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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Lara refuses to rule out first class return

Simon Evans | April 22, 2007 16:26 IST

Former West Indies captain Brian Lara refused to rule out a return to first class cricket after making his final bow on the international stage on Saturday.

In his last press conference as skipper of the World Cup hosts, Lara also expressed regret that he would not be part of next month's tour of England -- a view which is likely to fuel speculation he retired after being told he would not lead the team in that series.

Asked whether he would consider playing in county cricket, Lara said: "I just need to walk out of this room and think, go home and relax for a little while. I'm not writing anything off but at this present time I am just happy to have played for West Indies.

"I don't know what the future holds on the cricket field, you've just got to wait and see," he said after the one-wicket defeat by England in the last Super Eights game on Saturday.

Lara, who played for Warwickshire in the 1990's, had originally planned to retire only from one-dayers after the World Cup and continue with the test team.

He said his plans changed after the disappointing results at the World Cup -- where the hosts failed to reach the semis having won just one of their six second-round matches.

"I thought that we were well set for leaving the World Cup a successful team, if not winning the World Cup at least making it to the semi-finals or the final," said the 37-year-old.

"I thought that would then be the right time to leave the team on a high and move forward and see what we can do in the test arena.

'UNCONDITIONAL LOVE'

"The results didn't turn out as expected though and West Indies cricket is at a stage where change is necessary. We will most likely have a young captain, someone under the age of 30 and he will need to mould his team along with the support group that he needs.

"I just thought there is no need for me to be out there physically, there is nothing much I can do to help at present.

"As I've said I have unconditional love for West Indian cricket and I am looking forward to playing a part at any point in time. I'd like to now have a bit of break though away from the game."

When talking later about the England tour, which begins in May, Lara said: "I was hoping to go to play but unfortunately that's not happening" but when asked if selection decisions had been behind his decision he was less than lucid.

"I know I sat with the selectors in Antigua to pick the team for England and of course I picked myself and that's all that I know.

"I have informed the President that I want to move on with my life, I think I have done the right thing and allowed them an opportunity to move ahead with West Indies cricket," he said.


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