On this day in 2007: Brian Lara’s final day in international cricket

Brian Lara put a full stop to his 17-year-long career on April 21, 2007, as he entered the cricket stadium for the final time in the West Indies colours after dazzling the cricket universe with his breath-taking range of shots for nearly two decades.

The Kensington Oval was jampacked and it was difficult to find that added comfortable inch in the stands. Brian Charles Lara, the star left-hand striker with an unquenchable desire to make a run, attended his final day at the office.

Winning the toss, England put West Indies to bat first. Chris Gayle and Devon Smith shared a 131-run partnership for the first wicket. Loud applause erupted as Gayle was removed for a 58-ball 79. But the cheer was not just for his crucial knock. It was also because the audience was to witness Lara’s final stride onto the field.

Lara received a guard of honour from the English players, who did applaud the player on his remarkable journey but also wished for his early dismissal. Lara got his batting underway with a superb square drive off Andrew Flintoff. That had Lara’s distinct finesse.

Marlon Samuels had become the most despised player in the Caribbean that day. He called Lara for a run as he hit Stuart Broad towards mid-on. But he altered his mind mid-way during the run when he realized he had struck the ball too hard and as a result, Lara was run-out and had to exit the stadium.

Though Lara lost the final match of his career, he won many hearts over his long journey. He achieved many laurels in his career, and one was when became the player with the highest individual score in a Test innings as he remained unbeaten knocking 400* runs against England. He created a world record that still remains to his name.

At the end of the match, though England had won, Lara was under the spotlight as he walked onto the podium for the final time donning the West Indies jersey and thanked his fans for all the support he had received.