Compiled By SEAN DOUGLAS, Newsday TT
Brian Lara was hailed by the world's media for his recent 400 not out score against England in Antigua in the final Test of the 2004 Cable and Wireless Series. Here are a selection of tributes, from the press of the United Kingdom and India:
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH (UK): "Lara's achievement is a feat of amazing endurance every bit as much as one of skill. Probably, he is not the best player in the world anymore, but he is still the best at big scores. Given that he is 35 and carrying a pound or two more than in his youth, Lara is proof of the power of the mind - he was at the wicket for 13 hours, for heaven's sake. No man cuts the ball with such precision and along such angles; few drive with equal elan; only the cricketers of the subcontinent and Mark Waugh in the modern era, use their wrists so gleefully to ease the ball through leg-side spaces. Brian Lara is a cricketer who makes magic: the surprise is how long he remains able to sustain it."
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS (UK): "That Lara regained the record playing in a West Indies side which is a shadow of their 1994 counterparts at the fag end of a miserable series for the hosts makes the achievement more rather than less remarkable. It is far from a perfect story but when the tide goes out on the current era of cricket only a few traces will be left - Shane Warne's twisting fingers, Sachin Tendulkar's graceful power and Lara's raised-bat aggression."
REDIFF.COM (INDIA): Indian, Pakistani stars hail Lara: "Amazing achievement," said Sachin Tendulkar, the man often racing the left-handed genius for the numero uno spot in the rankings. "One of the best batsman of my generation, if not the best ever. Such innings can never be planned, they just happen."
Sourav Ganguly: "Great knock," he said. "I was not going to be surprised if he crossed 400 and he did just that. When he is in full flow, there is no better sight in world cricket."
Virender Sehwag, the latest entry in the 300 club, said there was no comparison. "When Lara scored his 300 he was 24, I am 25," Sehwag said.
Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, also a member of the 300 club, said Lara's performance was out of this world and he has duly taken back what was his - the record of highest Test score.
Former Pakistan skipper and coach Javed Miandad said, "The score is not the great part of the innings, but the fact that he held the record, saw it being broken, and then snatched it back is what is so great about the innings. Any of the top three batsmen in the world like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, or Matthew Hayden could have done it if the conditions had suited them like they suited Lara. My guess is that one of the Indian batsmen or Inzamam-ul-Haq will break the record."
Compiled by the Sporting Life:
THE SUN (UK): "Brian Lara rewrote cricket history when he became the first batsman to score 400 in a Test."
DAILY MAIL (UK): "Brian Lara celebrated the 10th anniversary of his previous record hammering of England by again making the highest score in Test history with an unbeaten 400 yesterday in the final match of the series at St John's."
THE TIMES (UK): "To break the most famous of all batting records once might conceivably be ascribed to good fortune. To do it twice is proof of pure genius."
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH (UK): "World records are destined to be set by only a chosen few, so when Brian Lara reclaimed the world record Test score with an unbeaten 400 in Antigua yesterday, six months after it was taken off him by Australia's Matthew Hayden, something extraordinary was afoot."
THE GUARDIAN (UK): "Brian Lara promised West Indies cricket a legacy and, yesterday, in front of a cacophonous crowd at the Recreation Ground, each and every one of whom will tell their grandchildren they were there, he delivered, as if to order, the highest individual score in Test match history."
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