| Kenya captain Steve Tikolo is clean bowled by Mervyn Dillon for 93 in Colombo Tuesday. (Reuters)
Colombo: Brian Lara was admitted to hospital with suspected hepatitis shortly after hitting a century in the West Indies’ 29-run win over Kenya in their Champions Trophy pool III clash on Tuesday.
Lara, who hit 111 off 120 balls in a West Indies’ total of 261 for seven, showed signs of discomfort during his stay at the crease.
In more disturbing news, Lara’s participation in the West Indies’ tour of India next month may be in doubt following his hospitalisation for a series of tests, expected to last at least 24 hours.
In a statement released during the match, West Indies team manager Ricky Skerritt said Lara had felt below par for a couple of days but was clearly much worse after his innings.
“Brian had discoloured eyes, they were yellowy-orange, there was weakness and he was de-hydrated,” Skerritt said.
“He’s gone to hospital for a series of tests including blood tests and they have started already. We should know more at some stage on Wednesday.”
If the tests confirm hepatitis, it is likely to rule him out of the tour of India starting on October 4.
Lara appeared in discomfort during his innings, which lacked his customary fluency. At various times was seen lying on his back during breaks in play, as well as crouching with his hands on his knees.
After he was dismissed, a doctor was called to examine him and the decision was taken to admit him to hospital.
Skerritt sad it was too early to speculate on whether Lara’s condition would rule him out of the India tour but added: “We have three of the five selectors here so we would be in a position to chose a replacement.”
The West Indies selectors currently in Sri Lanka are captain Carl Hooper, coach Roger Harper and chairman of selectors Vivian Richards. The other selectors are Joey Carew and Gordon Greenidge.
Hooper said: “I hope it doesn’t come to that because he’s vital for us in India, a key figures in our side. But if it does come to that we’ll have to get together to select the best possible choice.”
Hooper, who shared a third-wicket partnership of 64 with Lara, said the left-hander was clearly not well while they batted together.
Lara’s illness took the gloss off a win that still gives the West Indies hope of reaching the semi-finals, although it will take a Kenyan victory over for South Africa for that to happen.
The left-hander looked far from his best and was dropped three times on 37, 45 and 61. He also received the benefit of the doubt when, on 32, he appeared to late-cut a ball from leg-spinner Collins Obuya into the gloves of wicketkeeper David Obuya only to be given not out when the decision was referred to third umpire Asoka de Silva.
In between those let-offs, Lara still managed to produce some trademark flowing drives.
The hundred was his 15th in one-day Internationals.
The West Indies innings had got off to a rapid start thanks to Chris Gayle (33) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (43) as they added 60 for the first wicket inside the first 12 overs after Carl Hooper won the toss.
Successive partnerships of 55 between Lara and Chanderpaul, 64 between Lara and Hooper (20) and then 57 between Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan (20) helped establish a sizeable score.
The West Indies were also indebted to a late flourish from Wavell Hinds, who slammed 20 from only six balls as 93 were added in the final 10 overs of the innings.
In reply, Kenya captain Steve Tikolo produced a high-class innings of 93 to keep his side in contention. He reached his 50 from only 47 balls and deserved to reach three figures only to be bowled by Mervyn Dillon.