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January 16, 2013
Last year Ramnaresh Sarwan was a litigant of West Indies cricket. Today he is again a representative of the region, having been recalled to the limited overs team for the tour of Australia.
Sarwan's return follows an 18-month absence from the team, during which he claimed to have been hurt "mentally and emotionally" by national team's coaching regime.
In September it was revealed that Sarwan had won $161,000 in damages from the WICB after his fitness was publicly denigrated by the board when they dropped him from the list of centrally contracted players in 2010.
"I'm happy to be back in the team. Obviously I've been out for a while, but it feels really good to be back representing West Indies," Sarwan said. "I am hitting the ball pretty well. It's a matter of me trying to get myself in and settle down and look to get big scores for the team."
The return of Sarwan to the national team had appeared unlikely last year, when he turned out for Leicestershire rather than West Indies during their tour of England early in the northern summer. At the time Sarwan spoke of the low ebb he had reached prior to being dropped, and the scant support he felt he had received.
"The coach said some negative stuff that hurt me mentally and emotionally," Sarwan told BBC Sport in May last year. "Mentally I was broken down, not from the stress of playing, it's just certain individuals have drained me mentally. It took a toll on my confidence and the way I play. Everything went away.
"I'm away from all those problems, my mind is at ease and I have had nothing to worry about, no coach to say any negative things. At one point I didn't know which was my back foot and which was my front foot. Now I'm much better, more precise with my movements, everything crystal clear in my head.
"I never spoke about this because I was caught up in a shell and I used to not come out of my house for up to three days. My dad was the one to inspire me to start back playing."
Sarwan prospered in England, making 294 runs at 36.75 for Leicestershire in limited overs matches and 941 at 40.91 in first-class competition, though his recent run in the Caribbean domestic T20 have been less promising - score of 8, 1, 2 and 7 in four matches for Guyana.
The serious facial injury suffered by Marlon Samuels while playing for the Melbourne Renegades during the Big Bash League ruled him out of selection for the tour, which includes five ODIs and one Twenty20, opening the way for the left-hand batsman and right-arm off spin bowler Narsingh Deonarine to be included.
Otherwise the squad is largely as expected, Darren Sammy leading a team that will also feature Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Kemar Roach after their BBL exploits down under this summer. The tourists will arrive in Australia on January 26, and play a warm-up fixture against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on January 29.
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (capt), Dwayne Bravo, Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Narsingh Deonarine, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Thomas
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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