Lara's decision is the right one - Garner
As Brian Lara announced his retirement from international cricket, former West Indies players offered tributes and some amount of criticism on his 17-year career.
Wes Hall, the former West Indies fast bowler, said Lara's announcement to retire from international cricket, and not just from one-day cricket, was unexpected. "I am at a loss for words," Hall told AFP. "He was a great servant to West Indies cricket. His legacy is fantastic, a great batsman, 400 in a Test, 501 in first-class cricket, I mean it's a big legacy."
At the press conference following West Indies' win against Bangladesh - their first win of the Super Eights - Lara announced that the game against England on April 21 would be last international match. There had been rumours that the West Indies selectors were planning to drop him from the squad to tour England in May.
Another fast bowler, Charlie Griffith, agreed that Lara was leaving behind a strong legacy and players would have to work very hard to fill his shoes.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, expected to replace Lara as the West Indies captain, added that Lara's mental strength stood out as he had come under a lot of scrutiny throughout his career and yet managed stay strong.
But there were others who felt that it was the right time for Lara to make his exit. Michael Holding felt that no doubt Lara had had a great career but there were lots of times when his captaincy had been questioned. Joel Garner too felt that there was nothing wrong in Lara's decision to retire. "A captain can only be judged by his success record and that's not good in his case," said Garner. "Now we have to take drastic steps to carry West Indies cricket forward."