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The BBC's Kevin Geary reports
"It's all symptomatic of a deeper malaise in Caribbean cricket"
 real 28k

Test match special's Tony Crozier
"Everyone felt he would stay on because there is no obvious alternative"
 real 28k

Reds Perreira reports for BBC Radio 5 Live
"The West Indies may have to look towards Jimmy Adams"
 real 28k

Friday, 25 February, 2000, 17:27 GMT
Windies skipper Lara quits

Brian Lara has been under intense pressure
Brian Lara has been under intense pressure

Brian Lara has blamed West Indies cricket's "devastating failures" for his resignation, but speculation rages about his "real" reasons for giving up the captaincy.

Certainly the scale of defeat in both South Africa and New Zealand was enough to justify his departure.

After two years of moderate success and devastating failures ... there is a need for me to withdraw from my present leadership position

Brian Lara
But Christine Cummings, a political scientist at the University of the West Indies, says the decision not to appoint Viv Richards coach of the West Indies may have been the decisive event.

Antiguan Richards - interim coach in New Zealand - was overlooked in favour of Roger Harper of Guyana, who has better paper credentials.

Howard Aris, chairman of Jamaica's Sports Development Foundation, said that the decision of Sachin Tendulkar of India and Wasim Akram of Pakistan to resign their captaincies after poor team performances may also have been a factor.

"The fact that these two captains, outstanding players in their own right like Lara, decided to step down because of their team's poor results under their leadership, may have influenced Lara to make a similar move," he said.

'Difficult period'

Lara's surprise resignation was delivered in a letter.

"After accepting the captaincy at the beginning of the 1998 season, I immediately set high but attainable goals for the West Indies team and myself," it read.

"After two years the moderate success and devastating failures that have engulfed West Indies cricket have brought me to the realization that there is a need for me to withdraw from my present leadership position."

I felt it would give him [Lara] an opportunity to step back and reorganize his own cricket

Former Test batsman Easton McMorris
Lara, rated as one of the game's finest batsmen, has had a very mixed record since he succeeded Courtney Walsh as captain prior to the 1998 series against England.

The West Indies won that series and then, inspired by Lara's scores of 213, 153 not out and 100 in successive Tests, drew the series against Australia last year.

But then came a 5-0 drubbing in the Tests and 6-1 loss in the one-day internationals in South Africa in 1998-99, followed by the loss of both Tests and all five one-day internationals in New Zealand last December and January.

The WICB will announce his successor at a later date.

The West Indies next play two Tests against Zimbabwe in the Caribbean starting 16 March, followed by a triangular series of one-day internationals with Zimbabwe and Pakistan and three Tests against Pakistan.

WICB president Pat Rousseau thanked Lara for his services "during a very difficult period of West Indies cricket".

Meanwhile, former Jamaica and West Indies opener Easton McMorris said Lara's decision to go would probably be good for the team and his own play.

"I said last week that it would have been a very good thing if he stepped down, as I felt it would give him an opportunity to step back and reorganize his own cricket," said McMorris.

"With a new management team in place it would give him a chance to get back to his best form under a new captain."

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See also:
25 Feb 00 |  Cricket
Vacant West Indian throne
24 Feb 00 |  Cricket
Richards gracious in defeat
10 May 99 |  West Indies
What next for Windies cricket?
25 Feb 00 |  Cricket
Bangladesh could join Test top ten
11 Jan 00 |  Cricket
Windies blown away
17 Feb 98 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Decline Of Cricket In The Caribbean
29 Apr 99 |  West Indies
Richards asked to give Windies a hand
26 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Lloyd in need of a rest

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