Headmaster alleges 'conspiracy' against Lara

As the West Indies gained a day's respite in their quest to stave off another loss to England, support for the embattled captain, Brian Lara, and sharp condemnation of those calling for his replacement have come from his native Trinidad and Tobago.

It is an issue, like no other, that continues to emphasise the passion the game still evokes among West Indians and its capacity to emotionally divide opinion.

Anthony Garcia, principal of the eminent Fatima College in Port of Spain, Lara's old school, has gone so far as to accuse the former West Indies players Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Ian Bishop, as well as your correspondent, of joining, "by the inventors of the game, assisted by their cronies", in a conspiracy to bring down Lara. Sir Viv Richards, the former captain and chairman of selectors, is another who has voiced his opinion that Lara should step down. But he escaped Garcia's anger.

In a letter to the press, Garcia charged that there is "a concerted effort by some umpires, commentators and writers ... to keep Lara away from the wicket". He claimed that of Lara's last 10 dismissals in Tests, seven have been "dubious, to say the least".

"To top it all off, some of our own Caribbean writers have fallen into the trap set by others to join the tirade against Lara," he said, naming Holding and Croft, and singling out Bishop, a Trinidadian, for special censure. "This last is especially reminiscent of the plantation system where the plantation owner used some of his stronger chattel to keep his other slaves in check," he added.

A statement from the team last week, issued by manager Tony Howard, that fully backed Lara was followed by another from the President of Trinidad and Tobago, George Maxwell Richards.

In a personal letter to Lara, Richards told the captain he had "the utmost confidence in [his] leadership of the West Indies team." He added: "Yours is not an easy task, nor is it one to be envied. I am sanguine, however, that you possess the focus, the sense of responsibility and the surpassing commitment to West Indian cohesiveness and history that must fuel your tenacity. You are the man in the arena and, if you persevere, this will enable you to lead the West Indies cricket team back to a place of pre-eminence in the world."

Such reaction is not new, although it is more fervent in Lara's case. He is regarded almost as a deity in Trinidad and Tobago where he was presented with a prime spot of land, overlooking Port of Spain, accorded the country's highest national honour and had a promenade named after him when he first set the world Test record 375 against England in Antigua in 1994.

More gifts and accolades followed when he trumped it with his unbeaten 400, against the same opponents at the same venue, last April. Yet when he replaced Courtney Walsh as captain in 1998 and Carl Hooper last year, there was an irate backlash from Jamaica, Walsh's birthplace, and Guyana, Hooper's.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?