Lara’s 501

Thanks to Ryan for pointing this out. 12 years ago today, Brian Lara struck that incredible 501 for Warwickshire against Durham. I was at school at the time, a mere 12-year-old, and I remember my Dad picking me up at about 6pm.

Back in those days, the mobile phone was a distant dream. Only rich yuppies (remember them? Ah, the 1980s…) could afford the breeze-block Nokias, and even then they had no one else to phone. So I clearly remember my old man shouting down the drive, as I was making my way up it, “Lara’s gone mad Will! 500!” Obviously I thought he’d finally lost the plot, and peered into the back windows of the car for the Men In White. But they weren’t there. After completely refusing to believe him for the entire 10-minute car journey, the radio came on to confirm my worst and best fears.

I didn’t know what to think. After his 375, which incidentally was made on the tour which first sparked my interest in the game, it was plain as day that he was an extraordinary cricketer. But the 501? It took the biscuit – and I couldn’t help thinking “Well it’s Durham for God’s sake. Durham.” And back then, Durham really were very Durham, not the chirpy, confident side of 12 years hence.

Where were you when he did it?

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