Cricket West Indies indefinitely appoint Brian Lara as performance mentor

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The West Indies Cricket Board announced on Friday that Brian Lara had agreed to join the country's cricketing project as a performance mentor to oversee the working of the national team as well as its academy. In the meantime, Lara would retain his role as Sunrisers Hyderabad's head coach.

Cricket West Indies made further progress in a bid to rejuvenate the game in the country and provide structure to the national setup by revealing an agreement with Brian Lara for the legendary batter to join the organization as a performance mentor. Lara, 53, holds the record for most runs across all formats for the Caribbean islands with over 22,000 on the international circuit, including a record-high Test score of 400*. The Trinidadian was recently involved with CWI as a performance reviewer in a panel set-up to analyze the team's poor showings in recent times on major tours and marquee events, which came up with the conclusion that the organization would 'cease to exist' if status quo was maintained.

Lara's appointment has come at a crucial time for the nation, with just nine months left in the run-up to the ICC World Cup in India. The islanders might have to participate in the qualifiers as they remain engaged in the battle for the final direct entry spot with our other teams in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League.

"Lara’s new role will be to support the various Head Coaches in providing players with tactical advice and improving their game sense, as well as working closely with the Director of Cricket [Jimmy Adams] on ICC World Cup Tournament strategic planning," the CWI statement read.

The former batter would supervise progress in the country's cricket academy while aiding them on their tours across the three formats of the game. Lara's appointment succeeds a dark period in West Indies' cricketing history, with the team ruled out in the qualification stage itself at the ICC World T20 2022 followed by a 2-0 annihilation by Australia in a Test series Down Under.

“I am really looking forward to Brian making a significant contribution to our cricket system by providing invaluable guidance and advice to our players and coaches. We are confident that Brian will help to improve our high-performance mindset and strategic culture that will bring us more success on the field across all formats. Everyone is excited to have Brian involved in supporting our players,” Adams expressed.

Presently, Lara has traveled to Zimbabwe to help prepare the Test squad for a two-match Test series, preceded by a four-day tour game in Bulawayo. Notably, the veteran would continue to lead the Sunrisers Hyderabad as their Head Coach at the Indian Premier League 2023.

"Having spent time with the players and coaches in Australia and in discussions with CWI, I really believe that I can help the players with their mental approach to the game and with their tactics to be more successful. I'm looking forward to joining the group in Zimbabwe and the opportunity to work with other West Indies teams later in the year," Lara said. 

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