West Indies batting legend Brian Charles Lara celebrates his 47th birthday on 2 May. The Prince of Trinidad, who is one of the greatest players of all time, made his debut in 1990 and retired 17 years later in 2007 and has a number of records particularly in test cricket which will be tough to surpass.

One of the most exciting players to watch, the left-handed batsman retired after West Indies' disastrous outing in the 2007 ICC World Cup. At retirement, he had scored 11,952 runs in 131 test matches at an average of 52.88 with an impressive 34 hundreds to his name. In One Day Internationals, he notched up 10,405 runs in 299 matches, scoring 19 tons.

Lara is also the current holder of the highest runs scored in an innings. His innings of 400 not out against England in 2004 still stands 12 years after it was compiled.

Interestingly, he had broken Sir Gary Sobers then world record when he made 375 not out against England in 1994.

Here are top 10 quotes from former players and experts about the batting maestro:

1) I would be so attracted to his persona that I wouldn't know where to bowl. His body language was just too cool — Shoaib Akhtar

2) He is charming, vulnerable, endearing, moody and impossible to work out at times and endlessly fascinating — Steve Waugh

3) Lara basically had the weight of that whole team on his shoulders for the best part of 10 years now and had to carry their batting and win them games almost by himself. That sort of pressure going into every game, for him to be able to stand up and perform is something that should never be overlooked — Ricky Ponting

4) I have never seen a batsman play spin and medium-pace better than Lara — Michael Holding

5) Where is Brian Lara? — Nelson Mandela

6) With Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, it was better to be friends and make them smile rather than wind them up — Shane Warne

7) I would pay to watch Brian Lara — Rahul Dravid

8) He has the only score of 400 in test cricket, a triple century and seven double centuries. That's a remarkable feat, especially when you consider neither Tendulkar nor Ponting has a triple century — Ian Chappell

9) Tendulkar has all the records, but Brian Lara is better — Muttiah Muralitharan

10) It's always been a joy to play against him. I loved watching Brian scoring runs against other nations, not India — Sachin Tendulkar