Brian Charles Lara, TC, OCC, AM (born 2 May 1969) is a Trinidadian former international cricketer, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He topped the Test batting rankings on several occasions and holds several cricketing records, including the record for the highest individual score in first-class cricket, with 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994, which is the only quintuple hundred in first-class cricket history. Lara also holds the record for the highest individual score in a Test innings after scoring 400 not out against England at Antigua in 2004. Lara also shares the test record of scoring the highest number of runs in a single over in a Test match, when he scored 28 runs off an over by Robin Peterson of South Africa in 2003 (matched in 2013 by Australia’s George Bailey).
Lara’s match-winning performance of 153 not out against Australia in Bridgetown, Barbados in 1999 has been rated by Wisden as the second best batting performance in the history of Test cricket, next only to the 270 runs scored by Sir Donald Bradman in The Ashes Test match of 1937. Muttiah Muralitharan, rated as the greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, and the highest wicket-taker in both Test cricket and in One Day Internationals (ODIs). has hailed Lara as his toughest opponent among all batsmen in the world. Lara was awarded the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World awards in 1994 and 1995 and is also one of only three cricketers to receive the prestigious BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, the other two being Sir Garfield Sobers and Shane Warne.
Brian Lara was appointed honorary member of the Order of Australia on 27 November 2009. On 14 September 2012 he was inducted to the ICC’s Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony held in Colombo, Sri Lanka as a 2012–13 season inductee along with Australians Glenn McGrath and former England women all-rounder Enid Bakewell. In 2013, Lara received Honorary Life Membership of the MCC becoming the 31st West Indian to receive the honor.
In January 1993, Lara scored 277 versus Australia in Sydney. This, his maiden Test century in his fifth Test, was the turning point of the series as West Indies won the final two Tests to win the series 2–1. Lara went on to name his daughter Sydney after scoring 277 at SCG.
Lara holds several world records for high scoring. He has the highest individual score in both first-class cricket (501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994) and Test cricket (400 not out for the West Indies against England in 2004). Lara amassed his world record 501 in 474 minutes off only 427 balls. He hit 308 in boundaries (10 sixes and 62 fours). His partners were Roger Twose (115 partnership – 2nd wicket), Trevor Penney (314 – 3rd), Paul Smith (51 – 4th) and Keith Piper (322 unbroken – 5th). Earlier in that season Lara scored six centuries in seven innings while playing for Warwickshire.
Lara returned to the team for the second Test (and scored a huge first innings score of 196), but in the process lost his captaincy indefinitely to the newly appointed Shivnarine Chanderpaul. In the next Test, against the same opponents, he scored a 176 in the first innings. After a one-day series against South Africa, he scored his first Test century against the visiting Pakistanis in the first Test at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados which the West Indies eventually won.
Lara during his lap of honour in his final international match, 2007 Cricket World Cup.
For his performances in 2005, he was named in the World Test XI by ICC [circular reference].
On 26 April 2006 Lara was reappointed the captain of the West Indies cricket team for the third time. This followed the resignation of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who had been captain for thirteen months – in which the West Indies won just one of the 14 Test matches they had competed. In May 2006, Lara led the West Indies to successful One-Day series victories against Zimbabwe and India. Lara’s team played Australia in the finals of the DLF Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy where they finished runners up in both finals.
On 16 December 2006 he became the first player for the West Indies to pass 10,000 One Day International runs. along with Sachin Tendulkar one of only two players, at the time, to do so in both forms of the game. On 10 April 2007 Lara confirmed his retirement from one day cricket post the 2007 Cricket World Cup. A few days later he announced that he would in fact be retiring from all international cricket after the tournament.