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Lara makes another call for academy

Published:Wednesday | March 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

LONDON, England (CMC):

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has reiterated his call for a Caribbean cricket academy.

Lara was speaking during a visit to Trinity School in Croydon to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday.

"I think the main thing is that we need to set up academies and not necessarily every single island having one but I think we should have a centralised academy where all the youngsters come together under good coaches," the former West Indies captain said.

"Maybe past players, (it) does not matter who the coaches are as long as they are well qualified and get them working together. I believe if we do that then maybe five, 10 years down the line you can see some semblance of what we were doing in the past.

"At present, I think we are just doing what we did 20-25 years ago and hoping that the kids with the talent will come through and we will beat people around the world, and that's not happening as you see."

State-of-the-art academy

Lara, one of the finest Test batsmen ever, has in the past called on Caribbean cricket authorities to set up a state-of-the-art academy to arrest the declining standards of cricket in the region.

"I believe that our structure is not good, we do not have the academies to support the youngsters and our team is still built on natural ability and in sport nowadays natural ability is a small part of it," said Lara, who holds the record for the highest scores in Test and first-class cricket.

"The amount of technology that is happening and how people are learning about the game much faster, I believe we need to head in that direction and there's nowhere on the horizon that I've seen where we have taken that step."