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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 22:08 GMT 23:08 UK
Legend Lara to end Windies career
By Martin Gough
BBC Sport in the Caribbean

Brian Lara
Lara is bowing out after a glittering career
West Indies captain Brian Lara has announced he will retire from all international cricket after Saturday's World Cup match against England.

Lara, who is 38 on 2 May, had already said he would quit one-dayers but was expected to play in the four-Test series in England, which begins in May.

"On Saturday I'll be bidding farewell to international cricket as a player," he told a news conference.

"I've already spoken to the board and my players."

The reasons for Lara's change of mind are yet to be explained but he will retire as Test cricket's leading scorer with 11,953 runs from 131 matches and holds the record for the highest Test score, an unbeaten 400 against England in Antigua in 2004.

He captained his side in 47 Tests, winning 10, in three separate spells.

606: DEBATE
DL

The game against England will be his 299th one-day international but marks the end of the World Cup for both sides, who have failed to qualify for the semi-finals.

Lara's captaincy has come in for criticism but he said: "I hold West Indies cricket dear to my heart. It's been a good run and I've enjoyed every single day.

"I want to be remembered as a batsman who provided entertainment to the fans and in adversity tried my best to perform.

"At any point in time, if they need me to make a contribution [in the future] outside the playing field, I am willing to help. I played with some great players and whenever it's time to pay back, I will be there."

Brian Lara batting in Barbados
Lara collects fours runs against Bangladesh

Vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan is the most likely candidate to lead the side in the first Test against England, which begins at Lord's on 17 May.

But Lara hinted at disagreements with the West Indies Cricket Board when he said: "Whoever takes over the team, it is important he gets whole-hearted support from everyone."

Lara added that he was sad the team had disappointed Caribbean cricket fans during the World Cup.

But former West Indies captain Sir Garfield Sobers insisted Lara was not responsible for the team's under-performance.

"The facts are that in the last two and a half years the West Indies have had a tremendous amount of problems," Sobers said.

"One, the West Indies Board didn't have enough money to have enough [training] camps. Two, there were always problems with not being able to field a strong team, there were strikes and all kinds of problems.

"To build a house, if you don't have a solid foundation, you are going to have problems later on. People don't seem to realise this."



SEE ALSO
Lara - the great entertainer
20 Apr 07 |  West Indies
Former greats hail outgoing Lara
20 Apr 07 |  West Indies
Lara's career in photos
20 Apr 07 |  Cricket
World Cup blog
28 Feb 07 |  Australia
West Indies ease past Bangladesh
19 Apr 07 |  Cricket
Lara confirms one-day retirement
11 Apr 07 |  West Indies
Lara sorry after World Cup exit
10 Apr 07 |  Cricket
West Indies World Cup squad
16 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2007 schedule
20 Jul 05 |  Cricket


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