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Lara dedicates Hall of Fame honour to father

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 16, 2012

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Brian Lara talks to the press at the ICC Awards, Colombo, September 15, 2012
Brian Lara at the ICC awards ceremony in Colombo © ICC
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Brian Lara, who was inducted into the ICC's Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony in Colombo on Friday evening, dedicated the honour to his late father Bunty Lara, who died before his son played a Test. Lara also credited his brother Winston and sister Agnes during the function at the Water's Edge Resort, saying they'd played important roles in his development as a cricketer.

"This person you see today before you accepting this Hall of Fame honour is someone he [Bunty Lara] moulded. He ensured that I had everything I needed to succeed as a cricketer and in life, even in trying times," Lara said. "He made a special effort to make sure everything was there.

"I had to work hard ... but I knew I had strong support. My biggest pain was that he did not see me play a Test match, but having the West Indies team in Trinidad at his funeral was a special tribute to the man who made sure I was given the tools to play this glorious game and make such a lasting contribution."

Lara ended his 17-year international career as Test cricket's leading run-scorer, with 11,953 runs at an average of 52.88 in 131 matches, a record that has been beaten since. However, he still holds the record for the highest individual score - 400 against England in Antigua in 2004. He had held it before as well, when he scored 375, also against England in Antigua in 1994, to go past Garry Sobers' 365. He also holds the record for the highest first-class score: 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham* in 1994.

In the 299 ODIs that he played, Lara scored 10,405 runs at an average of 40.48. In 2004, when captaining West Indies, he led the team to victory in the Champions Trophy against England at the Oval.

"As a boy, you never really thought of Hall of Fames, you never really thought of records. Growing up in the '70s my heroes were Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and Roy Fredericks as a left-hand batsman. I am happy I was able to spend 17 years in the West Indies and was able to contribute in a way worthy of this honour," Lara said. "It is nice to share it with my family.

"Tonight I had my brother and my sister here with me. Agnes is the one who took me to my first coaching clinic when I was six, and Winston was a role model as a stylish right-handed batsman ... so to have them here is very special."

Lara said his most memorable series was the four home Tests against Australia in 1999, when he scored 213 in Jamaica and 153 in Barbados to help West Indies draw the rubber 2-2.

"The 213 against Australia in Jamaica is definitely my best innings," he said. "You have to understand the climate at that time. Going into that match, landing in Jamaica and knowing that everything was on the line - your captaincy, the series, respect and adoration by your fans. The mental strength I mustered during that week was something that when I looked back, it was very hard to measure anything against that.

"The performance was something I cherish and the fact that we won the match to level the series, after we were bowled out for 51 the week before in Trinidad, felt great. I thought the way I handled it was special. It is something I will never ever forget ... it's a day's cricket I will be talking about for a very long time. The 153 in Barbados the following week was rated higher by Wisden and the cricketing gurus but the double century in Jamaica was my best effort."

Lara, 43, joined 16 West Indian cricketers - Lance Gibbs, Gordon Greenidge, George Headley, Michael Holding, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Worrell, Courtney Walsh, Joel Garner and Curtly Ambrose - in the ICC Hall of Fame.

*1000GMT A correction was made to change "for Durham against Warwickshire" to "for Warwickshire against Durham

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Vineeth59 on (September 18, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Waiting for the day we can could him as SIR. Brian Charles Lara

Posted by mazdonal on (September 17, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

Your father missed a lot. There is no better sight in Test cricket than Brian Lara in full flight

Posted by harshthakor on (September 17, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

Lara is arguably the best West Indian test match batsman of all time .No batsman of the modern era for registering such mammoth scores ,including Gary Sobers ,Tendulkar and Viv Richards.Unlike Viv,Lara had to champion the cause of one of the weakest teams and he was far more tested in a crisis.Lara ,at his best had phenomenal run aggregates in series eg 798 v England in 1994 and 765 v England in 1995 and 688 in 3 tests v Sri Lanka.His 153 not out v Australia at Bridgetown on a broken track is the best ever knock in a run chase.Where Viv scored over Lara was his greater ability against pace bowling and ability to mercilessly dominate the opposition to submission.However at his best like when scoring 277 in Australia in 1992-93 Lara was on par with Viv.In terms of pure artistry I would club Lara with Rohan Kanhai,another all-time great.

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

Remember Sir Brian Charles Lara made the so called great Shane Warne get dropped from the Aussie team and he also wanted to quit the game after some good lashes. Sachin never cause Shane to ever contemplate those thoughts

Posted by jb633 on (September 17, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

Lara was by far the best entertainer but Sachin was the more consistent. People saying that Sachin always played for a good team are wrong. I recall Sachin in the 90's, the peak of Sachin, and his excellent contributions in losing causes. Idiots say that when Sachin scores 100's India lose, in reality there would have been many more embarssments had he failed. No batsman could light up a crowd like Lara though. Once he got in, teams knew that they were going to fetch leather for a long time.

Posted by Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on (September 17, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

Now if any batsman in the modern era deserved it, it was Brian Lara; sheer genius, sheer class!

Posted by Princepurple1979 on (September 17, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

I am an Indian and has watched almost all Sachin big innigses. However I can say for certain (IMO), that when Lara was on song, Sachin was no match for him. The kind of shots lara could conjure up, the timing of his attacks,the way he picks up the pace, the way he nurtured the tail enders, these are all qualities which made me rate Lara ahead of Sachin. In India people would say Sachin had to play under pressure! Well if he was under pressure while having the likes of Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Sehwag etc then what can I say about Lara! Lara - The greatest batsman of our era..i miss you a lot...

Posted by harshthakor on (September 17, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Arguably Tendulkar just noses Lara overall because of his greater consistency and temperament .In pure test cricket it is neck to neck but in combined cricket Sachin certainly wins the battle.Wheras Lara posessed superior flair and artistry Tendulkar was clinically better and more difficult to dismiss.Tendulkar had all the components of a perfect batsman and arguably deserves a place more than Laraor Viv Richards in the all -time world 11.Dominating a game for over 22 years at the top has never been achieved.Tendulkar faced more pressure than any great batsman ever.

Posted by harshthakor on (September 17, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

Brian Lara posessed greater creative genius than any modern day great .His batting revealed the artistry of a musical composer.I rate Lara at his best ahead of Tendulkar,particularly when the chips were down.He could change the complexion of a game or series more than Tendulkar as he showed in the 1999 Frank Worrel trophy where his 3 centuries turned the fate of the series and almost enabled West Indies to regain the Frank Worrel trophy after it all seemed lost at one stage.No great batsman after George Headley as borne the brunt of scoring runs for his team as Lara who has the highest average percentage score of the team's total score than anyone since Headley.

What placed Lara lower amongst the pantheon of greats was his inconsistency.However remember he played for one of the weakest batting sides.I rate Lara the best left -handed batsman of all,ahead of Sobers and Pollock.

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

@featurewriter - Know your facts, Shane Warne rated Tendulkar at #1 and Lara at #2 in his list of Top 100 Greatest Players he played with or against. Oh by the way, Inzamam was placed at #90 in that list.

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