UTTARAKHAND, India – West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara endeared himself to Indian fans when he played a charity match in Dehradun today to help raise funds for victims of the Uttarakhand flood.
While India skipper M.S. Dhoni, was sorely missed, Lara ensured that his batting as well as words of encouragement helped raise awareness. “I urge anybody with means to support this cause as a lot of families have been destroyed. As much funds and as much help in any way possible is needed,” Lara said.
The 44-year-old left-hander promised more support and participation in the future. “I am here and I will be back for sure and next time I come back I will be back with some West Indian players,” he said.
Lara’s was the first attempt by any cricketer of international repute to help victims in the state. Massive floods on June 16 this year resulted in a huge loss of life and property.
The students who came out to watch Lara bat though, seemed to put the nightmare behind them as they followed every move of the cricketing icon. “It is every cricketer’s dream to play with Brian Lara but it would have been good to play with some Indian cricketers as well in this charity match today,” said Ishan of Abhimanyu Crickat Academy.
Ishan’s friends agreed that having Dhoni in particular would have been the icing on the cake. “Our captain Dhoni, he has relations in Dehradun, his wife is from Uttarakhand,” said Kanakpriya when asked which other cricketer could have further helped the cause. “If he had been here, people would have been more excited. They would have felt someone of their own has come to be with them in this tragedy which has affected them so much.”
Lara is currently in India as mentor with the Trinidad and Tobago national team which has reached the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20 Tournament.