Sunday, 22 April 2007

Lara's exit has left the game poorer

Well, did the greatest modern-day entertainer need to ask that question at the end of it all?

A glittering career that spanned nearly 18 years and provided a reason for many fans to pay at the gates with glee. One of the few batsmen who put the prime requirement of the general follower in front of him rather than play the boring numbers game. The legend of Brian Charles Lara will live forever even though the pocket sized Trinidadian was part of the weakest West Indian side.

The final match for Lara was certainly not scripted by the gods. How else would one explain the heartbreak for the legend who had to endure another so close yet too far theory? The run out was always on the cards and that was fitting as no bowler deserved to break the defence of Lara. The dismissal took me back to Sydney in the early 90's when Lara scripted his first hundred. A dazzling knock of 277 (Lara's first hundred) had to terminate when he was run out and the legendary Sir Gary Sobers remarked 'that was fitting' as no bowler deserved his wicket.

The sojourn that started then continued to marvel across the globe. And to have accumulated such huge quantum of runs without for once leaving his natural style behind spoke vastly of the West Indian way of life.

Coming to the match, it was a pity that such a good contest had to be an inconsequential affair. The match provided the sparks from two sides who never came close to playing to their potential. The difference was made by the openers.

Chris Gayle came to form at last and too bad it did not happen slightly earlier. It could have made a significant difference to the host's chances. Michael Vaughan also did best and ensured he would keep the captaincy for some time to come.

All said and done both England and West Indies should have no complaints. The four sides that deserved to be in the last four have taken their rightful places and it is time for us to sit back and enjoy some of the most stirring action after two days of break

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