Testing time for Lara

The Gleaner

January 27, 1998

CRICKET: New West Indies captain Brian Lara is hoping for a much better performance from his team when the first of five Test matches against England starts at Sabina Park on Thursday.

``First of all I expect a performance better than the last Test series we played in Pakistan. I think everyone knows the results of those three Test matches,'' Lara who arrived in Jamaica yesterday said.

``Our last Test match against England here was four years ago and I think we could take some examples from that and try our best to repeat such a performance,'' Lara added.

The Trinidadian said he felt some pressure going into his first Test match as captain.

``Of course it (captaincy) will create new pressures. At this stage at the start of the series expectations are very high in the Caribbean and I suppose the English team is expecting a much better series in their favour. The pressure is very high but I am looking forward to the challenge and hopefully it will be a successful start for me,'' the man who holds the record for the highest Test score said.

The newly laid Sabina Park wicket will not unduly concern Lara.

``Both teams have to play on the same pitch and at the end of the day you want to be the better team and hopefully West Indies will be that team,'' Lara said.

Lara believes the bowling of West Indies A pacers Reon King and Nixon McLean against England in a the visitor's second first class game on tour, is a very good sign for the future.

``I have seen McLean more than I have seen Reon King. Reports on both players have been very, very good. I think it is nice to know that you have young fast bowlers coming up and being impressive. They add to our reserves because I think a team is only as good as its reserves. Right now we've got a lot of guys to choose from.

``We've got Roland Holder, who is not in the team here scoring a hundred and eighty odd against England and things like this might enhance the performance of the guys in the present team. I think if you've got youngsters, knocking on the door it might improve the performance of the players who are there already and wants to keep their place,'' Lara said.

Also arriving yesterday were Curtly Ambrose, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sherwin Campbell, Stuart Williams, vice-captain Carl Hooper, David Williams and Mervyn Dillon.

The Jamaica team which beat the Windward Islands by 10 wickets in the President's Cup also arrived on the same flight. Also coming in for Thursday's first Test was former West Indies captain Richie Richardson who now plays for the Windward Islands in the President's Cup.

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 19:00