West Indies in Australia, 2012-13 January 16, 2013

Sarwan recalled after 18-month absence


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 here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NIGEL on January 17, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    If Sarwan is the wrong choice at this time, my question is who could have been a better choice for this tour? It appears once again we would rather heap the load of runs scoring on Gayle surrounded by young players learning the trade and expect to survive. Are we going out there to trying and win the series or to blood new/young players for the future? Sure we can give young players a go if the series were to be played here in the Caribbean, but to send them to debut in Australia and expect a miracle is asking too much of them. In the absence of Samuels I believe Sarwan is a good choice with experience and his figures are better than the rest. What the current young players need to do on this tour is learn, but if Sars can settle and score it will benefit West Indies. Wish them well!

  • giovaughn on January 17, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    @ sirviv1973 - chanderpaul is 1 of those special players who has all that it takes 2 succeed in both odi & test cricket even till 2015 world cup. he is tough mentally & physically & very adaptable . why Gibson & co tried to kick him out of west Indies cricket only god knows. luckily after fighting tooth & nail we still have him in the test side. but Imho tiger is better than Charles powell by experience average & strike rate & more essential than many of the so called allrounders in this squad who could not outperform Bangladeshi players. i would have even taken him over sarwan but i guess with samuels injured half a loaf is better than no bread

  • James on January 17, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Sarwan has been terrible in the Caribbean T20, I think Justin Brathwaite would have probably been a better choice to be honest. The one glaring omission though in my eyes in fast bowler Santokie. That guy is quality and I think they have missed a trick not taking him instead of Russell.

  • Dummy4 on January 17, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    I did not think I would ever see Sars back in the maroon for the Windies! From all of the comments that were fying back and forth, I assumed that the bridge had been completely destroyed.

    Kudos to whoever made this happen. Looks to be both positive for the WICB, and for Sarwan himself to fix these long-held wounds!

  • Dummy4 on January 17, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Sarwan is a class player which is good for TEst and ODI not T20....Great to have the classy back.

  • Stephen on January 17, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    Sarawan's pick is a strange one. His form in the ongoing T20 has been poor thus far on the two different pitch types at the QPO and St Lucia. Worse yet, his footwork and technique seems to be worse than ever. He was out the other night off the inside edge cutting an inswinger too close to him, with lead feet - just like 2 years ago. This is typical of the WI setup: discarded for no good reason; re-selected for no good reason.

  • Dennis on January 17, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    Why do people keep calling for Jerome Taylor? He's DONE!! He doesn't even play cricket for Jamaica's regional team. You will never see him play in Windies colors again so stop asking for him...he hasn't played cricket at the international level in at least 2 or 3 years now anyway.

  • Prashan on January 17, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    Well I doubt if Sarwan can match Samuels. Interesting if Windies can match their T20 heroics in ODIs. But they need to focus more on singles cos too much hitting will backfire in ODIs. Windies's flaws against spin was exposed in Bangladesh. I feel likely result will be 3-2 or 4-1 Australia. But I am supporting West Indies and hope they do well. New fielding rules will certainly be helpful for hitters like Powell, Sammy, Pollard and Russell in the slog overs. Aussies have a better bowling attack and that certainly can rip through the inconsistent West Indies batting. Anyway, DARREN SAMMY is my favorite cricketer and good luck West Indies from a Sri Lankan.

  • Terry on January 16, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    Why is this series occuring? To me it looks pointless having a one day series starting in Feb when no one in Australia cares about cricket anymore. Cricket Australia planners need to start looking at the big picture and this isnt it!

  • Peter on January 16, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    At least he bowls with a straight arm.