Canberra, Oct 22: Legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara paid rich tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, saying the Indian batting maestro is the most deserving batsman to break his world record and become the highest run-getter in Test cricket.
"I was quite happy for him. There is no better individual or batsman in the world that could go past you than Sachin Tendulkar," Lara said. "He has been a great for so many years and is someone who is deserving of such a record. So I just want to wish him the best," he told local media during his visit to the Australian Institute of Sports in Canberra.
Lara said he was never in doubt that his 11,953-run mark would be bettered following his retirement in 2006.
"I thought it was definitely going to be broken. I think my impromptu retirement made it more available for other batsmen.
"I mentioned it a couple of years ago when I went past Allan Border's record that it was a record that I would always cherish. To be considered in the same group as Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar and now Sachin Tendulkar, it is a great feeling, an honourable feeling, and something I am very proud of," he said.
Lara, however, believes that Australia's captain Ricky Ponting will eventually break Tendulkar's record.
"Ricky Ponting is someone who is in line to hold such a record as well. I would think that (Ponting) still has 30 or 40 Tests matches left under his belt and he has already gone past 10,000 runs."
Ponting, who will turn 34 in December, has scored 10,246 runs in his 121-Test career, and is 1791 runs behind Tendulkar (12,037), who has played 31 more matches.