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Cricket big Brian Lara’s faux pas with NRL legend Gorden Tallis for Andrew Symonds funeral

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State of Origin legend Gorden Tallis reveals innocent mistake West Indian cricket great Brian Lara made when they shared a car en route to Andrew Symonds funeral

  • Cricket legend Brian Lara mistook NRL great Gorden Tallis as his ‘hired security’
  • The sporty couple shared a rental car for Andrew Symonds’ funeral in Townsville
  • Lara politely asked who Tallis was, leaving many Australian cricket greats hysterical

West Indian cricket great Brian Lara let some former Australian cricketers down when he made a hilarious assumption about: NRL legend Gorden Tallis at Andrew Symonds funeral.

By sheer coincidence, Lara – who flew 10,000 miles direct from India to pay his personal respects to Symonds – shared a rental car with Tallis for the Townsville Casino memorial service last Friday.

Tallis, 48, is an imposing figure – and Lara thought so, considering the ‘Raging Bull’ to be his security guard for the day.

The Fox Sports rugby league personality wasn’t sure what to think when ‘a couple of Australian cricket lads were all laughing about something’.

When I asked them what it was, they said, ‘Brian Lara thought you were his security,’ Tallis recalled.

West Indian cricket great Brian Lara (pictured left) abandoned a number of former Australian cricketers when he politely requested the identity of NRL legend Gorden Tallis (pictured centre) at Andrew Symonds’ funeral last Friday

Lara initially thought Tallis was a Townsville Casino guard hired to babysit the cricket legend, who was in far north Queensland for Andrew Symonds' funeral.

Lara initially thought Tallis was a Townsville Casino guard hired to babysit the cricket legend, who was in far north Queensland for Andrew Symonds’ funeral.

“Brian then came up to me and said to me, ‘I thought you worked for the casino’.

“We ended up having a few beers and laughing out loud.”

The death of Symonds, 46, on May 14 after a car accident shocked Lara deeply – as did the death of champion leg spinner Shane Warne in March.

“I felt like I was building something more than cricket with Andrew,” Lara said.

“Sometimes you lose the relationship with players when you retire. But ours grew. And it wasn’t because he forced it or I forced it. It just came naturally. We were great together.’

Lara and Symonds were fierce opponents on the pitch but developed a close friendship outside of cricket, especially in recent years

Lara and Symonds were fierce opponents on the pitch but developed a close friendship outside of cricket, especially in recent years

West Indian cricket legend Brian Lara (pictured left) traveled 10,000km to Townsville from India to say goodbye to his good friend and former rival Andrew Symonds

West Indian cricket legend Brian Lara (pictured left) traveled 10,000km to Townsville from India to say goodbye to his good friend and former rival Andrew Symonds

Lara admired the fact that Symonds was his own man and lived a different life from his contemporaries.

And the man they affectionately called “Roy” had a dry sense of humor that kept Lara busy.

After Warne’s funeral, the couple socialized together at the Crown in Melbourne into the early hours – memories Lara will now cherish forever.

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