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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lara Debut Was Testing, Triumphant

LONDON -- Brian Lara, the brightest jewel in Warwickshire's triple crown, faces one of the most intense playing schedules in cricket history after a hectic debut season in the English domestic game.


The little Trinidadian left-hander, who scored runs in record quantities with the grace and style that also marked his off-field demeanor, admitted his first summer with Warwickshire was an exhausting experience.


Lara was rarely out of the headlines, playing an influential role as his adopted county landed an unprecedented three titles in a single season.


Endorsements, special appearances and endless interviews added to his mounting involvements, leaving Lara in no doubt when the season ended Monday that he was truly living in cricket's fast lane.


Lara now has commitments in South Africa and Hong Kong before confronting a rigorous international program with West Indies.


In the 11 months between the beginning of October and the end of next August, West Indies are to play 15 tests and at least 16 one-day internationals.


Lara is vice-captain on West Indies' tour of India which starts next month and includes three tests, to be followed early next year by two tests in New Zealand, then a four-test series against Australia in the Caribbean and finally a six-test tour of England.


It will be as much a trial of stamina as batting skill for Lara, the holder of the world record individual score in both test and first-class cricket.


Lara's test highest of 375 against England in Antigua last April came only two weeks after he signed for Warwickshire to replace Indian all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar, who was ruled out by injury.


Lara set the English season alight with a sequence of breathtaking performances, reeling off six centuries in seven championship innings including the record first-class score of 501, against Durham.


Timing, balance, power of stroke and, above all, the utter certainty with which he compiled his huge scores were hallmarks of Lara's batting.


Lara's imperious form and the confidence it bred in his teammates helped to spur Warwickshire to the county championship, the Benson and Hedges Cup and the Sunday League. And they were beaten finalists in the Natwest Trophy.


Behind the scenes, coach Bob Woolmer's meticulous planning was a key element in Warwickshire's triple triumph.


Yet it was Lara who provided the most abiding individual memories, ending with the season's highest first-class aggregate of 2,066 runs and nine centuries.