In November 2004 Lara reached another historic milestone when he surpassed Vivian Richards’ 8,540 to become the West Indies highest Test scorer. One month later he hammered South Africa’s Robin Peterson in one over: 4,6,6,4,4,4, to become the new record holder for the most runs in a single over in Test cricket.
In April 2004 he scored the first recorded 400 in Test history and followed this with his attainment of 10,000 runs at Old Trafford in England later in the same year while playing against England.
In November 2005 Lara went past Allan Border’s record of 11,174 runs in Test cricket with a double-ton in the third Test at Adelaide. Lara, with eight double-centuries, moved clear of Wally Hammond. In December last year Lara entered the real of the few who have scored over 10,000 runs in One Day Internationals, becoming the one to have attained this one day total and over 11,000 runs in the fewest number of innings.
The Mettle of the Man
Brian Lara has indicated in no uncertain terms that his score of 153 not out against Australia in Barbados was one of the best he has ever played. Interestingly, when asked about it, he simply noted: “The pressure sometimes gets the better of me but it’s a lovely feeling to have the chips down, back against the wall, and come up with something special.”
Indeed many of Lara’s innings were special.
To many Lara remains the greatest player of spin the world has ever seen.
When on the go there was no bowler in the world that was spared and it seemed impossible to get him out. That was the case when he scored the 277 against Australia and again when he scored the 501. It was this vintage genius that we saw when he slammed the English team for 400 and then declared. All of the commentators, without exception, lauded the innings as one of the greatest ever seen and noted that he could have gone on to score 500 or even 600 runs, if he wanted to.
But it is this genius with the bat that has caused Lara the criticisms that have hounded him over the years. His batting brilliance was required by the fans at all times. He should never have failed in any innings. His slump in form was neither understood nor pardoned by the cricketing fans in the Caribbean.
Ken Gordon in an interview following Lara’s announcement on 19th April 2007, stated: “It is clearly a fundamental changing of the guard … Brian Lara has carried West Indies cricket perhaps for two decades and no one can take that away from him.