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Wednesday, 1 November, 2000, 11:23 GMT
Strife of Brian
The naming of Brian Lara in the Indian government's match-fixing report is the latest chapter in what has proven to be a turbulent career.
The former West Indies captain is accused of receiving over £25,000 during his team's tour of India in 1994.
Indian bookmaker Mukesh Kumar Gupta says Lara accepted the offer to underperform in two one-day matches.
The 31-year-old Trinidadian is not the only international star mentioned in the 162-page report from India's Central Bureau of Investigation.
Cricketers from six nations are implicated in the affair, but Lara is one of those who is actually accused by Gupta of accepting cash.
The affair is the latest controversy for one of the world's most famous players.
Once voted "the decade's best bat" for his heroics at the crease, the left-hander was also called a "spoilt child" by former West Indies hero Michael Holding.
In February 2000, Lara quit as West Indies captain, blaming his team's "devastating failures" during a turbulent two-year period in charge.
After that episode Lara was sacked but reinstated before three amazing hundreds as his side drew with Australia.
The batsman heroically batted with a broken hand to make 213, 153 not-out and 100 during that series.
But the improvement could not be sustained and Lara's captaincy record also included defeats of 5-0, 6-1 and 5-0 in Test and one-day series.
In February 2000 he quit the side to spend more time with his family and his golf clubs.
Despite initial plans to miss the trip to England this year he was talked into taking part and was one of the few members of the party to emerge with credit.
As the West Indies lost a series to England for the first time in 31 years, Lara confounded the critics by scoring a classic century at Old Trafford.
It came in adversity again with the batsman suffering from the eye problem Tyrigium, a condition which causes a "skin" to form over the eyeball.
The 112 scored with the aid of sunglasses rescued the team in that match, and though he was unable to repeat it, the innings confirmed that his love of the game had returned.
In the early days it had seemed this would never disappear as the Trinidadian broke new records on a regular basis.
In 1994 he set two famous world records but the hottest property in the game was already feeling "burnt out".
In 1995 Lara announced his retirement after a verbal clash with then captain Richie Richardson.
He was persuaded to change his mind by the president of the West Indies Cricket Board but after a fine for "misconduct" Lara pulled out of the winter tour to Australia.
His personal form slumped, with three centuries in 27 innings well below hiw own standards.
Meanwhile the West Indies decline from the top of world cricket almost to the bottom continued as they became ever more reliant on their star performer.
It did not help that he had already agreed to lead Warwickshire during that summer.
Many believe he only accepted the county captaincy because he was unsure of picking up the West Indies' leadership.
But in the end he was landed with both, and tactical tricks which worked against England during the 1998 Test series failed at Edgbaston later in the year.
The hero's standing in the Caribbean meant he could survive poor results there, but the Birmingham public were less forgiving as Warwickshire endured a dreadful season.
A rumoured salary of £200,000 did not stop absences from the team and decline in the county's fortunes.
Taunts and trouble
It gave critics plenty to taunt him about, and Lara found himself being booed just three years after his starring season of 1995.
Within two more years he was to experience the same problems for his country.
In September this year he gave up a third captaincy, that of Trinidad and Tobago which he had held since 1994.
But after easing a massive amount of pressure on himself during 2000 an Indian bookmaker has cranked it up at a time when this senior batsman should be using his experience and talent to the full.
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