Surrey in for Lara

Brian Lara could make a surprise
return to top level cricket with English county side Surrey.

They are trying to tempt Lara out
of retirement in a bid to have the legendary batsman play Twenty20 cricket for
the Oval-based side this season.

The former West Indies captain
retired from international duty after the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean and
has not played competitively for two years.

Surrey’s headquarters are in London
where Trinidadian Lara was seen on Thursday attending a film premiere.

Bringing left-hander Lara, 41 next
month, to the Oval would represent a major coup for Surrey, although whether he
could be a force in a format that was in its infancy when he retired remains an
open question.

What is beyond dispute is Lara’s
international record.

His tally of 11,953 Test runs, at
an average of just under 53 with 34 hundreds, is second only to that of India
star Sachin Tendulkar.

But it is Lara who still holds the
world record for the highest individual Test score with 400 not out against
England in Antigua in 2004.

Lara also averaged 40.48 in 299
one-day internationals.

Immediately recognisable at the
crease thanks to a distinctively high backlift, few batsmen in history have
been blessed with the ability to make huge scores as often as Lara at his best.

In the space of two months in 1994,
Lara’s 375 and 501 not out (for Warwickshire against Durham in the English
County Championship) broke world records for the highest Test and first-class
scores respectively.

He also enjoyed a stellar home
series against the 1999 Australian tourists, who boasted a formidable bowling
unit featuring two greats in Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, with a run of 213,
eight, 153 not out and 100.

Surrey have already recruited
controversial Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds to play Twenty20.