Lamb's taste of duck

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The Independent Online
Third man in and third ball out (if you count a wide), Alan Lamb was out for a duck in his first match for Old Merchant Taylors' Cricket Club, caught behind in a Thames Valley League match against Wokingham yesterday. "These things happen," he said philosophically.

Lamb, in his testimonial year, is playing as and when he can for OMT at Croxley Green, in Hertfordshire, following his retirement from first- class cricket when the Test and County Cricket Board tried to censor his book due out in August. "Obviously I would have liked to have played for the last year," he said, "but I'm not."

However, he is helping out Julian Hill, chairman of OMT, with appearances in the Thames Valley League but, after his swift dismissal yesterday, he added: "I might not get selected."

Brian Lara has promised to keep quiet and let his batting speak for him in a bid to help the West Indies regain their position as the leading team in world cricket. The Trinidadian, reprimanded last month for two incidents during the World Cup, said: "The way I want to repay the people of the West Indies is by ensuring I score some high totals and that we win the next Test series later in the year. We must aim to be number one in cricket."

Lara, who made the highest-ever Test score of 375 against England at Antigua in 1994, was reprimanded over derogatory remarks attributed to him after his team's World Cup defeat by Kenya and his row with the team physiotherapist, Dennis Waight.

"I would like to thank all those who supported me during a mixed 1995/96 season," Lara said. "There were many ups and downs, now I am hoping that only my runs will speak."

Lara added that he wants to remain focused for the Test series in Australia later this year. "That is a crucial Test series for all of us, we have a lot to prove and win back.

"To me, it promises to be one of the biggest battles ever. We will probably be the underdogs on this occasion, but that suits us just fine - we are going to Australia to win and avenge that loss last year."