Brian Lara said there were occasions when the tactics West Indies cricket team employed were unsporting.(Getty Images)
Brian Lara said there were occasions when the tactics West Indies cricket team employed were unsporting.(Getty Images)

When West Indies greats gave Brian Lara most embarrassing cricket moment

Brian Lara, during the 2017 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, confessed he was “embarrassed” when a series of umpiring decisions helped the West Indies lord England in 1988.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2017 11:17 AM IST

West Indies were the side to beat in the 1980s and even in the early 90s. Their dominance and the ruthlessness in fast bowling left their opponents stunned.

However, not all of the reputation was attained in right spirit. The explosive claim has been made by Brian Charles Lara, one of the greatest batsmen ever.

READ | Brian Lara’s wish denied: No Sachin Tendulkar stand at his stadium in Trinidad

While delivering the 2017 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture on Monday, Lara said there were occasions when the tactics West Indies employed resulted in “playing the game in a way it should never, ever be played”.

Lara cited the New Zealand series in 1980. “I grew up at a time when West Indies dominated the world. For 15 years from 1980, the West Indies never lost a Test series. And just before that, Colin Croft decided he was going to take a piece out of Fred Goodall’s shoulder and ran into him during a Test Match. Michael Holding decided he was no longer a cricketer, he was a footballer and he kicked a stump. I’m sure the occurrences during that period had a big effect on cricket,” Lara said.

READ | Brian Lara suggests scrapping draws for Test cricket to stay relevant

‘Embarrassed’

Lara confessed he was “embarrassed” when a series of umpiring decisions helped the West Indies lord England in 1988.

“Everyone said England had no chance. But they won in Jamaica and, in Trinidad, even after rain, had ample time to chase down a small total,” Lara said.

READ | Brian Lara backs ‘ODI-oriented’ England to win ICC Champions Trophy

“They (groundsmen) moved lethargic, slow. They took their time to ensure this game was not going to start any time soon. Eventually, it started with a couple of hours to go and England still had time. We bowled, in one hour, seven overs. It was dark and Graham Gooch had to call his troops from the field and the West Indies grabbed a draw.”

Lara said it was his most embarrassing moment. “I was 12th man. I was very, very guilty. It was truly embarrassing,” he said.

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