PORT OF SPAIN – Cricket legend Brian Lara says former West Indies captain Courtney Walsh might not have been the most successful leader in terms of the statistics he registered on the field, but the Jamaican fast bowler was the type of leader the team needed to follow.
Ambassador Lara was at the time responding to questions yesterday from a young female participant at the start of a four-day symposium at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, St. Ann’s, Port-of-Spain.
Lara said: “There is no other leader I would put above him, just from the facts of his character traits and what he gave to the team, his body language, his humility, his sacrifices. For me it’s not about results. I feel it’s very important to play the game with integrity, to play the game with the sporting discipline. Success will take care of itself. If you are meant to win you will win. If you don’t, then you’re going to learn from your experiences.”
“My role model, my friend Courtney Walsh is a good example of stats and the captaincy is not what is most important for a leader,” he added.
Quizzed as to how a follower could effectively coach a leader, Lara said while a leader had to set goals, the leader could not perform by himself.
He referred to his tour of duty as captain of the West Indies and his then controversial selection of Darren Sammy who he described as the perfect example of a follower coaching a leader.
“I remember picking Darren Sammy, not for his cricketing ability, but for the way he carried about himself. We were going to play in a tournament in England and we had 14 players to pick and after 12 the two players they were asking for I didn’t want on the team, because they weren’t going to play, but I knew they were going to be very destructive. And I remember picking Darren Sammy and a guy called Sylvester Joseph. Darren Sammy at no point in time would have considered himself to be a future leader of West Indies cricket. He was someone who you could depend on,” Lara said.
He added: “He’s going to ensure he does what is necessary for the team to be successful. That is the way how a follower can actually help a leader, by being part of a team and willing to make sure that everyone is moving in the right direction. Today Darren Sammy is captain of the West Indies team and if you are in the dressing room, I’ve heard, he has the same demeanour and he has a lot of people moving in the same direction he wants to move in.”