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Outburst against selectors 'fair': Lara

Facing an inquiry for criticising the selectors after the Test series loss to India, WI skipper insisted that his outburst on the selection policies was a fair one.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2006 19:50 IST

Undeterred by an inquiry against him for criticising the selectors after the Test series loss to India, West Indies captain Brian Lara insisted that his outburst was a "fair opinion" on the selection policies in the country.

"It is unfortunate that people who are not in the dressing room make such statements about me," Lara, who is here for a cricket show, told the 'Gulf News'.

"I feel very disappointed when things go wrong. I voice my opinion, which I think, is fair," he added.

Lara is facing a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) inquiry for his criticism of the selection panel. He launched a scathing attack on the panel after the Test series loss to India and said the WICB was not giving any consideration to his opinions and making changes in the team against his requirements.

The Windies skipper insisted that the only reason he accepted the offer to lead the side for a third time was the support and backing he has received from his teammates and former players.

"I've always received the support of my players. I have become the West Indies captain for the third time because the present and past cricketers urged me to consider captaincy. It is not because I look forward to captaining the team," Lara revealed.

Hailing the performance of his team in the recently concluded ODI and Test series against India, Lara said the hosts managed to put up a good show despite being the underdogs.

"Before the series, no one was expecting us to win in either the Tests or one-dayers. We beat them in one-dayers and took them down to the last Test," he said.

Lara also praised the leadership qualities of his Indian counterpart Rahul Dravid and said he was impressed with his ability to inspire the team.

"He batted extremely well throughout the series. Coming from a one-day series defeated and inspiring his team to victory in the Test series is a real testimony of his leadership," he said.

Stepping aside queries on his future after the World Cup in 2007, Lara said the matter was at the back of his mind but he would wait and watch how things unfold for the West Indian cricket before deciding on the matter. He said the decision to continue or quit would depend on his need in the team.

"Guys like (Gordon) Greenidge, (Viv) Richards and Alec Stewart have played till their forties. I am not ruling myself out playing till 40 but I will step aside the moment I feel I am a liability to the team," he said.

Describing Gary Sobers as the biggest influence on his life, Lara said the legendary all-rounder was a major force behind all that he achieved in his career.

"Gary Sobers. He is a big influence and has been the catalyst for a lot of things that I have done," he added.

Lara said it would be next to impossible for the West Indies to touch the heights of 1970s and added that the Caribbean youngsters had a long way to go before matching up to their counterparts in Australia and India.

"Financially and infrastructure-wise we are not great as Australia, India and England. We have talented 17 and 18-year-old boys but during the next five years, I see Australian and Indian players advancing faster than them," he said.

Lara, meanwhile, revealed that said he was busy writing a book, which would give a detailed account of his life -- both on and off the field -- and would be released just before the World Cup. Lara assured that the fans will get to read about some unknown instances of his life.

"I am writing a book about my life and am trying to release it during the coming World Cup," he said.

"Nowadays I spend a lot of time on writing. I am in the process of writing this book, which will tell my story. I have spoken to a literary agent. This book will reveal my life story. It is not going to be a hundred per cent cricket-oriented book. It will be interlocked with cricket and many moments of my life that the fans don't know about me," he added.