By Neto Baptiste
Former prime minister and National Hero, Sir Lester Bird, has called on both the government and Cricket West Indies (CWI), to honour former West Indies captain, Trinidadian Brian Lara, for his record-breaking performance at the historic Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) in 2004.
Lara, in April that year, became the first man ever to reclaim the world Test batting record after scoring 400 not out against England here to reclaim the record for the highest individual score in a Test innings from Australian Matthew Hayden.
Sir Lester believes that those in authority dropped the ball and should celebrate the milestone while also holds significant value for Antigua and Barbuda and the ARG.
“Brian Lara broke the world record right here and I sent for Sobers and brought him here because I knew that Lara would make it and I think that some kind of recognition should be given to Lara when the Test match is played here. We should have a function at the Antigua Recreation Grounds recognising Lara and invite Lara to Antigua,” he said.
Lara faced 582 deliveries and hit 43 fours and four sixes on his way to the mammoth total.
Known as the “Prince of Trinidad”, Lara had previously held the record for the highest individual score, which was 375 against the same opponents in 1994 and at the same venue. He held the record for nine years before Hayden slammed 380 against Zimbabwe.
Sir Lester said he has spoken to a number of individuals about possibly pushing for the event to take flight.
“I spoke to Zorol Barthley about it and we should have, during that time [Sri Lanka series] all the cricketers [West Indies] to come and we should get Lara here and give him his kudos, give him his flowers and make a special day when that should happen,” he said.
Lara also holds the record for highest individual score in first-class cricket when, in 1994, playing for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston, he scored 501 not out.