Brian Lara takes up new West Indies role

BARBADOS (AFP): Former West Indies batting star and captain Brian Lara has agreed to take on a role as ‘performance mentor’ with the West Indies teams and academy, Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced on Thursday.

CWI said that Lara’s new role will be to “support the various head coaches in providing players with tactical advice and improving their game sense”.

Lara played 131 tests for West Indies averaging 52.88 and making 11,953 runs. He also scored 10,405 runs in One Day Internationals.

The left-hander holds the record for the highest score in a test innings with his unbeaten 400 against England in Antigua in 2004.

Lara will work alongside Jimmy Adams, the CWI’s Director of Cricket, on strategy and planning for major tournaments.

“Having spent time with the players and coaches in Australia and in discussions with CWI, I really believe that I can help the players with their mental approach to the game and with their tactics to be more successful,” Lara said.

“I’m looking forward to joining the group in Zimbabwe and the opportunity to work with other West Indies teams later in the year,” he added.

Adams said that Lara would provide “invaluable guidance and advice to our players and coaches.  We are confident that Brian will help to improve our high-performance mindset and strategic culture that will bring us more success on the field across all formats.  Everyone is excited to have Brian involved in supporting our players.”

Lara will be with the West Indies test squad in Zimbabwe ahead of the first Test in Bulawayo which starts next week.

The 52-year-old was recently part of a three-man panel which provided a review of West Indies early exit from Twenty20 World Cup.

The report warned that West Indies cricket may “cease to exist” unless the issue of its players prioritising global Twenty20 leagues ahead of international duties is resolved.