Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 17th 2014 Contents The following is part three in a
series commemorating the
anniversary of former West Indies
captain Brian Lara s world record
Test knock of 400 not out.
EARL MCDONALD BEST
"Smug" would probably be too
strong a word to describe Franklyn
"Uncle Frank" Hernandez as he
settles back into his chair.
But he has a satisfied look on his
face, something between a smile
and a smirk. I can tell that he feels
he has completed half the job, what
one might perhaps call the con-
struction phase; if he can wield the
demolition ball half as successfully,
when he has finished his work for
the day, the walls of Jericho which
keep Tendulkar s---and probably
even Bradman s---reputation intact
will have come crashing down.
"Listen, eh," he s says, unnec-
essarily. I can t get enough of this
"The amount ah tings Lara do
in cricket, first-class cricket, is the
amount ah tings Tendulkar ent do.
"He make plenty runs, ah give
him dat; he make one great double
century against Australia in Sydney
in 2004, ah give him dat too. But
he never dominate a whole series.
He s warming to his task.
"Hear me: Tendulkar made 493
in a four-match series against Aus-
tralia in 2007. That s real good,
right? Wrong! Wally Hammond
make 563 runs in only two matches
against New Zealand in 1933 and
(Sanath) Jayasuriya make 571 for
Sri Lanka in only two matches
against India in 1997.
"Younus Khan, Matthew Hayden
and Ricky Pointing (sic) make over
500 runs in a three-match series
twice; and Graham Gooch make a
world-record 752 runs in a three-
match series against India in 1990.
By my count, it have nearly twen-
ty-five 500-plus aggregate in two-
or three-match series in Test crick-
et; Tendulkar best series total is
493...in a four-Test series! But
Wisden say he better than Lara!"
The thoroughness of the research
is truly impressive; he must
have invested month after painstak-
ing month of his life to put this
But now, licking the tips of his
fingers, he flips rapidly through a
few pages of the Wisden. He stops,
stares at what is in front of him
for a moment, then looks up to
study my face for a long moment
more. I focus on the open Wisden;
the section that stares back at me
is headed, "Most runs in a series."
"In all, Tendulkar has made 51
Test centuries," he eventually
restarts, "with a highest Test score
of 248 not out."
I know the answer to my instinc-
tive question but, jooking fire, I ask
"248? Against whom?"
"Who yuh tink?" His response
is a scorn-stuffed snarl.
"Batsmen made 500 runs or
more in a Test series over 200
times; 220 times, I think! Tendulkar
never did it, not once! Lara and
Bradman did it seven times, the
world record. Tendulkar never made
500 in a first-class match, he never
made 400 in a first class-match,
he never made 300 in a first-class
match, he never made 400 or 300
in a Test match, he never made
even 250 in a Test match, he never
made 25 runs in a single Test match
over, he never made a double and
a century in the same match. Peo-
ple made two centuries in the same
match 70 times; Tendulkar is not
among them. But he try hard: he
didn t make, couldn t make a cen-
tury in his last 40 innings, yes, four
zero! Forty! Yuh want more?"
"Lara," says the devil s advocate,
"never made 200 not out in an
"ODI?" comes, contempt-coat-
ed, the instantaneous retort.
"Lara played 299 ODIs in his
career but he was never really inter-
ested in ODIs. Tendulkar played
more than 450! Something had to
happen for him at least once in
This is emphatically not objec-
tive; he s not even pretending to
be impartial. And I don t think it s
simply because he thinks I am sup-
porting the man from Mumbai
instead of taking the Prince of Port-
of-Spain s side.
"When Lara stopped playing,"
he starts again, "I mean, when they
stop Lara from playing Test cricket,
he had played 131 Tests and scored
11,953 runs, averaging 53.17."
Digressing, he explains that,
because Lara once played for the
ICC World XI in an officially recog-
nised match and made only five
and 36, he has two Test averages.
"It take Tendulkar 15 innings
more than Lara to reach that total.
"In all, Tendulkar played 200
Tests, 97 innings more than Lara,
and he made nearly 16,000 runs
at an average of 53.78. Well, if Lara
did play 200 matches, he woulda
make more than 17,000 runs; if
Sobers did play 200 Tests, he would
have made over 17,000 runs, if
Bradman did play 200 Tests, he
mighta make maybe 40,000 runs
and over a hundred centuries..."
Lies, damn lies and statistics, I
think to myself. But his open palm
silences my nascent protest.
"I know, I know!" he says.
"But ah just telling yuh.
"Lara and (Bill) Ponsford made
400 and over twice in first-class
cricket. Bradman never do that,
Tendulkar never do that; in fact,
nobody else ever do that! Lara made
over 350 runs in a innings three
times in first-class cricket; Bradman
do that but not Tendulkar, he never
do that! Never! Not once!"
No stopping him; he s in full flow
now. There is anger razing his
insides but he lowers his voice.
"Brian Lara made 688 runs in a
three-match series against Muttiah
Muralitharan, the most successful
bowler in cricket history. And all
by himself he nearly win a series
everybody expecting West Indies
to lose---with a team, mind you,
that nobody could reasonably
expect any captain to beat any half-
decent side with. Don t forget that
Steve Waugh and his Australian
side was Number One in the world
at the time. Lara make 213, 153 and
100 in a three-match stretch
against them; the next best West
Indies batsman had a average of 28
The sip he takes from his glass
is meant as much to extinguish the
blaze within as to give me time to
contemplate how enormous is this
"In 2001, Wisden," he says
almost inaudibly, "Wisden put three
Lara innings in the top 15 of their
Top 100 list based on more than
50,000 Test innings. In 2001, eh,
before the 400!"
Then, he gets me dead in his
sights and empties his weapon on
me, shooting the messenger.
"How the hell Wisden could pick
a World XI, a Best Ever side, and
put Bradman at three, Tendulkar
at four...and leave out Brian Charles
Yuh have to be either mad...or
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
NEW DELHI---India's Supreme Court
ordered a thorough investigation into
corruption in the Indian Premier League
on Friday, including the role of
suspended Board of Control for Cricket
in India president Narainswami
The court asked Justice Mukul
Mudgal to conduct an in-depth
investigation after an initial probe by a
three-member team headed by the
retired high court judge found Chennai
Super Kings team principal and
Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath
Meiyappan, guilty of being in contact
with illegal bookmakers. The panel has
been asked to submit its report by the
end of August.
Srinivasan, who is due to take over in
July as the International Cricket
Council's chairman, was not directly
implicated but the Mudgal panel
named him among 13 people who
needed to be investigated. The others
were not named due to lack of
evidence but it is speculated that it
includes some current international
India's top court names Mudgal to head IPL probe
Sachin never do that!
Number of batsmen (by
country) who scored 500 in a
Test series (achieved a total of
Batsmen scoring five or more
first class hundreds in
C.B. Fry (Eng)
M.J. Procter (S/A)
B.C. Lara (WI)
E.D Weekes (WI)
M. Hussey (Aust)
Brian Lara, right, shares a light moment with Sachin Tendulkar.
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