I have borne all Brian Lara's slings and arrows, vicariously, but with as much pain as I am sure he feels.
What do Caribbean critics and bellicose commentators want from the young man who inherited a decaying team? He is quickly ageing because of all the malevolence directed at him, since his achievement of early superstardom.
One notes that his stature is being overlooked in all the babble about the best West Indians of the century. I thought hard facts were the basis of logical arguments, but apparently I am wrong. For while two buffoons from the local cricket board were gallerying and flapping their gums this week about getting rid of the Prince as captain, the Trinidad Guardian was carrying a story about his early 1999 innings being arguably the greatest in cricket history. That is apart from the fact that he is still the holder of two world batting records, which will not be surpassed in this century.
Lastly, in the latest Pricewaterhousecoopers ratings of the top 93 Test batsmen, Mr Lara is rated FIRST, with an average of 51.23 runs. In ODI ratings he is rated the top West Indian (but 14th in the world) with an average of 42.81, among the 49 batsmen rated.
These facts speak for themselves. There is no one else in the team who can do better as captain at this point in time.
Brian Lara is the best West Indian cricketer of the century. He cannot win matches alone. The other ten men, the auxiliary staff and management must pull their weight, and not push it as is their won't. The professional purveyors of doom, gloom and sensational naysaying, who will knock down a saint in order to meet and grab their headlines, must respect the power of thoughts and words. Their malevolence is actually a form of witchcraft with untold effects on the national psyche.
As for the two cricket board jokers, did they hear how Larry Gomes, the former Mr. Dependable of the team, handle similar questions when asked? There's nothing like a mike, some keys and some perceived power to incite delusions of grandeur. Sometimes it's better to take a drink and look stupid than to go for the sound bite and prove it.
I hope Lara gives them some more to chew on as he did earlier this year.
An old cricket fan from Diego