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Surrey line up surprise bid for Windies star Brian Lara

Brian Lara

West Indies legends - Brian Lara

Surrey are lining up a bid to tempt West Indies batting great Brian Lara out of retirement with the offer of a contract to play Twenty20 cricket.

Lara, 40, has been in the nets at The Oval this week and has begun talks with Surrey's cricket manager Chris Adams and chief executive Paul Sheldon.

"We have been in discussion with Brian regarding his possible involvement with the club," said Surrey in a statement.

"However, we have no further comment to make at this stage."

The former West Indies captain, who has not played competitive cricket for two years, is famous for holding two of the most significant batting records in cricket.


His knock of 400 not out against England in Antigua in 2004 is the highest score in Test history, surpassing Matthew Hayden's 380 for Australia against Zimbabwe in Perth in October 2003.

Lara had already broken fellow countryman Sir Garfield Sobers' 36-year-long record of 365 not out with a knock of 375, also against England in Antigua in 1994.

He also holds the record for the highest score in first-class cricket history, with an astonishing 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994.

That season he averaged 89.82, scored 2066 runs, and struck nine centuries as the Bears secured a domestic trophy treble, winning the County Championship, Sunday League and Benson & Hedges Cup and losing in the final of the Natwest Trophy.

Brian Lara
Lara was last seen on the big stage in 2007 at the World Cup

He was less successful when he rejoined Warwickshire as captain in 1998, scoring about half the runs of his first season.

Lara's Test run-total of 11,953 is bettered only by India's Sachin Tendulkar, who has batted in 39 more innings and is showing no sign of slowing down or retiring.

Surrey already have Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds registered for the domestic English Twenty20 competition, and - depending on his commitments for his country - Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla may also be available.

But rules permit counties to enlist four overseas players in all for the tournament, with a maximum of two featuring in a single game.

The competition gets under way on 8 June.

If Lara were to make a successful outing for Surrey this summer, it could lead to offers from the Indian Premier League, should the Trinidadian superstar have his eyes on that competition.

Lara's only previous experience of the short form of the game came in the rebel Indian Cricket League two years ago, when he captained the Mumbai Champs.

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see also
Lara - the great entertainer
20 Apr 07 |  West Indies
Lara sets Test record
12 Apr 04 |  England
Lara climbs highest mountain
13 Apr 04 |  Cricket
What makes Brian Lara so good?
02 Sep 04 |  Features

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Surrey line up bid to tempt Lara out of retirement - 2 hrs ago
The Witness Surrey eyes Lara for Twenty20 cricket - 17 hrs ago
Birmingham Evening Mail Surrey confirm talks with Brian Lara - 30 hrs ago
Mail & Guardian Online Surrey in bid to lure Lara back to cricket - 35 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Surrey in shock Lara Twenty20 bid: report - 41 hrs ago


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