful and whenever i hear about him i remember his innigs of 400 wich no one can forget and no on e can break tht record

  • Rake1 on April 16, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    As a member of Surrey County Cricket Club, I am not getting too excited at the prospect of Lara playing for us. Lara had a stint in ICL in 2008. He appeared not interested in proceedings and hardly did anything of note. If he signs for Surrey, I would question whether he still has motivation to play hard cricket or he is there for cash, fun & a laugh. He is definitely one on the all time greats - I just question how effective he will be at 40 plus age playing for Surrey.

  • brlara on April 16, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Welcome the golden boy with the red carpet,, hail lara,

  • drsuso on April 16, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    It will be great if Lara finally comes back in any form of cricket. All we - the cricket lovers, want is to see him bat again.

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  • drsuso on April 16, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    It will be great if Lara finally comes back in any form of cricket. All we - the cricket lovers, want is to see him bat again.

  • brlara on April 16, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Welcome the golden boy with the red carpet,, hail lara,

  • Rake1 on April 16, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    As a member of Surrey County Cricket Club, I am not getting too excited at the prospect of Lara playing for us. Lara had a stint in ICL in 2008. He appeared not interested in proceedings and hardly did anything of note. If he signs for Surrey, I would question whether he still has motivation to play hard cricket or he is there for cash, fun & a laugh. He is definitely one on the all time greats - I just question how effective he will be at 40 plus age playing for Surrey.

  • on April 16, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    ya his way of batting is xtremely good i liked his style the way he bats is wonderful and whenever i hear about him i remember his innigs of 400 wich no one can forget and no on e can break tht record

  • gyanesh_don on April 16, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Too much of anything leads to disaster, I am a die heart cricket fan but I doubt if so much of T20 will leads to its overkill.

  • AAJS on April 16, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Some people just can't accpet the fact that the fat lady has sung.. this comeback is purely an ego and money trip. Lara WAS a great batsman; he was having trouble coping with Dominic Cork bowling at his body when he was the captain on grounds of his trouble with eyes and now he thinks with age and not having played for more than 2 years has cured that problem..!! I don't think so! I thought Chris Adams had some nounce.. at the moment he is clutching at straws..

  • on April 16, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Great he's back, but the question is that is he fully fit? Can his body handle the demands of modern day cricket? 40+ age, ummmm, hmmm. :|

  • Jimmers on April 16, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    I tend to agree with Rake1, however I've never had the pleasure of seeing BCL play (apart from TV etc), so desperately hope I do get the chance. The IPL if nothing else has shown that the senior players have got a huge role to play in modern T20 - look at the list of top run-scorers this year. Fingers crossed.

  • Bilal_S on April 16, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    He is almost 41 years old and hasn't played competitive cricket for two years. If he makes a comeback, he will do so as a novelty act. I loved Lara, but he is past it. If he does come back, I doubt he will make any notable scores at all - I say he will not even punch in a fifty.

  • tomjs100 on April 16, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    I think, considering the lack of quality of the rest of the Surrey team, Lara should be back for all formats. He's one of the all time greats, and just 3 years ago whacked 400 against a decent quality test attack. Surely county cricket at second division level can't be that much of a problem for him! Let's not forget many players of yesteryear (e.g. Boycott) played to well in excess of 40. Even in recent times many players are still playing at 40 and still do well. Lara, I cannot imagine, would be lower than their standard! Would be great to see him play.