Soon… very soon! There will again be the 90-degree perpendicular backlift back amid us. Yet again, there’ll be someone sporting the flashing grin, exhibiting the famous high backlift, showing perhaps the most exquisite way to carve a cover drive. And one shall hopefully, again, get to see the flickish stroke that’ll put one behind point. You and I will once again relish the site where the famous one-leg up in the air will demonstrate the ballerina-like dance movement as only one man can depict. You got that right! The news that Brian Lara will play the Bushfire Cricket Bash has heightened the excitement with which one’s expecting to see the much-anticipated contest on February 8, 2020.
Moreover, the news that Brian Lara will play the Bushfire Cricket Bash will put not just the West Indian spectator, but the Australian cricket fan on the edge of the seat.
The news of Lara coming to Australia, a country that extended him the Honorary Member of the Order of Australia (in November 2009) shall surely excite the country whose national team was often put to the sword by Lara’s unsparing blade.
One will be, once again, reminded of the famous 1998 contest wherein, while it was the West Indies up against the mighty Australians, in effect, it was Lara vs the Aussies.
Wisden have rated Lara’s famous Barbados knock, which yielded 153 unbeaten runs against a bowling attack that had the likes of McGrath and Warne as among the best Test-inning of all time. It’s a knock that has, since its inception, inspired many to wield the bat in the Caribbean and elsewhere, where cricket is idolized and seen as the great leveler of life.
O what joy Brian Charles Lara’s brought us mortals, during his momentous journey, wherein time and again, the “Prince of Trinidad and Tobago,” as he’s referred to entertained and inspired.
And therefore, one’s not incorrect to feel thrilled by the very news that Brian Lara will play the Bushfire Cricket Bash. Mark the date. Akin to Sir Ian Bishop exclaiming at the end of the West Indies’ thrilling World T20 2016 last-over finish (versus England), “Remember the name” in reference to Carlos Brathwaite’s special (4 sixes off as many balls), one will now say, Remember the date; for Lara’s going to play in Australia and that too, for a great cause, one that’s so important in these desperate times.
That Australia’s climate change problem has been exemplified by the wild bushfires that have ravaged countless hectares of land, disrupted social and private life, upset the ecology in more ways than one can imagine is common knowledge. One doesn’t need to be educated on the plight of the grave problem Down Under.
But what one has got to appreciate is the very fact that it is during these difficult times that the cricket legends come together to turn up for causes that matter preciously, thus giving us a clear idea that they aren’t just ‘famous celebs’ with abundance of wealth, rather are individuals, at the end of the day, who would easily shun individual limelight to unite for a common cause, one that’s for a collective good.
Lara’s participation is something that will help in filling the stadia in Australia, where an already illustrious list includes the likes of none other than Wasim Akram, Ricky Ponting, Matt Hayden, Justin Langer, Yuvraj Singh.
What’s rather interesting is also the fact that two cricketing greats, one among them Lara’s great batting rival- the one and only Sachin Tendulkar- and the other, his legendary compatriot, Courtney Walsh will be starring too, in the capacity of coaches for the two sides.