Lara limbers up for return

Brian Lara has again hinted at a
comeback, just a month after talks broke down with English county Surrey over a
possible contract.

“I’m thinking about coming out of
retirement. I would love to be a player/coach,” the former West Indies captain
said. “I was very close to joining Surrey this season. I was disappointed the
talks broke down.

“If I have intentions of getting
back and making an impression in Indian Premier League 2011 I need to start
playing now.”

Lara said while in Barbados last
month that he had been keeping fit in case he decided on a return.

“It’s still early days. I’m playing
cricket again which is good, I’m practicing which is great,” the prodigious
left-hander said then.

Lara, 41, who holds the record for
the highest scores in Test and first class cricket, will make a return to the
field today when he turns out for Marylebone Cricket Club in a Twenty20 match
against the touring Pakistanis at Lord’s.

He was part of a side on Sunday
which was led by former India captain Sourav Ganguly and said he was looking
forward to returning to one of his favourite cricket grounds in the world.

“Of course I am looking forward to
it,” said Lara on Friday, who had several practice sessions in the nets at St
John’s Wood. “It has been a while since I played in a competitive match, surely
I will be a bit rusty, but it’s great to have the gear on again.

“As I said before, Lord’s is one of
the few places that only have to ask. It’s history is phenomenal. Just the walk
through the Long Room is good enough.”

Lara quit international cricket
suddenly, following the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean three years ago,
after playing 131 Tests and 299 One-Day Internationals.

He remains second on the all-time
list of run-scorers in Tests with 11,953 runs and has remained one of the
game’s most celebrated personalities. He never played a Twenty20 International
for West Indies during his career and said he was looking forward to the challenge
of the game’s shortest format.

“I will have to make a slight
adjustment to my game,” he said. “In the past I liked laying a foundation for
my innings even in the one-day game but the Twenty20 game there is no time for