West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has been added to the star-studded list of players who will take part in the MCC v Rest of the World Lordâs Bicentenary match scheduled to be staged on July 5, it was announced on Wednesday.
The 45-year-old Brian Lara, a veteran of 131 Tests and 299 ODIs, will play alongside fellow all-time batting great Sachin Tendulkar for MCC, with Australiaâs Aaron Finch, currently the worldâs leading Twenty20 batsman, also in the hosts line-up. Australia paceman Peter Siddle, a thorn in Englandâs side during the Ashes, will join Nottinghamshire team-mate and former Test wicket-keeper Chris Read in the MCC side. Pakistanâs fast bowler Umar Gul and West Indiesâ Tino Best are the final names to be added to the MCC and Rest of the World sides respectively.
Tendulkar will captain an MCC XI that also includes another retired India batting star in Rahul Dravid, Pakistanâs off-spin wizard Saeed Ajmal and former Australia Test fast bowler Brett Lee. Meanwhile, Shane Warne, arguably cricketâs greatest leg-spinner, will captain a Rest of the World XI that includes his former Hampshire team-mate Kevin Pietersen, now in England âexileâ, as well as Sri Lankaâs record-breaking off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Pakistanâs fiery all-rounder Shahid Afridi. âLordâs always holds a very special place in any cricketerâs heart, and I am very much looking forward to helping celebrate its Bicentenary with MCC,â
Lara, whose 400 not out against England in 2004 at St Johnâs, Antigua remains the highest ever individual score in a Test, said in a statement. âIt was an honour to be asked to be involved and it will be fantastic to play at such an iconic place on such a special occasion,â the left-handed genius added. Umar Gul, meanwhile, said: âPlaying at Lordâs is different to playing at any other ground in the world. âThere is something magical about it and it will be a pleasure to come back and help MCC mark the current groundâs 200th year in this match.â
Lordâs Bicentenary match teams:
MCC: Sachin Tendulkar (India, captain), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies), Rahul Dravid (India), Aaron Finch (Australia), Umar Gul (Pakistan), Brian Lara (West Indies), Brett Lee (Australia), Chris Read (England, wicket-keeper), Shaun Tait (Australia), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand).
REST OF THE WORLD:
Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Tino Best (West Indies), Paul Collingwood (England), Adam Gilchrist (Australia, wicket-keeper), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kevin Pietersen (England), Virender Sehwag (India), Peter Siddle (Australia), Yuvraj Singh (India). -dawn