Cricket: Motivation from famous cousin Brian sets up special innings

By David Leggat

West Indies batsman Brian Lara has the highest individual test and first-class scores in cricket. Photo / AP
West Indies batsman Brian Lara has the highest individual test and first-class scores in cricket. Photo / AP

Darren Bravo heeded the advice of his famous cousin Brian Lara during his marathon double century yesterday.

"After the first day he messaged me to find out what the score was," Bravo said.

"He said it was very important that I go out and make a name for myself, let the world get to know the true Darren Bravo."

With 210 not out against his name when he resumes this morning, he followed Lara's instructions to a tee.

His double ton - the 26th by a West Indian in tests - was different in nature to Ross Taylor's 217 not out in New Zealand's first innings.

Where Taylor's was about setting up his team's formidable position, lefthander Bravo's was all about salvaging the West Indian cause.

He reckoned he'd get to bed about 3am today, after dinner, phoning family and friends, checking Twitter messages and unwinding.

Bravo remembered a conversation with teammate Kieran Powell during the Indian tour last month. He felt he was batting well but not making sufficient runs.

"I remember telling Kieran that I'm going to score a double hundred in New Zealand.

"I just backed myself. I knew I was going to have a special innings in New Zealand."

Lara, possessor of the highest individual test and first-class scores, was his inspiration growing up. "Brian was the only guy I looked at when West Indies were batting," he said.

"As a kid growing up, whenever Brian's photo was in the newspaper or a magazine I would cut it out and stick it up all over my room.

"Everything I wanted was to be just like Brian.

"I look up to him a lot.

"He has been there for me ever since and that's something I hold very close to my heart."

So does Bravo sense this could be the start of a new phase in his career?

"Whenever you step out to bat in a test it's a new challenge and another opportunity to prove yourself once more.

"I wouldn't say it is going to be much easier for me in the future, it's just a matter of me believing in myself a little more."

Chris Gayle, the charismatic but injured opener, also tweeted Bravo: "Proud and happy for you. Get a triple century."

The one shame about the day was that his friends and family could not watch the innings.

The tests aren't being televised in the Caribbean.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 21 Dec 2014 14:14:00 Processing Time: 416ms