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Stabroek News

Lara and Cricket World Cup
published: Tuesday | April 24, 2007

Devon Dick

Brian Lara's career has suffered because of the performance of the West Indies in the World Cup and also because of the negative side of the World Cup Cricket competition.

And lest we forget, New Zealand got a worse beating from Australia than the West Indies had and West Indies did better than neutral analysts had predicted. Indeed, some players did not perform as expected and Lara's captaincy was often baffling. However, I believe the poor organisation of the schedule of the cricket matches was to be partly blamed for the team's inadequate performance.

It was ridiculous that after the West Indies topped their group, moving to the next round, the first match was against another team, the Australians, who came first in their group. And the next match was to play another team that topped their group, New Zealand.

One of the rewards of topping the group was taking the two points into the next round. And another incentive should have been to start the next round by playing the runners-up in the other group.

In addition, the West Indies played three consecutive days which no other team did. The schedule was so ridiculous that the West Indies played two matches before five other teams even played one!

The Super Eights should have been better organised even with that round robin situation. Whoever organised such a schedule should apologise and then resign. The Super Eights should have been divided into two groups of four with the top two from each group entering the semi-finals.

It seems that the round robin system was designed to make money and not in the interest of cricket and cricket fans. There needs to be an inquiry into this World Cup and its financial arrangements. The governments in the region seemed to be unawareof the financial arrangements.

High expectations

Much has been said about Lara, but Lara is the only batsman who would have made a century and people felt he failed. Everybody expected him to make a double century every time. After Lara had accumulated a century during a Test, my wife, Mary, who knows very little about cricket and is no prophetess, said he should go on and make 400 runs. I chided her, telling her that that has never been done. But Lara did go on to do it in that innings. Commentator Ian Bishop said after Lara had already made over 150 runs that he felt Lara was going make a big one. He did make 400 but the point is that Bishop did not feel that 150 was a big one for Lara. The WIBC should ask Lara to reconsider his retirement from Test cricket and allow him play at least one more Test match and get an appropriate farewell from the Test arena where he was a legendary batsman.

Reverend Devon Dick is pastor of Boulevard Baptist Church and author of 'Rebellion to Riot: the Church in Nation Building'.

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