"I saw myself more as an entertainer. I always loved it when people came out to watch me bat." That was Brian Charles Lara, settling once and for all the debate on whether he was more batsman or entertainer.
Twirling bat, impossibly high backlift, and that flourish after each shot. The expansive range that Lara's shot-making covered was an apt metaphor for the breadth of the adjectives he elicited. In the modern era, no man more than he could summon sighs of frustration from his fans. And conversely, no man more than he could turn those into sighs of wonder in the next instant, next match, next series.
So, why speak of Lara and his batting at this particular juncture? The correct answer, is quite simply, that there's never a bad time to do that. The corollary that demands a connection to the here-and-now is that over several lunch breaks in the ongoing Ashes, there have been snatches of Lara's dazzling batting showcased on television in the shape of a documentary.