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IPL snub cannot dim Lara charm

Missing out in an auction can never take away the glory earned by an all-time great cricketer. The Indian Premier League snub aside, Brian Lara's batting prowess was on ample display at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium on Tuesday where he shared cricketing tips with youngsters.

cricket Updated: Jan 19, 2011 01:25 IST
Shubhodeep Chakravarty

Missing out in an auction can never take away the glory earned by an all-time great cricketer. The Indian Premier League snub aside, Brian Lara's batting prowess was on ample display at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium on Tuesday where he shared cricketing tips with youngsters.

Despite not being picked by any of the IPL franchisees in this month's auction, the West Indies batting great feels he has a lot left to give to the game.

"It is slightly disappointing but I understand the constraints of team owners. They did miss the broader picture though as I would have brought knowledge to the team, but a role as a mentor or coach in the future may also be possible" he said. This despite not completely being in favour of the auction.

"I did not follow the auction closely but I'm not a big fan of it. However, I do think club cricket can take the sport ahead as is the case with club soccer."

The 41-year-old acknowledged that age is not on his side but refused to comment on whether any of the teams had contacted him personally. "I am a bit rusty," he said, after spending close to an hour at the nets with local kids.

"My love for the game however continues. I would have liked to play in India as well. But I would rather not comment on the issue of intimation from individual teams."

With the World Cup a month away, Lara is keen to return to India as consultant with the Zimbabwe team. "It gives me an opportunity to enhance the game and build quality players if possible," he said but felt pitch conditions in India should improve and make sure they challenge batsmen more than they do at present.

On World Cup
Brian Lara predicted India would be the team to beat at the World Cup. "The current team is excellent and a favourite despite the pressure of being the home side. But in the sub-continent, teams have to build and sustain momentum," Lara felt South Africa would also be a team to watch out for.

“The level of competition between all teams has narrowed considerably. But South Africa can be a tough team. England and Australia will also press hard,"