Lara: why I wanted Warner to break my record
West Indian legend Brian Lara wished David Warner had been given a chance to break his world batting record and was preparing to emulate one of the most iconic celebrations in Test match history.
By freakish coincidence Lara was in Adelaide during Warner's 335 not out against Pakistan and would have happily walked out to the centre wicket mid-Test to congratulate the Australian had he eclipsed his world record 400.
Far from protecting the status of his all-time mark, the Caribbean champion felt Warner deserved a crack at the record and, while understanding Australia's logic, was disappointed when they declared.
Before his 400, Lara was involved in one of the most celebrated moments in Test history when he broke Garry Sobers long-standing Test record of 365, taking the mark for the first time with 375 against England at Barbados in 1994.
The occasion became even more iconic when the Test match stopped as Sobers, in that distinctive swagger of his, walked on the ground to personally congratulate Lara.
When Warner passed 300 on Saturday, Lara was back in his hotel getting changed to return to the ground after corporate duties earlier in the day.
Had the milestone fallen he was ready to personally congratulate Warner and pay the show-stopping on-ground tribute to Warner that Sobers had given him.
It would have been a moment that stunned the cricket world because few people were aware Lara was in Adelaide.
"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 told News Corp.
"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.
"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.''
"They were justified by picking up six wickets last night and you can see today things are slower so the declaration came at the right time.
"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.
"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 stabilisers but you also need one or two players like David Warner and Sir Vivian Richards who can take the game with their bats.''
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