West Indian batting legend Brian Lara was supposed to watch his long-time friend Sachin Tendulkar play his penaltimate Test match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
But as luck would have it, the West Indies lost the Test match inside three days, just a day before Lara landed in Kolkata.
So on Sunday, the West Indies great decided to spend the day in visiting one of his favourite places. He visited India’s legendary monk Swami Vivekananda’s abode and Nobel peace winner Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity to pay respects to these two great souls he holds very close to his heart.
His first stop was Mother House around noon. After offering his prayers to Mother Teresa, Lara met over 100 orphan children, taken care of by the Missionaries of Charity. He even played with the children who showered him with rose petals.
Lara inquired about the charitable work taken up by the Missionaries of Charity before moving to his next destination.
At 12.30pm, Lara reached Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral house in old Kolkata.
Accompanied by monks of Ramakrishna Mission, a ashram set up by him, Lara spent time moving around in the house and visiting all the rooms. He went through the pictures, books and other Swamiji’s memorabilia. He offered his prayers to Swamiji and also asked questions about him and his life which the monks duly answered.
Later in the day, Lara visited the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and lamented that he could never play a Test match at the historic Eden Gardens.
During his 16-year international career, Lara played three ODIs at the Eden but has never been part of a Test match.