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Lara hits back at criticism of Windies

The batsman hit back at critics of the West Indies team on his arrival in New Zealand to prepare for the Test series.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 17:59 IST

Record-setting batsman Brian Lara hit back at critics of the West Indies cricket team on his arrival in New Zealand to prepare for a Three-match Test series.



Questions were raised about the spirit and commitment of the West Indian team as they slumped to losses in the first four matches of a five-match limited-overs series against New Zealand.



The biggest criticism followed their fourth defeat on Wednesday when the West Indies batted without apparent purpose or direction to reach 233 for eight in reply to New Zealand's total of 324 for six.



Lara, who will not play in the final one-day match at Auckland on Saturday but will rejoin the team for the Test series, said the criticism from the New Zealand media was "unfriendly."



"This is going to be my last time in New Zealand and I want it to be peaceful, but I wish the media had a little bit more respect for West Indies cricket," Lara said.

"You guys (New Zealand) have won, let's just leave it at that and it's a different form of the game that's coming up now and we're looking forward to that," he said.

"We'll see. It's a team sport so if things go right we have a possibility of turning it around."

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said Lara's arrival would likely spur the West Indies to better performances in the Tests.

"He's a great player, and when you've got great players joining the team at anytime its got to be a boost," he said.

"You know at some stage he's going to score heavily, you just budget for that." West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul welcomed Lara's arrival.

"He's one of the most experienced players and he's been very helpful to everybody here and he'll have a lot of input in whatever we do," he said.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 17:59 IST