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Holding knocks Lara

Michael Holding does not feel Brian Lara should have been selected in the West Indies team for the imminent tour of England

Haydn Gill
Michael Holding does not feel Brian Lara should have been selected in the West Indies team for the imminent tour of England.
And the respected broadcast cricket analyst feels the former West Indies captain will not easily fit back into a team that has performed above expectations this season.
Holding is not so much up in arms that Lara changed his mind at the last minute after informing the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that he would be unavailable for the tour.
But, he is of the view that there should have been a confirmation from a professional that Lara had overcome the problems that forced him to take a 'break' from the game.
'If someone has a problem and goes to see a specialist, it is a specialist who then determines if he thinks that person is back to normal or not,' Holding told SUNSPORT yesterday.
He first raised the issue while commenting on CANARadio Cricket Plus and there were immediate responses via e-mail and callers to the NATION Sports Desk.
There were reports that Lara was to visit a stress therapy specialist in New York during the three months he spent away from the game.
'We haven't heard anything about that trip he made ... to hear if he has recovered or if he is back to normal from whatever was ailing him,' Holding said.
'I don't see any reason why he should be selected without anyone knowing about that particular treatment.'
In the absence of Lara this season, West Indies have performed with some success against Zimbabwe and Pakistan under new captain Jimmy Adams and Holding is one of those who doubts whether the gifted left-handed batsman will easily adapt to the new set-up.
'I don't think he will fit back in easily; but I think if he wants to fit back in, he can,' Holding said.
'Brian Lara, when he wants to perform - when he wants to go out and play cricket, he will go out and perform at his best.'
An example Holding drew was last year's home series against Australia when his three hundreds followed immense public criticism.
'It's not a matter that he cannot perform and he cannot fit in.
'If he wants to fit in he will. If he comes across with problems in England and he decides that this isn't for me, we'll have problems again with him within the team.'
Lara has not had any serious cricket since early February and reports from Port-of-Spain indicate that he has declined opportunities to represent Queen's Park in the Trinidad National League competition this weekend and next weekend.
Does Holding feel Lara should have to prove his form and fitness?
'He wouldn't have lost that (batting ability) over the period of time, but he should have been playing cricket in some form or the other - in the nets or whatever.
'The selectors should have found out about that possibility or about his progress with that before he was selected.
'I don't know if they did find out, but what I do know is that the reasons he gave for taking the break we haven't heard anything about that being remedied.'