Lara calls time on career
West Indies captain Brian Lara has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket.
The 37-year-old had already announced his intention to quit the limited-overs form of the game once the Windies’ World Cup campaign concludes against England on Saturday.
But now he has decided to retire from the Test arena too, meaning he will not be touring England this summer.
“On Saturday, I’ll be bidding farewell to international cricket as a player,” he told a news conference.
“I’ve already spoken to the board and my players.”
The tournament hosts salvaged some pride from a miserable campaign as they overcame Bangladesh by 99 runs in their penultimate Super Eight game in Barbados.
The win came too late to revive hopes of reaching the semi-finals but Lara now wants the team to go out on a high by winning their final match against England on Saturday.
Lara added: “We had two games and had a lot to play for in terms of pride and we showed a lot of character.
“To win today was definitely something positive for West Indies cricket. It is good to see the crowd still coming out, they always support West Indies cricket and we want this to continue for many years.”
Ramnaresh Sarwan underlined his captaincy credentials with an unbeaten 91 from 90 balls to lay the platform for victory as West Indies posted 230 for five after a slow start.
The Windies had been 67 for three midway through their innings but Sarwan shared in a stand of 81 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Lara added 33.
Lara said: “Chanderpaul and Sarwan dug in and got us a good total. The guys assessed the situation and Chanderpaul tried to lay the foundation and Sarwan tried to be positive.
“When I came in it was time to accelerate to get something decent, but the innings was put together by a magnificent innings from Sarwan.”
Bangladesh then struggled to cope with the pace of the West Indian bowlers as they were bowled out for 131.
Corey Collymore (2-11) and Daren Powell (3-38) both impressed as West Indies won in the 44th over and the match might have been over sooner had Lara not dropped three catches.
Lara added: “The fast bowlers played well today. These guys have been around for a couple of years now and it was a good pitch for fast bowling.”
Collymore admitted the win could not make up for the team’s failures earlier in the Super Eight stage but was pleased to finally a enjoy first win since the group phase.
Collymore said: “It is just a lift. We should have done better in the Super Eight and we’ve been disappointed. Fortunately today we got the win.
“It is good to be the first West Indian to take a wicket at the new Kensington Oval. The wickets are coming and hopefully it can continue in the summer.”
Collymore could have had a wicket in the first over after Lara caught Tamim Iqbal at slip but the skipper remarkably lost control as he tried to celebrate.
“It was only afterwards I realised but usually Brian takes those catches,” Collymore added.
The match was Bangladesh’s last of a tournament which has seen their stock as a cricketing nation rise considerably.
Bangladesh will return home with their heads held high after beating India and South Africa and they could be contenders for the next World Cup in Asia in 2011.
Captain Habibul Bashar said: “We needed to improve and learn something for future games.
“We had some good days and some bad days but we hope the experience from the World Cup will help us in the next series.
“We did a pretty good job here and bowled in the right places but we didn’t bat well again. We need to be more consistent.”