Tenders written apology to Ken Gordon August 3, 2006

Lara apologises for outburst

Mike King

Brian Lara admitted that he broke the confidence placed in him as captin of West Indies with his outburst on team selection © AFP

Brian Lara has elected to go on the backfoot and tender a written apology to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) after hitting out at cricket authorities following India's first series win in the Caribbean in 35 years.

Lara forwarded a letter dated July 31 to Ken Gordon, the WICB president, acknowledging that he may have over-reacted in the comments he made during and after the final Test against India at Sabina Park.

"I recognise that I broke the confidence placed in me as West Indies captain by my overreaction during and after the 4th Test against India and I apologise to all concerned", Lara wrote. "I would also like to thank my team-mates for the progress we have made as a team over the last few months and I hope my unfortunate actions will not in any way deter our march towards further success."

Lara, in charge of the team for an unprecedented third time, threatened to quit after he claimed there was a month's delay in informing him that he had been made a member of the West Indies selection committee. Lara, Test cricket's leading runscorer, had been at loggerheads with the WICB over the selection policy and believed he was rebuffed in his efforts to get the players he wanted in the team.

The WICB responded by appointing a committee headed by the president of the WICB, together with Sir Alister McIntyre, Clive Lloyd and Gregory Shillingford to investigate all matters relating to Lara's statements and to take such action as they may consider appropriate after these matters were discussed with him. Gordon, in a letter to Lara, clearly felt that he should have handled the matter internally.

Faxed letter of apology from Brian Lara to WICB president Ken Gordon. Click here to enlarge. © West Indies Cricket Board

"Let me admit that I empathised with the rationale that you outlined during our conversation in support of additional pace against the Indians and the passion of your conviction that the series could have been won by three games to one", Gordon wrote. "We need both conviction and passion to continue to build on what has been achieved.

"But we also need to send a signal that a new start is being made. That we will resolve our differences internally and present a unified front to the cricketing world and that West Indies cricket is on the way up again. Your statement did not contribute to sending that message and that was unfortunate."

After India had won the last Test by 49 runs inside three days at Sabina Park, Lara said he might have to reconsider his position as captain. "I got an endorsement letter [from the WICB] a couple days ago saying that I was a selector since May 28," he told reporters at the post match news conference on July 3. "I'll revisit my decision to captain the West Indies team."

Lara said his reputation was at stake in light of his calls for certain players to be selected. "I was never given the team that I wanted," he insisted.