RETIRED TT and West Indies cricket hero Brian Lara celebrated a half-century alive yesterday with a gift of his own street name – Brian Lara Drive.
The street, where he resides, branches off of the foot of Lady Chancellor Road, Port of Spain. It was formerly named Knaggs Hill.
“It’s a great, great honour,” Lara said in an address to a brief ceremony, which was attended by Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein, officials of the San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation – the corporation responsible for the St Ann’s and bordering areas – and Lara’s family.
“This being bestowed upon me – I know many things have been over the years – this is truly touching.”
The Trinity Cross holder and Order of Australia honoree quipped: “Actually, I believe this might actually help me with my travels. When you get up to the immigration line, and you write your address and put Brian Lara, Brian Lara Drive, I think the guy behind the desk might say, I think you’re important. You can go ahead.”
Since attracting the nickname “Prince of Port of Spain” in the nineties, a number of buildings have been renamed in his honour of his record breaking achievements, including the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba.
“...And now he has his own street,” he said, adding, “but just remember, that’s just a perception. There’s nothing true about that.
“But it’s also a very funny story when you hear people talk about it (everything named after Lara).”
Agnes Cyrus, one of Lara’s ten siblings, who is often cited as introducing him to the game, also spoke at the ceremony.
“Today, I am sure I need not recount the many occasions on which we witnessed his mastery of the game of cricket, as a batsman, fielder, captain and even bowler,” said Cyrus.
“He was able to accomplish so many things and broke so many records, including being the only batsman to ever score a double-century, a triple-century, a quadruple-century and a quintuple century during his career.”
“He has been a mentor to countless TT sportsmen and women and his legacy will live on through this street designation and will honour his commitment to the young sports persons.”
Meanwhile, Hosein, who heaped praise on Lara for his inspiring feats over the years, said it was his honour to see Lara’s name reflected as the first street name changed in the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government’s street signage initiative, which he said commences this month, in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Transport. The programme, he said, is to ensure every street, road, trace, branch, and extension has a proper sign, “to bring visibility to all communities.”
“This unveiling is very fitting as we commemorate the golden jubilee of the greatest batsman of all times. I would like to say to you, sir, that you (Lara) are a role model to our community, in the country and internationally,” Hosein said.
This story was originally published with the title "Brian Lara Drive: Government's birthday gift for Lara's 50" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.
RETIRED TT and West Indies cricket hero Brian Lara celebrated a half-century alive today with a gift of his own street name – Brian Lara Drive.
The street, which branches off of the foot of Lady Chancellor Road, Port of Spain, was formerly named Knaggs Hill.
"It's a great, great honour," Lara said in an address to a brief ceremony attended by local government minister Kazim Hosein, officials of the San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation – the corporation responsible for the St Ann's and bordering areas – and Lara's family.
Since attracting the nickname "Prince of Port of Spain" in the early nineties, a number of buildings have been renamed in his honour of his record breaking achievements, including the Brian Lara Promenade and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba.
The Trinity Cross holder and Order of Australia honoree shot to international stardom in 1994, when he smashed 375 runs during a Test in a series against England in Antigua, breaking a 36-year-old record held by West Indies' legend Sir Gary Sobers.