From The Archives: Lara to give status report
BRIAN LARA meets with West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Reverend Wes Hall here today to report on his recovery from the illness that put him in hospital during the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka in September and kept him out of the current tour of India.
After participating in the annual United Barbados Open golf tournament at Royal Westmoreland over the weekend, the batting star flies to London tomorrow night for an appointment with a specialist that will determine how soon he can come back into the West Indies team.
“Like every West Indian, I’m praying it’ll be sooner rather than later,” Hall said yesterday. “The game is all the poorer when one of its greatest players is missing.
“I’ve been in touch with Brian by phone, so I have been kept abreast of his progress,” he added. “It’s a heartening sign that he’s feeling well enough to play in a golf tournament. We can only hope a return to cricket can’t be far off.”
An official statement from team manager Ricky Skerritt when Lara was hospitalised on the day he scored 111 in the victory over Kenya in the Champions Trophy quoted a doctor as identifying the illness as “suspected hepatitis”. But it has never been confirmed.
The WICB has been mostly silent about Lara’s position, a policy Hall said was in deference to his privacy.
“Brian has been kept out of the West Indies team by his illness and, as with any other player who is out through illness or injury, he has to be passed as fully fit by a doctor before he can be selected again,” he explained. “It would be rash to rush him back before he was ready.
“That is the purpose of his visit to England which, as is usual practice, is at the board’s expense,” he added.
Lara, now 33, was not included in the 15 chosen earlier this week for three one-day internationals and two Tests in Bangladesh November 29 to December 22 and would have no international cricket prior to the World Cup in South Africa next February and March.
Reports from Port-of-Spain are that he has been back in training and practice in recent weeks and is keen to get back into action as soon as possible.