The country of Trinidad & Tobago is not often in the news but one of its best sportsman, cricketer Brian Lara put it on the map with his accomplishments. He had made it into the West Indies national team which was his dream team at 21 in 1990. He had captained the Trinidad and Tobago national team for two years but he had always hovered on the periphery of the West Indies team which was mostly on a winning streak having lost just eight out of 50 tests. For years, he had perfected his skills.
In 1994, he broke two of the most highly coveted cricket batting records when he scored 375 runs in a game against England. The achievement bested the record that had been set by Sir Garfield Sobers 36 years before. He also made 501 runs (not out) for his English county team of Warwickshire. In 2004, he set another record when he became the very first player to retake the Test batting record with 400 runs (not out) in a game against England which beat the 2003 record of 380 runs set by Matthew Hayden from Australia.
He got to make his Test debut in the third match which was played in Lahore. He managed a score of 44 off 89 but Carl Hooper came out the better man when he scored 134. Though he wasn’t on the team that that went on the next tour to England in May 1991, he was constant on the West Indies team in the matches that followed.
Lara’s dream team of West Indies continued to do well but not well enough. In May 1995, the team did dismally in the fourth and last Test against Australia that was played at Sabina Park. His personal achievements stood out greatly as his dream team declined. He played an excellent game in 1993 at the Sydney Cricket Grounds played in Australia. He scored 277 runs with such finesse that Tony Cozier who was the commentator for the game gave him the title of the new prince of cricket. In April 18 of the following year, he did it again and went all the way with the 538 balls he had started before; at the Antigua Recreation Ground, he broke the world record for highest Test innings with 375.
After this, he went to play for Warwickshire in England. In his first match in April, he scored 147 against Glamorgan. This was on April 29. By May 23, Lara had accumulated no less than five first-class centuries one after the other. He was on the cusp of setting another world record for consecutive first-class centuries. He missed it narrowly when he was out for 26 at Lord’s but made up for it when he made 140 off 147 balls. The following month, he did break a record; he broke the first-class individual record with 501 runs at an Edgbaston game. He became the very first player to make a score of seven centuries in eight first-class innings.
Lara retired from international cricket in 2007 after colliding with the West Indies team Cricket Board over his opinion of what was causing the team to decline after the 2007 World Cup series. Today is a fete promoter which works just fine with his love for partying.
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