Friday, April 20, 2007

Lara and the Art of Leaving

In his report on the West Indies v Bangladesh game in the Cricket World Cup on 19 April, Sambit Bal writes about Brian Lara and the art of leaving:

“You could never accuse of Brian Lara of lacking in timing. And if his retirement announcement was made without customary flourish, it didn't lack drama. It was the most delectable of late cuts: perfectly conceived and deftly executed, it left those in its presence breathless.”

“There was no gasp, because it took time to register. He dropped it in casually, just after he had finished answering his last question and when notebooks were being put away. He leaned forward, almost as if he was preparing to leave, and whispered these words into the microphone: "I gave extensive consideration to this. I want everybody to know that on Saturday I'll be playing my last international match."

“Journalists turned around and looked enquiringly at each other. Did I hear it right? Did he say merely international or was there a one-day before it. Some rushed to the dais to confirm it with Imran Khan, the West Indies media manager, who nodded his head. Some shoved miniature bats and notebooks to be autographed. But Lara had made it clear that there would be no further questions, and none were asked.”

Sambit Bal, ‘Lara and the Art of Leaving’, CricInfo, April 19, 2007.

Image: Brain Lara leaves the international field in the match between the West Indies and Bangladesh at Barbados, April 19, 2007.”