Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Lara, Cricket Monarch of the World

Posted: April 24, 2004
By Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Now that TnT is abuzz with the daunting, albeit welcomed, task as to how best to honour Brian Michael Lara for his genius feats in cricket, this writer suggests that Lara's accomplishments should be delineated first and then match corresponding honours with them.

Now, what has Lara done/achieved in the field of professional cricket:

  1. Lara has scored the highest number of runs in first class/county cricket, that is, 501.
  2. Lara has scored the highest number of runs in a test match, that is, 400.
  3. Lara is the only player in the history of professional cricket to regain the highest score title in a test match, that is, 375 in 1994 and 400 in 2004.
  4. Brian Lara is the second player to score 300 runs twice in a test match.
Against this backdrop, this writer humbly proposes the following, not all-inclusive, actions to pay tribute and honour this illustrious son-of-the-soil we call TnT:
  1. The Minister of Sports should submit a note to cabinet bearing the following recommendations : i. Re-name the Queen's Park Oval, the Brian Lara Oval; ii. Re-name King George V Park, the Brian Lara Park because Brian Lara is now the maximum King of Cricket.

  2. The Minister of Works and Transportation should also submit a cabinet note recommending that Piarco International Airport be re-named the Brian Lara International Airport.

    The rationale is that Brian Lara is an international figure and since Piarco International Airport is the "gateway to the Americas", it is only fitting and logical that it now bears the name of the individual who has single-handedly opened up "the gateway to the Americas" to the world via cricket and professionalism, at their zenith.

    This minister should also recommend to cabinet that every district in TnT must have a street, highway,road, drive, avenue (whatever) named in honour of Brian Lara just as every State, including the District of Columbia (D.C.), in the United States of America has these similar roadways named after Dr. Martin Luther King. Brian Lara deserves no less honour from the people and government of TnT. And since Lara attended Fatima College, then Mucurapo Road must be re-named Brian Lara Road.

  3. The Ministries of Sports and Education must recommend to cabinet the employment of Brian Lara as a Human Resource Development Officer to teach young men not only the art of cricket but also the art of personal discipline, sacrifice and responsibility to self, society and the nation. Lara should be the magnet to draw young men away from a life of crime and crass materialism and wanton vanity.

  4. The Mayor of Santa Cruz , Lara's birth-place, should erect a human-size statue of Lara and name the city's major roadway in his honour.

  5. There should also be a joint-venture between these two ministries and the private /business sector in the establishment of a sports academy/center to mould young men in Lara's honour and tradition.
The bottom-line is that Brian Lara is TnT's treasure that should be utilized in the most humane and productive manner possible. Brian Lara is more than just cricket; he is multi-dimensional and his natural God-given talents should be used in their most multi-faceted proportions.

These are just a few ideas/thoughts to properly honour this Icon in cricket. Brian Michael Lara is the embodiment of everything Caribbean. He is our Caribbean man.

The Order of Caricom award to Lara is also apropos and deservedly fitting because the Monarch of Cricket is from TnT and TnT is a member of Caricom. This is a perfect award fit for a true,tested and dedicated King.

Brian Lara stood up against overt and covert cynicism, skepticism, ridicule, nasty "bad-talk", mauvaislangue, cussing, maligning, bashing, vilifying,gnashing at the teeth, second-guessing you name it, Lara resembled all of them "2 D Bone."He was found guilty without a trial. Brian Lara became the prime target for brutal tongue-lashing, finger-pointing, harangueing,verbal slaughtering and barbequeing. He became the perfect bobolee and punching-bag, 24-7.

Many people canvassed for Lara to be dropped from the team and be relieved of his captaincy. However, Lara has majestically overcome and conquered all these impediments, adversities and setbacks. Lara has turned the negative into a positive. Lara has lived-out the African dictum: "The triumph of good over evil".

Brian Michael Lara epitomizes the belief that once a person is focused on what he/she wants to achieve in life then there is nothing that can turn you around, but yourself.

Brian Michael Lara is the de jure Cricket Monarch of the World; he has defeated the best and the rest. He stands alone on the Cricket Throne.

Brian Michael Lara, you have made us a proud Caribbean-Trinbagonian people.

Brian Lara is the legitimate, ultimate and consummate role model for all young Trinbagonian people. "At last, we own television"--- At last we own King.

Hail to the King ---King Brian Michael Lara---A king for all seasons.

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

(Dr. Nantambu is Professor Emeritus at Kent State University, U.S.A. His e-mail address is : kwame@tstt.net.tt ).

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