Brian Lara’s backlift

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< 1 minute read

They were talking about similarities between Darren Bravo and Brian Lara on Sky this morning. (They’ve a lot of time to fill. They can’t always keep you guessing.) We were quite glad they did this however, because we got to see Brian Lara’s backlift.

We’re not one of those people who goes all weak-kneed at the aesthetics of batting. We don’t make unnerving sex noises when someone hits a textbook cover drive – we’re not Mark Nicholas. We did always love Lara’s backlift though.

We didn’t love it because of how it looked so much as what it said; what it promised. Even the most aggressive of modern batsmen doesn’t have a backlift like Lara’s. The bat started off so high that it didn’t seem it could come back down in time for the ball. Then, as the ball approached, it would jerk up vertically, even higher.

Take a photo at that exact moment and you would see why Brian Lara was so special. The bat has an enormous distance to travel and it must move at phenomenal speed if willow is going to meet leather.

Cats completely flip out from time to time for pretty much no reason. If you’re on the receiving end when they really lose it, you’ll know the moment. They tend to freeze just before they launch at you with their incisors and knife-hands and that pause is bloody terrifying. It’s all coiled threat. That pause is precisely what was expressed by the Lara backlift. That much tension and stored energy is only ever going to hurt you.

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  1. The phrase “Brian Lara’s Backlift” isn’t going to increase the web traffic around here much. All those people interested in the mechanics of how now-retired cricketers prepare for a shot will be delighted, but everyone apart from him might find it a fraction, er, specialist?

    On the other hand, including “…sex noises… Mark Nicholas… jerk… photo… leather…” is likely to bring in an entirely new set of followers, and indeed advertising opportunities.

    1. An early edit featured “spank leather” but then we changed it, anticipating the comments.

  2. I was expecting an ankylosing spondylitis joke there, until I read the last four letters of the title.

  3. Yes but, you can kick a coiled cat mid-spring if you time it right (very satisfying). I wouldn’t ever have recommended kicking Brian Lara’s poised backlift as it began to descend. Not twice at any rate.

    1. Gareth, if you are keen to maintain ownership of your balls, I might suggest that you don’t mention kicking cats, coiled or otherwise, on this website. At least several of the readers here are ailurophillic to a very high, some would say excessive, degree. And while I am sure they are lovely, lovely people in very many regards, I suspect that any discussion of felisferirant activity will, shall we say, bring out the howling banshee in them. At the very least you’ll be subjected to an irritated hmff, and possibly even a discardation.

      I’m just saying.

  4. Mark Waugh’s flick another instance in cricket wonderful to watch.
    And of course Warne’s bowling..

  5. That was a very good piece. I am not very witty. Martin van Jaarsveld had a cool backlift, before he revealed himself as a treacherous traitor. Now his backlift is (I assume) laughable.

  6. Don’t mention the accursed Brian Lara backlift here KC. It was responsible for the abrupt termination of my high school cricket (and possibly test) career. I was a decent if entirely unspectacular batsman till I decided to adopt that backlift. After that point I became the guy who did a little jig every time bat made contact with ball.

    God knows I would be lulling test bowling attacks into submission today if it were not for that bloody backlift. Maybe I should have tried to copy Chanders instead.

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