Lara, who was the guest of honour at a prestigious function hosted by CBZ Bank to honour outstanding players, coaches and administrators in Harare last Friday, is earmarked to play in the domestic T20 Competition this season.
The Trinidad and Tobago born batting prince confirmed as much when he arrived for the national awards ceremony held at Wild Geese Lodge.
“The season is long, discussions are taking place, let us wait and see. You might see me coming back here,” Lara said.
He also told reporters on his arrival in Harare last week that Zimbabwe was close to his heart and he was eagerly waiting for the country to play Tests again.
Asked to comment on the matter, Zimbabwe Cricket general manager Ozias Bvute would not deny the possibility of Lara coming back to play but like Lara, he was stingy with the details.
“We are talking but its early days to say whether he is coming back to play or coach here,” said Bvute
Sources have revealed that offers have already been made and the former West Indies captain and left handed batsman is willing to come and play the shortest version of the game and help out with some coaching for the national team batters.
“I understand the deal is close to being clinched. I mean the guy (Lara) is willing to come and help out around and there is an opportunity for him to come and play again. It’s always difficult to walk away from something you love so much, Lara has had so much success as a player. We know his record and now he is grateful for this opportunity that ZC are offering and likewise Zimbabwe is delighted he is willing to play here,” revealed the source.
It is not clear which franchise he will be joining when he comes, but all five franchises would definitely stampede for his signature.
Lara’s signature will definitely be the biggest scoop for ZC as they make yet more manoeuvers to turn around the fortunes of the game in the country.
Already in the country are two bowling legends, Jason Gillespie from Australia who is coaching Midlands Rhinos, and former South African quickie Allan Donald presiding over Mountaineers.
Ahead of the much anticipated Test return, Zimbabwe will benefit from Lara’s vast experience. He holds the record of the highest individual score in a single innings when he smashed an unbeaten 400 against England playing for the Caribbean outfit.
Lara played 131 Tests for his country scoring a total of 1 1953 runs at an average of 52,89 while also featuring in 299 One-Day-Internationals, amassing 1 0405 at an average of 40,49 in an illustrious career.
In his speech at the awards Lara singled out batsman Vusimuzi Sibanda, and spoke at length about his talent.
“I always thought Vusa Sibanda had a lot of talent, but I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t give him advice at that time obviously playing for an opposing team.”
And now with his impending arrival, Sibanda will be among the Zimbabwean batsmen lining up to receive tips from the legend.
Zimbabwe returns to the elite group of Test playing nations next year when they take on Bangladesh in a two match series to mark a return after a self-imposed exile. — Own Staff.