Cricket : Taylor and Lara in war of words

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The Independent Online
Mark Taylor, Australia's captain, accused the West Indian vice- captain, Brian Lara, of fuelling a feud between the two teams yesterday. The row exploded after the West Indies won the final Test in Perth by 10 wickets.

Lara had accused the Australians of "all-day sledging" during his 208- run partnership with Roger Samuels the previous day. Taylor replied that he would have preferred it if Lara had resolved the matter on a one-to- one basis "either through the captain or the team management".

Taylor blamed Lara for niggling between the two sides during the third day's play, when both captains had to be asked by the umpires to cool their tempers. Taylor and Courtney Walsh, the West Indies captain, were spoken to by Darrell Hair and Peter Willey after what appeared to be an exchange of words between Steve Waugh and Lara, acting as Walsh's runner.

When asked whether Lara was being provocative when he came out as Walsh's runner, Taylor said: "Make up your own mind. I found it very strange to see the vice-captain as the runner."

Taylor, who claimed the only incidents during the series had been provoked by Lara, said: "I think he is an antagonist. There is no doubt about it. He looks for things to happen, it gets him going and it gets other people away from their game."

Australia beaten, page 22

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