Peter Short, president of the West Indies Cricket Board of Control, who tried last weekend to talk Lara into changing his mind, said the Trinidadian "feels he wants a complete break to review his future".
In the year and a half since Lara surpassed the highest individual scores in Test and first-class cricket in the space of six weeks, he has played virtually non-stop. It is clear that tiredness was not the only factor, and probably not the principal factor in his decision. It came a day after he had been fined by a WICBC disciplinary committee 10 per cent of his tour fee for breaching the code of discipline during the summer's tour of England.
Short and Alloy Lequay, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, agreed the fine had upset Lara. Lequay said Lara believed his problem in England, when he went absent without permission for three days, had been resolved by the Tour committee and Short himself at the time.
The WICBC will obviously consider what action should be taken against Lara in this case.
The West Indies' next engagement after Australia is the World Cup in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in February and March and Lara's participation is in understandable doubt.
"I don't know how he's going to feel about going to the World Cup or how the West Indies Board is going to feel about his availability," Short said. "This is a matter the Board will have to discuss."
Lequay said Lara has told him he would captain the Trinidad and Tobago team in the domestic Red Stripe Cup, which starts on 26 January.
Lara's gruelling itinerary
Year Series Tests One-day matches
1994 (season with Warwickshire)
in India 3 10
in NZ 2 3
v Australia 4 4
in England 6 3
in Sharjah 0 5
Totals: 15 25