Dubai: Brian Lara, the West Indies batting legend, is ready to ‘lend a hand’ to the GEMS Heritage Cricket Academy which was launched at the premises of GEMS Heritage Indian School on Friday evening.

Lara was the chief guest at a lively opening ceremony, attended by over 500 students, senior members of school administration and Sunny Varkey, chairman of GEMs Group of Schools at the school located adjacent to the IMG World off Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. It also marked the opening of the Heritage Cup, an inter-school T10 tournament.

Answering to a Gulf News query if he could be seen in an advisory capacity for the academy in future, Lara said: “I was invited to their Global Teachers’ Awards and I was very appreciative of the gesture from the group. I believe that if I can lend a hand, I will always be here.”

Speaking about his expectations from the fully equipped academy which boasts of bowling machines, retractable nets, indoor and outdoor facilities, Lara said it’s the engagement of the trainees with the staff of the academy which mattered at the end of the day.

Recalling his childhood days, Lara said: “At an young age of six, I was put in at the Havard Cricket Academy in Trinidad by my father. Among the coaching staff, some were professional cricketers while some were not but the knowledge, the interactivity and the love we enjoyed from them were the key. From whatever I have seen here, the GEMS Group should be able to provide the same,” he added.