Iconic West Indian batsman, Brian Lara, is set to return to the home of cricket when he represents Marylebone Cricket Club in their match against a Rest of the World side at Lord’s on July 5.
The left-handed legend has recently been added to the star-studded roster of players that will take to the outfield in St John’s Wood to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Lara, who broke the world record for the highest individual Test score just over a decade ago, joins former teammate, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, in the MCC squad.
Sachin Tendulkar will captain the MCC and he will shake hands with opposing captain, Shane Warne, prior to the coin toss. On paper, some of the best names from the last 20 years of cricket will be on display.
For the diminutive master, it will be the second time that he has played at Lord’s in a match of this calibre. Back in 1998, he captained a Rest of the World team that participated in a memorial match for Diana, Princess of Wales.
Even the coaching staffs will include world-class cricketers. Mike Gatting and Shaun Pollock will oversee the preparations of the MCC and Rest of the World teams respectively.
The match will memorialise the 200 celebrated years that Lord’s has experienced in its current location. However, prior to arriving in St John’s Wood in 1814, the ground had previously been represented at two other venues.
In that time it can be argued that the game has changed, although still hung tightly to the traditions that define the sport.
For the MCC, they have a different role to what they did a couple of hundred years ago, but they remain the custodians of the laws of the game. This magnificent match-up involving some of the very best players in the world will emphasise their continued position in cricket.
Other players who will represent the MCC include Rahul Dravid, Umar Gul, Brett Lee and Daniel Vettori.
For the Rest of the World, the likes of Shahid Afridi, Adam Gilchrist, Muttiah Muralitharan, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh will all be on display.
English interest will be maintained with the involvement of Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Chris Read – the latter will play against the Ashes winners for the MCC.
Last month, a similar women’s fixture was hosted at Lord’s. Charlotte Edwards captained a losing MCC women’s side against a Rest of the World XI.
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