Brian Lara in action against Australia © Getty Images
Brian Lara in action against Australia © Getty Images

Brian Charles Lara is regarded as one of the finest batters to grace the great game. He made the game attractive with that signature shuffle and the free-flowing drives. The West Indies legend delivered the 2017 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at the Lord’s cricket ground and guess what, his performance with the microphone had the same finesse that he delivered with the willow. Lara made some bold statements like how “embarrassed” he was to see his heroes intimidating umpires and opponents as the best team in the world in the 1980s and early 1990s. He also mentioned how he countered Australia’s sledging. ALSO READ: Brian Lara “embarrassed” by West Indies’ dominance in 1980s and 1990s

“I grew up at a time when West Indies dominated the world. For 15 years from 1980, the West Indies never lost a Test series. And just before that, Colin Croft decided he was going to take a piece out of Fred Goodall’s shoulder and ran into him during a Test Match. Michael Holding decided he was no longer a cricketer, he was a footballer and he kicked a stump. I’m sure the occurrences during that period had a big effect on cricket,” Lara made a bold statement about the champion side.

Lara absorbed pressure better than most cricketers. This is the known bit. The world however got to see the humorous side of the champion cricketer. He started his speech saying that when he walked into bat at 200 for 1, he did not know what to do but when the situation was 25 for 3, he could absorb the pressure and thrive. Drawing reference, the Trinidadian said that he began preparing for this speech 200 days back but could not write a line and it was only a week prior when he was under pressure, he could proceed.

Countering Australia’s sledging

In a panel discussion that was moderated by Mark Nicholas, Lara was joined on the podium by Anya Shrubsole (Man of the Match in Women’s World Cup Final 2017) and Jonny Bairstow. Lara mentioned that sledging never bothered him as he was someone who lived for that environment. He wanted the opposition to talk to him and sledge him.

“I remember playing a match against Australia in Jamaica. They tried sledging me and I was there for a couple of days, and they stopped,” revealed Lara much to the delight of the audience present out there.