Lara denied break for football

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The West Indies team management have refused to give captain Brian Lara a day off from the Cricket World Cup to watch football's European Cup final.

Lara had hoped to cheer on his friend, Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, in the big match against Bayern Munich in Barcelona on May 26.

However, West Indies manager Clive Lloyd turned down Lara's request for a break from the tournament - because the team are due to play Scotland in the World Cup the very next day.

Lara's friendship with Yorke goes back to their school days in Trinidad.

They were then reunited in the Midlands in the mid-1990s when Lara came to England to play for Warwickshire and linked up with Yorke, who then with nearby Aston Villa.


It is not the first time Lara has found himself at odds with his employers over his habit of taking impromptu breaks.

He was fined by Warwickshire when he failed to return for a match after taking time off to visit his home in the Caribbean.

He also walked out on the West Indies tour of England in 1995 after a dressing-room row, before being persuaded to return.

Some Caribbean cricket pundits accused him of adopting divisive leadership style on last year's disastrous tour of South Africa and called for him to lose the captaincy.

However, he hung onto the job - but only after West Indies bosses made demands about his future conduct.