Lara wants Dr. Webster to return

by Tony Cozier in CHESTER-LE-STREET
Stabroek News
July 17, 2000

Brian Lara has made a plea for the recall of psychologist Dr. Rudi Webster to the struggling West Indies team.

Noting that there had been comment on Webster's departure from the team after the second Test, Lara wrote in his column in the Mail on Sunday that "maybe some more of him is needed".

"I can't say whether we have suffered because he is no longer around," Lara stated. "What I do know is that his help and advice was very beneficial to me during my recent troubles and I believe his full-time presence would do no harm to the team as a whole."

Lara said Dr.Webster had "achieved an awful lot in the six weeks he was with us".

"Where Rudi is so successful in my mind is that he helps you refocus on the basics and that is precisely what we need to do now," Lara added.

Webster, a Barbadian and former manager of the West Indies team during World Series Cricket, qualified as a radiologist at Edinburgh University in the late 1960s but made his name in sports psychology in the competitive environment of Australian Rules football while resident in Melbourne.

His original appointment, prior to the home series against Australia last year, was prompted by Lara's comments about the team's lack of mental toughness following the tour of South Africa.

He was not reengaged after last year's World Cup but was brought back for the recent successful home series against Zimbabwe and Pakistan. He was only appointed for the first two Tests of the current tour, mainly to ensure Lara's smooth re-introduction into the team after his four-months lay-off.

Since his departure during the second Test, the West Indies have lost four one-day internationals and were effectively eliminated from the NatWest Series with England and Zimbabwe.

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