English county side Surrey are reportedly trying to tempt West Indies great Brian Lara out of retirement in a bid to have the legendary batsman play Twenty20 cricket for The Oval-based team this season.
The former West Indies captain retired from international duty after the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean and has not played competitively for two years, but the BBC Web site quoted a Surrey statement as saying: “We have been in discussion with Brian regarding his possible involvement with the club, however, we have no further comment to make at this stage.”
Bringing left-hander Lara, 41 next month, to The Oval would represent a major coup for Surrey, although whether he could be a force in a format that was in its infancy when he retired remains an open question.
What is beyond dispute is Lara’s international record.
His tally of 11,953 Test runs, at an average of just under 53 with 34 centuries, is second only to that of India star Sachin Tendulkar, but it is Lara who still holds the world record for the highest individual Test score, with 400 not out against England in Antigua in 2004. Lara also averaged 40.48 in 299 one-day internationals.
Immediately recognizable at the crease thanks to a distinctively high back-lift, few batsmen in history have been blessed with the ability to make huge scores as often as Lara at his best.
Surrey have already recruited Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds to play Twenty20.