When Bryan Charles Lara was about 5 years old, someone saked him, "Son, what do you wanna be in life?". He replied "I want to be the world's greatest batsman".
Lara scored 400 not out against England in the drawn fourth and the last test match of the series (which England had already claimed 3-0) and reclaimed the status of the batsman getting the maximum runs in an innings. He has yet again started the word-war about the best batsmen in the world cricket today. It took him just 185 days after Matthew Hayden scored his 380 against Zimbabwe.
It took Lara 582 deliveries, 43 fours and 4 sixes, although he was dropped on 359 when a nick down the leg side was dropped by debutant wicket-keeper Geraint Jones. He equaled the Matty Hayden's record by hitting a giant six off Garrett Batty right in the lap on Sir Vivian Richards sitting in the Vivian Richard stand over the head of the bowler. And the very next bowl, he sweaped a four down the leg side to overtake Hayden.
Lara has seen a lot of ups and downs in his career but he sure is back and back with a bang. Here are few important events. Needless to say Copy Pasted from some website...
1969 Born Santa Cruz, Trinidad, May 2; youngest of seven brothers.
1984 First represents West Indies at under-19 level.
1988 Makes debut for Trinidad.
1989 Captains West Indies B team to Zimbabwe.
1990 Test debut, third test v Pakistan, Lahore, makes 44 and 6.
1993 First test century, 277 v Australia, Sydney
1994 World test record 375 in fifth test v England, St John's, Antigua.
1994 World first-class record 501 not out for Warwickshire v Durham at Edgbaston.
1994 Scores six hundreds in his first seven first-class innings for Warwickshire: 147, 106, 120 not out, 136, 26, 140, 501 not out.
1995 Walks out of West Indies' tour of England after dressing room row at end of the fourth test but is persuaded to rejoin party four days later.
1995 Pulls out of tour of Australia two days before squad leave the Caribbean following fine by West Indies Board disciplinary committee for breach of contract on England tour.
1996 Reprimanded by West Indies Board for derogatory remarks attributed to him following a World Cup defeat by Kenya and for an altercation with team physio Denis Waight on flight from Bombay to London following World Cup.
1998 Named as West Indies captain against England in the Caribbean, leading his side to 3-1 test series victory.
1998 Sacked as West Indies captain when players' revolt over pay delays start to tour of South Africa but is reinstated after four days of talks end impasse.
1999 Returns from dreadful tour of South Africa where West Indies suffer 5-0 drubbing in test series and lose one-day series 6-1.
1999 Re-appointed West Indies captain for test series against Australia in the Caribbean. Scores 213 in Kingston -- his first three-figure innings for a year -- to lead West Indies to series-levelling win in second test against Australia. Hits unbeaten 153 as West Indies score 311-9 in fourth innings to win third test. Series against Australia ends 2-2.
1999 Leads West Indies as they lose both tests and all five one-dayers on tour of New Zealand.
2000 Resigns as West Indies captain on February 24. Takes break from cricket for four months.
2001 Returns to West Indies side for Sri Lanka tour making 221 and 130 to become first player for almost three decades to make a century and double century in the same test but still lose. Averaged 114.66 for series, then dislocates left elbow in one-dayer, an injury which troubles him for most of 2002. Scores century in Champions Trophy match v Kenya, then collapses with mystery illness.
2003 Scores match-winning century against South Africa in the first game of the World Cup.
2003 Re-appointed West Indies captain for series against Australia, lost 3-1. Leads West Indies to 1-0 win over Sri Lanka, scoring 209 in the first test. Scores runs at 531 runs at 66.37 in four-test series in South Africa. West Indies lose series 3-0.
2004 Makes ducks in both the first and second tests as England take 3-0 lead in four-match series in the Caribbean. Passes Matthew Hayden's world record of 380, set in Perth in October 2003, in the fourth test with a six and a four off spinner Gareth Batty.
And does destiny plays a role? Try to figure out a few facts...
- Lara's previous best was 375 on St. John's, Antigua on 18th Aril 1994 against England and Lara's current best is 400* on St. John's, Antigua on 12th April 2004 against England yet again.
- D.B. Hair was the umpire in both the matches. In the Match played in 1994, he and S. Bucknor were officiateing and in the 2004 match it was Hair and some Pakistani Umpire.
Coincidences Probably Yes? Probably not? I would leave this question to be pondered upon.
1. http://www.cricinfo.com/db/STATS/ is the official website of the ICC to get your facts straight. I got almost everything mentioned herein from this website only.
2. http://www.magiccricket.com/stats/Testrecords.asp is a nice place to get all your records straight. One can find almost all the records. Please note that this website is not edited on a regular basis so there might be a few older records.