West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara has revealed that he was looking forward to congratulate David Warner had the Australian breached his record of highest individual Test score, just as Gary Sobers had done when he achieved the feat.
Lara broke the record of highest individual Test score twice, first when he overtook compatriot Gary Sober’s 36-year-old record of 365 by scoring 375 against England in 1994 and then again when he bettered his own record to reach 400 in 2004.
On Saturday, Warner hit an unbeaten triple century (335) during the second Test against Pakistan and looked set to pass Lara’s 400 mark before skipper Tim Paine declared the innings.
Lara, who was in Adelaide attending to some commercial engagements, said he was getting ready to meet Warner.
“I was hoping they might catch me and get me (out) there and that was one of the reasons I was hoping they might have let him go for it,” Lara was quoted as saying.
“It would have been amazing to walk out there (as Sobers did). Records are made to be broken. It’s great when they are broken by attacking players. Entertainers. Being in Adelaide I would have got an opportunity to if not walk out at least meet him at this opportune time,” said Lara.
The 50-year-old former West Indies captain said that Warner could still achieve the milestone.
“I still think Warner may have time to do it in his career. I know he is not a spring chicken but as soon as you get that 300 you know how to get 400. He may get another shot at it.
“He is a very attacking player and that is the sort of player who can always set you up for a win. I know you need stabilizers but you also need one or two players like David Warner and Sir Vivian Richards who can take the game with their bats.”
En route his 335 not out, Warner went past Don Bradman and Mark Taylor’s top scores of 334 to sit second behind Matthew Hayden’s 380 as the second highest-ever score by an Australian.
“But after passing Sir Donald Bradman I would have loved to see him race towards me. I was getting dressed to come back near the end of his innings. I was listening to commentators say whether he would have a go at Matthew Hayden’s 380 but I felt if he got to 381 he would have to have a go at my record,” said Lara.
He added that although he understood the captain’s decision of declaring the innings, he would have like if Warner was given a little more time to try and etch his name in history books.
“It was a great innings. I can see that Australia winning the match was the major thing and the weather was a big factor but I would have loved to have seen Australia go for it. Being here I would have loved to see it. Even if they say ‘hey David, you have got 12 overs, see if you could do it by tea time’ It would have been great.”