Lara named as skipper

Lara named as skipper

Post by Stev » Fri, 09 Jan 1998 04:00:00


West Indies turn to Lara for Test series against England

THE West Indies Board bowed yesterday to the weight of cricketing opinion
in the Caribbean and appointed Brian Lara as captain for the five-Test
series against England which starts at Kingston in Jamaica three weeks from
today, writes Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

Having overruled their own selection committee when they recommended Lara
as captain for the recent series in Pakistan, the board have now accepted
that his promotion gives them a better chance of beating England and of
preparing for a tough tour of South Africa later this year.

Courtney Walsh, reluctantly ditched after leading the side with dignity and
no personal loss of form to three humiliating defeats in Pakistan before
Christmas - two by an innings and one by 10 wickets - was considering his
future last night. It would be no surprise if he decides to retire
immediately from Test cricket (he returns to captain Gloucestershire next
season) but there will be anxious attempts to dissuade him from doing so,
not least by Clive Lloyd and Malcolm Marshall, the manager and coach who
suffered with him in Pakistan.

Walsh needs to play only four more Tests to become the first West Indian
bowler to win 100 caps and he is a mere 23 wickets short of Marshall's West
Indian record of 376. He has always been his own man, however. He took over
the leadership when Richie Richardson resigned during the last World Cup in
1996. Walsh performed heroically in Pakistan and according to Wasim Akram
he was still, at 35, the quickest of their fast bowlers. At home in seven
Tests against India and Sri lanka last season, however, he took only 11
wickets at 42. If Lara's problem has been a lack of motivation, so might
Walsh's now, for all his patriotism and pride. His fielding, never
brilliant, has become an unequal struggle under pressure.

The probability, therefore, is that Walsh will not be bowling against
England in the weeks ahead. This would still leave Lara with two bowlers of
vast Test experience in Ian Bishop and Curtly Ambrose, two more rising
talents in Franklyn Rose and Mervyn Dillon, and Reon King in the wings.
With Rawl Lewis to bowl leg-breaks if required, the new captain is not
without bowling resources. The series will hang, however, on whether he can
now rediscover the art of playing the long Test innings. If he does, he
will score quickly enough to give his bowlers winning chances. If he does
not - especially in Walsh's home island where the first Test is played - he
is bound to get a hostile reception.

At 28, Lara is ready to take on the responsibility of captaining an
international team and his first attempt, against India last March when
Walsh was injured, was auspicious. With very few runs to play with after
the West Indies had been behind India on first innings on a much livelier
Bridgetown pitch than has been common in recent years, he kept what
observers said was the ideal balance between defence and attack while
Ambrose, Bishop and Rose bowled India out for 81 in the fourth innings.

This was a remarkable exception to the rule that Test captains generally
lose their first match in charge. In Lara's case, however, it remains to be
seen if he will be so impressive in foul weather as he always has been in
fair. This would be an unjust comment on his batting alone, because in the
years when his career was taking its more or less smooth upward curve
towards the pheneomenal zenith in 1994, he often scored freely in
conditions wherein others were floundering. Devon Malcolm, for example,
gave him a very clear hurry up in the first Test at Sabina Park four years
ago, but he weathered the storm, made 83 and dominated the bowlers for the
rest of the series, signing off with his record 375 in Antigua.

The adulation which followed the breaking of Sir Gary Sobers's record and
the almost ridiculous score of 501 not out for Warwickshire which followed
but two months later went as much to his head as to his pocket. Nothing had
prepared a simple, though by no means unintelligent, young man from a Port
of Spain suburb for such instant and intense fame and fortune. The
Australians in particular found a way of bringing him down to earth,
especially Glenn McGrath, and in the last two years his Test average has
been a very mortal 36. The last Coopers and Lybrand World Rankings listed
him as only the 13th best batsman in the world.

England's problem now may be that he will prove afresh that he is actually
the best. For sheer instinctive brilliance, linked to a sound technical
grounding, un doubtedly he is. Batting, however, requires the right shot at
the right time and Lara has been either too impatient, or insufficiently
motivated, to find it often enough for the good of himself or the West
Indies in recent times. In 1996/97 they played 18 Tests, won only six of
them and, thanks to the thrashing in Pakistan, lost six of them too.

Steve.                                          

 
 
 

Lara named as skipper

Post by Zildji » Sat, 10 Jan 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>West Indies turn to Lara for Test series against England

>THE West Indies Board bowed yesterday to the weight of cricketing opinion
>in the Caribbean and appointed Brian Lara as captain for the five-Test
>series against England which starts at Kingston in Jamaica three weeks from
>today, writes Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

Muhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Quote:

>Having overruled their own selection committee when they recommended Lara
>as captain for the recent series in Pakistan, the board have now accepted
>that his promotion gives them a better chance of beating England and of
>preparing for a tough tour of South Africa later this year.

How so? Does his appointment now mean that WI have two decent
openers? Some new bowlers of class? How 'bout a wicketkeeper?
Oh I get it. The difference is that WI will now have a captain who
is loved and respected by all of his team-mates and they'll all live
happily ever after.

Quote:

>Courtney Walsh, reluctantly ditched after leading the side with dignity and
>no personal loss of form to three humiliating defeats in Pakistan before
>Christmas - two by an innings and one by 10 wickets - was considering his
>future last night. It would be no surprise if he decides to retire
>immediately from Test cricket (he returns to captain Gloucestershire next
>season) but there will be anxious attempts to dissuade him from doing so,
>not least by Clive Lloyd and Malcolm Marshall, the manager and coach who
>suffered with him in Pakistan.

Which is no surprise othwerwise Ambrose will have to take all of the
wickets instead of just half of them.

Quote:

>Walsh needs to play only four more Tests to become the first West Indian
>bowler to win 100 caps and he is a mere 23 wickets short of Marshall's West
>Indian record of 376. He has always been his own man, however. He took over
>the leadership when Richie Richardson resigned during the last World Cup in
>1996.

After RR's character and captaincy was strategically assasinated by
one whinging, whining, selfish little twerp who goes by the name of
Lara.

Quote:
>Walsh performed heroically in Pakistan

In stark contrast to the newly appointed captain.

Quote:
>and according to Wasim Akram
>he was still, at 35, the quickest of their fast bowlers. At home in seven
>Tests against India and Sri lanka last season, however, he took only 11
>wickets at 42. If Lara's problem has been a lack of motivation,

Well I guess I don't know him personally, but it seems pretty clear
to me that Lara's problem is that he's completely self-centred
as well as being an overly ambitious egomaniac.

Quote:
>so might
>Walsh's now, for all his patriotism and pride. His fielding, never
>brilliant, has become an unequal struggle under pressure.

Which would be very much to WI's detriment seeing as how
Walsh is much more important to WI's hopes of winning games
than what Lara is.

Quote:

>The probability, therefore, is that Walsh will not be bowling against
>England in the weeks ahead. This would still leave Lara with two bowlers of
>vast Test experience in Ian Bishop and Curtly Ambrose, two more rising
>talents in Franklyn Rose and Mervyn Dillon, and Reon King in the wings.

I've heard a bit about Rose and Dillon. For Lara's sake, those two
will need to be rising stars. But if they happen to be of the Nixon
McLean or Patterson Thompson class ....

Quote:
>With Rawl Lewis to bowl leg-breaks if required, the new captain is not
>without bowling resources. The series will hang, however, on whether he can
>now rediscover the art of playing the long Test innings.

Well I bet he can. Just give him a track that produces 1500 runs and
20 wickets, and he'll be back to his 375-run per innings best.

Quote:
>If he does, he
>will score quickly enough to give his bowlers winning chances.

Obviously this writer doesn't know much about Lara's efforts in
the past. He hasn't generally been in the habit of creating
winning chances. Just batting records.

Quote:
>If he does
>not - especially in Walsh's home island where the first Test is played - he
>is bound to get a hostile reception.

Just guess what I'm hoping for.

Quote:

>At 28, Lara is ready to take on the responsibility of captaining an
>international team

Well of course. He's demonstrated such tremendous maturity in the
way he's de-stabilised the team during the last 3 years, and seen off
two captains, in his relentless pursuit of the top job.

Quote:
>and his first attempt, against India last March when
>Walsh was injured, was auspicious. With very few runs to play with after
>the West Indies had been behind India on first innings on a much livelier
>Bridgetown pitch than has been common in recent years, he kept what
>observers said was the ideal balance between defence and attack while
>Ambrose, Bishop and Rose bowled India out for 81 in the fourth innings.

>This was a remarkable exception to the rule that Test captains generally
>lose their first match in charge. In Lara's case, however, it remains to be
>seen if he will be so impressive in foul weather as he always has been in
>fair.

Well what we do know is that Lara's batting rarely measures up when
the going is tough.

Quote:
>This would be an unjust comment on his batting alone, because in the
>years when his career was taking its more or less smooth upward curve
>towards the pheneomenal zenith in 1994, he often scored freely in
>conditions wherein others were floundering. Devon Malcolm, for example,
>gave him a very clear hurry up in the first Test at Sabina Park four years
>ago, but he weathered the storm, made 83 and dominated the bowlers for the
>rest of the series, signing off with his record 375 in Antigua.

Good grief. He's earnt brownie points from this writer for taming
Devon Malcolm!

Quote:

>The adulation which followed the breaking of Sir Gary Sobers's record and
>the almost ridiculous score of 501 not out

Almost ridiculous? Undeniably it was totally ridiculous.

Quote:
>for Warwickshire which followed
>but two months later went as much to his head as to his pocket. Nothing had
>prepared a simple, though by no means unintelligent, young man from a Port
>of Spain suburb for such instant and intense fame and fortune. The
>Australians in particular found a way of bringing him down to earth,
>especially Glenn McGrath, and in the last two years his Test average has
>been a very mortal 36. The last Coopers and Lybrand World Rankings listed
>him as only the 13th best batsman in the world.

A pretty fair assessment I'd say. God given shots and timing he may
have, but the necessary mental fortitude?

Quote:

>England's problem now may be that he will prove afresh that he is actually
>the best.

Well I wouldn't be suprised if he scored a lot of runs again. 5 of his
10 centuries have already been against that motley lot, so we
definitely have a precedent. Runs against them won;t prove
he is the best though. It'll just prove what we already know.
That being that there's plenty of runs to be had when playing
England if you get your shit together.

Quote:
>For sheer instinctive brilliance, linked to a sound technical
>grounding, un doubtedly he is.

Well even I couldn't argue against that. Unfortunately for Lara,
much more than that is required to be the world's number one
Test batsman.

Quote:
>Batting, however, requires the right shot at
>the right time and Lara has been either too impatient, or insufficiently
>motivated, to find it often enough for the good of himself or the West
>Indies in recent times.

Or incapable of dealing with the pressure?

Quote:
>In 1996/97 they played 18 Tests, won only six of
>them and, thanks to the thrashing in Pakistan, lost six of them too.

And with Lara instrumental in that thrashing.

There'll be no middle ground with Lara as WI captain. He'll either
be a spectacular success or an even more spectacular failure.
I'm just wondering how long it will be before he develops
schizophrenia seeing as how he's had it in for every other WI
captain. Surely he'll have it in for himself before long?

-------------------------------
Greg Breen


 
 
 

Lara named as skipper

Post by Jackie Hewit » Thu, 15 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Quote:


> >West Indies turn to Lara for Test series against England

> >THE West Indies Board bowed yesterday to the weight of cricketing opinion
> >in the Caribbean and appointed Brian Lara as captain for the five-Test
> >series against England which starts at Kingston in Jamaica three weeks from
> >today, writes Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

> Muhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

> >Having overruled their own selection committee when they recommended Lara
> >as captain for the recent series in Pakistan, the board have now accepted
> >that his promotion gives them a better chance of beating England and of
> >preparing for a tough tour of South Africa later this year.

> How so? Does his appointment now mean that WI have two decent
> openers? Some new bowlers of class? How 'bout a wicketkeeper?
> Oh I get it. The difference is that WI will now have a captain who
> is loved and respected by all of his team-mates and they'll all live
> happily ever after.

> >Courtney Walsh, reluctantly ditched after leading the side with dignity and
> >no personal loss of form to three humiliating defeats in Pakistan before
> >Christmas - two by an innings and one by 10 wickets - was considering his
> >future last night. It would be no surprise if he decides to retire
> >immediately from Test cricket (he returns to captain Gloucestershire next
> >season) but there will be anxious attempts to dissuade him from doing so,
> >not least by Clive Lloyd and Malcolm Marshall, the manager and coach who
> >suffered with him in Pakistan.

> Which is no surprise othwerwise Ambrose will have to take all of the
> wickets instead of just half of them.

> >Walsh needs to play only four more Tests to become the first West Indian
> >bowler to win 100 caps and he is a mere 23 wickets short of Marshall's West
> >Indian record of 376. He has always been his own man, however. He took over
> >the leadership when Richie Richardson resigned during the last World Cup in
> >1996.

> After RR's character and captaincy was strategically assasinated by
> one whinging, whining, selfish little twerp who goes by the name of
> Lara.

> >Walsh performed heroically in Pakistan

> In stark contrast to the newly appointed captain.

> >and according to Wasim Akram
> >he was still, at 35, the quickest of their fast bowlers. At home in seven
> >Tests against India and Sri lanka last season, however, he took only 11
> >wickets at 42. If Lara's problem has been a lack of motivation,

> Well I guess I don't know him personally, but it seems pretty clear
> to me that Lara's problem is that he's completely self-centred
> as well as being an overly ambitious egomaniac.

> >so might
> >Walsh's now, for all his patriotism and pride. His fielding, never
> >brilliant, has become an unequal struggle under pressure.

> Which would be very much to WI's detriment seeing as how
> Walsh is much more important to WI's hopes of winning games
> than what Lara is.

> >The probability, therefore, is that Walsh will not be bowling against
> >England in the weeks ahead. This would still leave Lara with two bowlers of
> >vast Test experience in Ian Bishop and Curtly Ambrose, two more rising
> >talents in Franklyn Rose and Mervyn Dillon, and Reon King in the wings.

> I've heard a bit about Rose and Dillon. For Lara's sake, those two
> will need to be rising stars. But if they happen to be of the Nixon
> McLean or Patterson Thompson class ....

> >With Rawl Lewis to bowl leg-breaks if required, the new captain is not
> >without bowling resources. The series will hang, however, on whether he can
> >now rediscover the art of playing the long Test innings.

> Well I bet he can. Just give him a track that produces 1500 runs and
> 20 wickets, and he'll be back to his 375-run per innings best.

> >If he does, he
> >will score quickly enough to give his bowlers winning chances.

> Obviously this writer doesn't know much about Lara's efforts in
> the past. He hasn't generally been in the habit of creating
> winning chances. Just batting records.

> >If he does
> >not - especially in Walsh's home island where the first Test is played - he
> >is bound to get a hostile reception.

> Just guess what I'm hoping for.

> >At 28, Lara is ready to take on the responsibility of captaining an
> >international team

> Well of course. He's demonstrated such tremendous maturity in the
> way he's de-stabilised the team during the last 3 years, and seen off
> two captains, in his relentless pursuit of the top job.

> >and his first attempt, against India last March when
> >Walsh was injured, was auspicious. With very few runs to play with after
> >the West Indies had been behind India on first innings on a much livelier
> >Bridgetown pitch than has been common in recent years, he kept what
> >observers said was the ideal balance between defence and attack while
> >Ambrose, Bishop and Rose bowled India out for 81 in the fourth innings.

> >This was a remarkable exception to the rule that Test captains generally
> >lose their first match in charge. In Lara's case, however, it remains to be
> >seen if he will be so impressive in foul weather as he always has been in
> >fair.

> Well what we do know is that Lara's batting rarely measures up when
> the going is tough.

> >This would be an unjust comment on his batting alone, because in the
> >years when his career was taking its more or less smooth upward curve
> >towards the pheneomenal zenith in 1994, he often scored freely in
> >conditions wherein others were floundering. Devon Malcolm, for example,
> >gave him a very clear hurry up in the first Test at Sabina Park four years
> >ago, but he weathered the storm, made 83 and dominated the bowlers for the
> >rest of the series, signing off with his record 375 in Antigua.

> Good grief. He's earnt brownie points from this writer for taming
> Devon Malcolm!

> >The adulation which followed the breaking of Sir Gary Sobers's record and
> >the almost ridiculous score of 501 not out

> Almost ridiculous? Undeniably it was totally ridiculous.

> >for Warwickshire which followed
> >but two months later went as much to his head as to his pocket. Nothing had
> >prepared a simple, though by no means unintelligent, young man from a Port
> >of Spain suburb for such instant and intense fame and fortune. The
> >Australians in particular found a way of bringing him down to earth,
> >especially Glenn McGrath, and in the last two years his Test average has
> >been a very mortal 36. The last Coopers and Lybrand World Rankings listed
> >him as only the 13th best batsman in the world.

> A pretty fair assessment I'd say. God given shots and timing he may
> have, but the necessary mental fortitude?

> >England's problem now may be that he will prove afresh that he is actually
> >the best.

> Well I wouldn't be suprised if he scored a lot of runs again. 5 of his
> 10 centuries have already been against that motley lot, so we
> definitely have a precedent. Runs against them won;t prove
> he is the best though. It'll just prove what we already know.
> That being that there's plenty of runs to be had when playing
> England if you get your shit together.

> >For sheer instinctive brilliance, linked to a sound technical
> >grounding, un doubtedly he is.

> Well even I couldn't argue against that. Unfortunately for Lara,
> much more than that is required to be the world's number one
> Test batsman.

> >Batting, however, requires the right shot at
> >the right time and Lara has been either too impatient, or insufficiently
> >motivated, to find it often enough for the good of himself or the West
> >Indies in recent times.

> Or incapable of dealing with the pressure?

> >In 1996/97 they played 18 Tests, won only six of
> >them and, thanks to the thrashing in Pakistan, lost six of them too.

> And with Lara instrumental in that thrashing.

> There'll be no middle ground with Lara as WI captain. He'll either
> be a spectacular success or an even more spectacular failure.
> I'm just wondering how long it will be before he develops
> schizophrenia seeing as how he's had it in for every other WI
> captain. Surely he'll have it in for himself before long?

> -------------------------------
> Greg Breen


Well, I have kept pretty quiet on the subject of Lara as captain, but
all I will say here re the comments on this piece is

HEAR HEAR.

It had struck me that Lara got his record breaking scores against weak
opposition. England in 94 were in my opinion still fumbling around in
the dark as far a finding a decent side were concerned (I mean Alan
Igglesden as a test class bowler for goodness sake- and pre Gough days
too). And as for the 501- well, no disresepct to them, but it was
against Durham who in 94 were still very much coming to terms with being
made a first class county side. If I recall, Lara got about 5 or 6 big
scores early season for Warwickshire in 94, then fell away.

Time will tell...

Jackie Hewitt
Courtney Walsh's Biggest Fan