Lara leaves the critics behind

In 1993, playing against Australia in Sydney, Lara cultured a sizzling maiden Test century that soon became his first double century. He scored an amazing 277 that got Sir Donald Bradman to leave his home filled with joy to observe the emergence of a cricketing genius on the world stage. Bradman actually felt that in that particular innings Lara could easily have broken Gary Sobers’ world Test record of 365.
The truth was later revealed that after being pushed, the Australian team gathered and Shane Warne it was who told the captain that his idea may be silly but that the only option left to them to get the wicket of the young Lara was an orchestrated run out. They all acknowledged that there was nothing that any of the bowlers could have done to capture his wicket.
At the age of 24, Lara became the new world Test record holder, surpassing Sobers’ 365 while playing against England in Antigua in 1994.
Always keen on challenges, Lara very humbly declared: “I’m only 24, and I must try my best to keep going and to improve … I will be aiming to beat my record, and I think I can do it one day.”
Of course the record was broken 9-years later by Australia’s Matthew Hayden, only to be recaptured by Lara a mere six-months later in April 2004 in Antigua.
1994 was, however, Lara’s most remarkable year in the game of cricket. Shortly after capturing the world Test record in Antigua, he moved on to England where, playing for Warwickshire, he heaped 501 at Birmingham, a new first class record in the game of cricket, to surpass Hanif Mohammad’s 499.
In 1997 Lara assumed the captaincy of the West Indies team. In the encounter against Australia in Jamaica in the home series in 1998, he faced an angry Jamaican crowd, upset at the fact that he had replaced their own Courtney Walsh as the region’s cricket captain. They walked with placards ready to boo him at every turn. Instead the cricketing genius caused the Jamaicans to place their placards under their bottoms and chant, “Lara! Lara!” as he delivered a stunning batting performance against the Aussies to score 213. Once more he had come through in adversity.
In the second Test Lara turned on the heat and scored an amazing and exciting 213 against the Australians in Barbados where he scored an unbeaten 153. This achievement was rated as the second best in the history of Test cricket.