West Indies news December 2, 2010

Lara targets IPL stint, says he's working on fitness

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Brian Lara, the former West Indian captain who two months ago ended a three-year break from competitive cricket, has said he wants to make an entrance in the Indian Premier League. Lara played in Zimbabwe's Twenty20 competition this October, and says he wants to be match-fit to get into the IPL's 2011 season.

Lara told ESPNcricinfo that the league in Zimbabwe was not the toughest. "If I was to give myself a chance to play in the IPL, then I need to start now," he said. "I tried negotiating with Surrey in May and that fell through. I am not going to say that I am ready for the IPL. The option is around the corner, and I have put my name in the hat. But I need to play cricket regularly from now till then to get fit and capable of doing justice to the game and to my form in such a highly competitive league."

Ideally, Lara said, his role in the lucrative competition would be similar to that of Shane Warne or Stephen Fleming, whose jobs with their franchises are described as being that of captain-coaches or 'mentors'. "I see myself in that light as well. I don't want to be fighting with the youngsters for a game ... left out today, playing tomorrow. I would like to see myself as someone who can make a contribution even if I am not in the final XI. I would like to get involved in a holistic way and not just as a player."

West Indies are currently No. 8 in the ICC Test and ODI rankings, but while Lara was optimistic about the future of West Indies cricket, he rung a cautionary note."There is still an abundance of talent. I believe that we still have some of the best youngsters in the world. You look at young Kemar Roach as a fast bowler; you look at Adrian Barath making a hundred in his debut Test at the Gabba. Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo's brother … these are very, very good players.

"What I am worried about is those three-four years from teenage life to early twenties. What happens? Do they grab hold of international cricket? They can't do that by themselves. There's got to be a supporting team behind them to make sure that they elevate themselves very quickly to that level."

Lara felt the reason for West Indies' recent struggles did not lie with the players. "I see ordinary Australians get on the scene and in three or four years they are top-class players," he said. "I see [that] in the West Indies, really special young players get out there and struggle, [and] can't find their way. Something must be wrong with our system."

The West Indies players and the administration have been at loggerheads in the recent past. The most recent controversy to dog the team was Chris Gayle's removal as captain after he, along with Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, opted out of a central contract with the West Indies Cricket Board. While Lara did not comment on the players' decision, he said that Gayle's 333 in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle was a positive sign. "I think it is very important. Obviously he lost the captaincy, but I believe the way he handled it ... getting a triple-hundred and putting the team in a position to possibly win a Test match in Sri Lanka. That's very good. It showed maturity, and that's what I like."

Allrounder Darren Sammy has been appointed captain and Lara believed that while their was no doubting Sammy's commitment, the 26-year old would need the support of all the senior members in his side to succeed in his role. "As a player, first of all, he is very committed, a guy who will give you 100%. He can have the towel in his hand, 12th man for the entire series, and you would see him very buoyant out there supporting the guys. That's what I love about him as a player.

"A leader is as good as his troops. Young Sammy will need all the support, especially from the older players; the guys who have been captains at some point in time. He will need their support because the team can be easily derailed if everyone is not in there with one common goal. So it is a good sign, but I just hope that it is not short-lived because we have had those occasions before."

While looking to the future, Lara also pointed to lessons that needed to be learned from the past, conceding that West Indian teams of the recent past lacked pride. "Yeah, there was pride lacking. It's not just something that you pick up and buy in a shop," he said. "It's something that has to be instilled into you. You just don't pick up family values, unless your parents teach you and let you know exactly what they expect. And I believe that some of the younger players did not have that."

Outside of his participation in Zimbabwe's T20 League, Lara's only association with Twenty20 cricket came in the form of a one-year stint with the now defunct Indian Cricket League. "Well, when the ICL first came to me, it was not a rebel league. It had the likes of Tony Greig and Kapil Dev [associated with it]. That was a league that was trying to bring the game forward," said Lara, who turned out for Mumbai Champs for one season.

"I put my name in ink, which was obviously a mistake at the end of it. But I have no regrets. That's gone. I played one season and I asked them to excuse me, because obviously after having such a long career, you don't want to be playing ICL cricket and considered a rebel and banned from all levels of cricket."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS FOR BRAIN LARA FANS JUST READ IT OUT HE WILL BE PLAYING IN I P L

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    Many people will be surprised to know that Brian Charles Lara after 3 years of being retired from the game is one of the most fittest players in the West indies! So you all who focus on the 41 age look out!!!

  • POSTED BY Metman on | December 9, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Lara ,you can't be a begger and chooser at the same time !Get fit ,run around on the field,and face the bowlers if you want to earn your money !and remember, you are not Lara the great batsman anymore,you are now Lara the ordinary man !You said the deal with surrey fell through.What about the deals in Zim.,did they fall through too?I am sure there are leagues around the world that cater for senior citizens like you .Don't you think that is a good idea,instead of begging and then telling the people what you want?

  • POSTED BY Srinivasan_r20 on | December 6, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    Awaiting you Lara sir... Love you as always!!!

  • POSTED BY Spcalvin on | December 5, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    Brian Charles Lara without a doubt is the best test batsman that ever step foot on a cricket field and no doubt he will make an impact if he do get a chance playing for the ipl

  • POSTED BY on | December 5, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    after sachin, lara is the only great player in modern era.............

  • POSTED BY ChrisH on | December 4, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    "West Indies are currently No. 8 in the ICC Test and ODI rankings, but while Lara was optimistic about the future of West Indies cricket, he rung a cautionary note."

    Cricinfo's odd. They focus on this fact despite the absolute certainty that by the end of the series WI will once again by No. 7 in the ICC Test rankings as a result of being able to draw at least 2 tests with Sri Lanka just as NZ were able to draw two tests with India.

  • POSTED BY on | December 3, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    Look who is eying for some IPL money!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 3, 2010, 19:50 GMT

    Woukd really love to see Lara play again. On his day he mesmorises with his elegance and array of shots. GO LARA !!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY sanchit_sabharwal on | December 3, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    LARA IS THE ONLY PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF GAME TO HAVE A SCORE OF MORE THAN 500 IN FIRST CLASS AND 400 HUNDRED IN TEST, HE IS GREATEST BATSMAN OF TEST CRICKET, THE ORIGINAL CRICKET WHICH TESTS THE BATSMAN'S ABILITY AND POTENTIAL. WELCOME PRINCE TO INDIA, UR FAN FOLLOWING IS MILLIONS IN INDIA, WE ALL WANT TO SEE U IN ACTION AGAIN, BEST OF LUCK...

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS FOR BRAIN LARA FANS JUST READ IT OUT HE WILL BE PLAYING IN I P L

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    Many people will be surprised to know that Brian Charles Lara after 3 years of being retired from the game is one of the most fittest players in the West indies! So you all who focus on the 41 age look out!!!

  • POSTED BY Metman on | December 9, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Lara ,you can't be a begger and chooser at the same time !Get fit ,run around on the field,and face the bowlers if you want to earn your money !and remember, you are not Lara the great batsman anymore,you are now Lara the ordinary man !You said the deal with surrey fell through.What about the deals in Zim.,did they fall through too?I am sure there are leagues around the world that cater for senior citizens like you .Don't you think that is a good idea,instead of begging and then telling the people what you want?

  • POSTED BY Srinivasan_r20 on | December 6, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    Awaiting you Lara sir... Love you as always!!!

  • POSTED BY Spcalvin on | December 5, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    Brian Charles Lara without a doubt is the best test batsman that ever step foot on a cricket field and no doubt he will make an impact if he do get a chance playing for the ipl

  • POSTED BY on | December 5, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    after sachin, lara is the only great player in modern era.............

  • POSTED BY ChrisH on | December 4, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    "West Indies are currently No. 8 in the ICC Test and ODI rankings, but while Lara was optimistic about the future of West Indies cricket, he rung a cautionary note."

    Cricinfo's odd. They focus on this fact despite the absolute certainty that by the end of the series WI will once again by No. 7 in the ICC Test rankings as a result of being able to draw at least 2 tests with Sri Lanka just as NZ were able to draw two tests with India.

  • POSTED BY on | December 3, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    Look who is eying for some IPL money!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 3, 2010, 19:50 GMT

    Woukd really love to see Lara play again. On his day he mesmorises with his elegance and array of shots. GO LARA !!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY sanchit_sabharwal on | December 3, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    LARA IS THE ONLY PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF GAME TO HAVE A SCORE OF MORE THAN 500 IN FIRST CLASS AND 400 HUNDRED IN TEST, HE IS GREATEST BATSMAN OF TEST CRICKET, THE ORIGINAL CRICKET WHICH TESTS THE BATSMAN'S ABILITY AND POTENTIAL. WELCOME PRINCE TO INDIA, UR FAN FOLLOWING IS MILLIONS IN INDIA, WE ALL WANT TO SEE U IN ACTION AGAIN, BEST OF LUCK...

  • POSTED BY AceB on | December 3, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    B C Lara to play in IPL @ 40something ? He'll have to be fitter than during his pre-retirement days . As a mentor ? Not without a charisma transplant..

  • POSTED BY on | December 3, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    It will be gr8 to see the legend back !!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 3, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    I guess he ll be picked up by Pune like how Warne was to Royals.

  • POSTED BY Bravowindies on | December 3, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Lara undoubtedly one of the best players of all time and probably the best of his era. What he has given to westindies cricket, whether he was a mentor or not, whether he has legs to play cricket now or he could've done better? These questions don't have any effect on his legacy. Most importantly what he has given to cricket during his time is unexpressable. He is one of those names who are responsible for making cricket such a huge game around the world and most of the people look upto him when they start playing cricket. I hope lara make a comeback to cricket and contributes to success of whichever team he represents. Go Lara!

  • POSTED BY Alok505 on | December 3, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    Guys plz dont make a sense here , lara is a great cricketer , i would like to see him captaining a new side may be for pune or kochi , afterall i dont see top indian players will go for auction this time with 3 indian players will be save by each franchaes

  • POSTED BY Rydham on | December 3, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    I think one of the new teams of IPL can take Lara but he should not forget what happened with Glen McGrath ... !! McGrath could have been a bowling mentor for Delhi but as we know, Delhi has done a very good without him, too. In nutshell I am not so optimistic about Lara's arrival in IPL because now the owners of these teams understands cricket and cricketers a lot !!

  • POSTED BY spardak on | December 3, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Thats great that LARA is wanting to join IPL...about him beging a poor mentor ....I think people had the same view abt one ..SACHIN TENDULKAR till he proved every one wrong with his role with MUMBAI INDIANS. If Sachin can be sucessful...I see no reason Lara cannot achieve it....All the best to BRIAN CHARLES LARA........

  • POSTED BY Asif_Iqbal on | December 3, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Lara whhat a brilliant player he is , I wans see him action in any cost

  • POSTED BY bharath74 on | December 3, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Welcome to IPL 4, love to see Lara playing

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | December 3, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    40+ so what ???? Lara's Coach/Mentor role in IPL 4 is not a bad idea & it will surely suit him......if Sanath,Kumble,Ganguly & co can play IPL, why can't vastly experienced Lara play ???? come on IPL give him a chance n see !!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY A.K.KHAN on | December 2, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Lara was a great batsman, and I still think, he has a lot to do. I and my friends wanna see you (LARA) play in IPL4. Hope, you will be leading some team in IPL4. We all are with you and wanna see you again on the field.....!!!!!

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | December 2, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    Lara was a great bastman but a lousy mentor. We saw what WI did under him. I remember many WI players saying that the team played BETTER when Lara was not around. This is not to diss him, but just to caution against getting too excited about "Lara the mentor". If he wants to play in IPL (and make some bucks), he better get fit and show up as a player.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | December 2, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    Lara, it ain't happening. You can try, but no one really wants you. IPL is not senior citizens game. At 40+, you cannot be an asset to any team. I just don't see it. Find another profession.

  • POSTED BY amir-test-cricket on | December 2, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    hey king ...

    please give it a try ... there is nothing u cant do on the cric field ...

    CRICKET ??? LARA ...

    the end ...

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY amir-test-cricket on | December 2, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    hey king ...

    please give it a try ... there is nothing u cant do on the cric field ...

    CRICKET ??? LARA ...

    the end ...

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | December 2, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    Lara, it ain't happening. You can try, but no one really wants you. IPL is not senior citizens game. At 40+, you cannot be an asset to any team. I just don't see it. Find another profession.

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | December 2, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    Lara was a great bastman but a lousy mentor. We saw what WI did under him. I remember many WI players saying that the team played BETTER when Lara was not around. This is not to diss him, but just to caution against getting too excited about "Lara the mentor". If he wants to play in IPL (and make some bucks), he better get fit and show up as a player.

  • POSTED BY A.K.KHAN on | December 2, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Lara was a great batsman, and I still think, he has a lot to do. I and my friends wanna see you (LARA) play in IPL4. Hope, you will be leading some team in IPL4. We all are with you and wanna see you again on the field.....!!!!!

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | December 3, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    40+ so what ???? Lara's Coach/Mentor role in IPL 4 is not a bad idea & it will surely suit him......if Sanath,Kumble,Ganguly & co can play IPL, why can't vastly experienced Lara play ???? come on IPL give him a chance n see !!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY bharath74 on | December 3, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Welcome to IPL 4, love to see Lara playing

  • POSTED BY Asif_Iqbal on | December 3, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Lara whhat a brilliant player he is , I wans see him action in any cost

  • POSTED BY spardak on | December 3, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Thats great that LARA is wanting to join IPL...about him beging a poor mentor ....I think people had the same view abt one ..SACHIN TENDULKAR till he proved every one wrong with his role with MUMBAI INDIANS. If Sachin can be sucessful...I see no reason Lara cannot achieve it....All the best to BRIAN CHARLES LARA........

  • POSTED BY Rydham on | December 3, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    I think one of the new teams of IPL can take Lara but he should not forget what happened with Glen McGrath ... !! McGrath could have been a bowling mentor for Delhi but as we know, Delhi has done a very good without him, too. In nutshell I am not so optimistic about Lara's arrival in IPL because now the owners of these teams understands cricket and cricketers a lot !!

  • POSTED BY Alok505 on | December 3, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    Guys plz dont make a sense here , lara is a great cricketer , i would like to see him captaining a new side may be for pune or kochi , afterall i dont see top indian players will go for auction this time with 3 indian players will be save by each franchaes