Serendipitously, Brian Lara now lives at a property he often visited as a pre-teen student at Fatima College to pass the time on afternoons while his now deceased father Bunty, completed his duties at the nearby agricultural station where to work.
“I was a twelve year old at and on many evenings when I didn’t have to play cricket or football, I was made to walk from Fatima College to the agricultural station where my dad was working just across the road. Sometimes I would get there at 3 pm and have to wait until four. So I would cross the road, with my school bad and I would fill it with all the fruits on the hill.”
“Little did I know that I would be stealing from myself.” he quipped.
Lara was speaking on Thursday as his connection with the property came full in an unveiling of the street sign at the newly renamed Brian Lara Drive, at Knaggs Hill in the vicinity of the Emperor Valley Zoo. Lara was rewarded with the prime property in 1994 after he broke Garry Sobers’ then Test match world record of 365 runs, going on set the new mark at 375.
The gesture was a birthday gift from the San Juan Regional Corporation to the batting genius who was celebrating his 50th birthday as Lara’s residence falls within that municipality.
Still, the first and only cricketer in history to score a century, a double century, a triple century, a quadruple century and a quintuple century could not help but see a lighter side in an already touching gesture.
He said, “I believe it may help with my travels. When I get up to that immigration line and write my address as Brian Lara Drive, I think the guy behind the desk will say ‘I think you’re important, you can go ahead.’”
He continued, “Its also a funny story when a lot of tourists leave Trinidad and they say ‘I met this guy and he has his own stadium, he has his own cancer hospital, he has his own promenade, he has a wall at this cricket ground and now he has his own street.”
Calling it a great honour to have the street renamed after him, Lara hoped it would inspire young and budding athletes to dream big.
“How significant it is that right here we have many, many young kids training up and down this hill on an afternoon. I hope it can serve as an inspiration to them when they do come up and see the name; that whatever exercises they’re doing, whatever dream that they have as young men and women, that they achieve whatever they are working towards,” he said.