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Lara back at the helm

Bridgetown: The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) re-appointed Brian Lara on Monday as captain for the forthcoming home series against Australia and Sri Lanka.

Lara, who has landed the job more than three years after he gave it up, replaces Carl Hooper.

He will take charge for four Tests and seven one-day Internationals against the world champions, starting on April 10.

Lara’s appointment follows a decision by WICB to make wholesale changes to the team following their exit from the World Cup earlier this month after the opening group stage.

The WICB also named Australian Cricket Academy head, Bennett King, as the new coach while Ricky Skerritt was retained as team manager, subject to completion of contractual negotiations.

King, who replaced Roger Harper, will take charge after the two home series. Gus Logie, who was appointed as assistant coach, will take the reins for the next two series.

Trinidadian Lara took charge of the West Indies in 18 Tests, winning six and losing 10, with the other two ending in draws.

In 1998, he was sacked as captain when a players’ revolt over pay delayed the start of a tour of South Africa but was reinstated four days later to end the impasse.

During Australia’s 1999 tour to the Caribbean, the lefthander led by example, scoring a brilliant 213 in Kingston, which helped his side to share the series 2-2.

But he gave up the captaincy in 2000 after West Indies suffered an embarrassing whitewash on a tour to New Zealand. At the time, Lara said “devastating failures that have engulfed West Indies cricket” was his reason for stepping down.

The West Indies host Sri Lanka in three ODIs and a two-Test series beginning on June 7.

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