Snappy Q&As with the players

Ramnaresh Sarwan

'I used to be the messiest player in the West Indies dressing room'

Ramnaresh Sarwan talks about scoring six fours in a Test over, struggling to find a helmet that fit, and lessons from watching Brian Lara

Interview by Jack Wilson

May 29, 2014

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

Ramnaresh Sarwan hooks on his way to 41, Leicestershire v Glamorgan, County Championship, Leicester, Grace Road, 1st day, March 5, 2012
"My first Test shirt is safely in the wardrobe" © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: Ramnaresh Sarwan

When you started out as a kid playing cricket in Guyana, could you ever have imagined you would captain your country?
As a young player, it's always the ultimate honour to represent your country and perform for them. With the captaincy, as time goes by you gain experience and people look at you and assess your credentials. It was a great feeling for me when I was made captain. So many great players have captained the West Indies team through the years.

You have played 286 times for West Indies. Do you think you will ever add to that?
Quite frankly, with the players that are about now, I think it will be difficult. I'll just try to keep doing what I'm doing and scoring runs.

On June 23, 2006, you wrote yourself into the history books. Do you know why?
Was I the youngest player to get to 5000 runs?

No, you hit six fours in an over against India off Munaf Patel.
Yes, I did! Although, I got a bit of luck. One of them I got an inside edge past the stumps and another went past Yuvraj Singh, who dived. It was all done pretty instinctively.

You used to wear a bandana under your helmet but now you don't. Why?
Before I wore a bandana because the helmet was a bit too big for me. I could never find the right size to wear and the bandana supported me and made my head a bit bigger. When I found the right size I got rid of the bandana.

What is the best innings you have ever played?
The 105 I made against Australia in 2003, when we chased 418 on the final day. The way I played made it the pick of my innings. It gave me confidence to kick on at that stage of my career.

Where were you when you received your first Test call-up?
I'd just played a game in Guyana. They gave me a call on my landline to tell me I was in the squad.

Where do you keep your first Test shirt?
Safely in the wardrobe.

Which of your team-mates past or present has the best arm?
Dwayne Smith.

Which one bowler did you hate facing in the nets?
Tino Best.

Who was the messiest in the West Indies dressing room?
I've got to say myself. I have my stuff all over the place.

Who is the biggest joker?
Chris Gayle. Everything he does in the dressing room is funny. He is so laidback and he makes everyone laugh. The "Gangnam Style" stuff is a typical example.

We know the West Indies love a dance. Who has the best moves?
Dwayne Bravo.

What is the biggest thing you learned from playing with Brian Lara?
Batsmanship. The way he goes about building an innings and the way he knows when to pick on bowlers.

What is the worst injury you have seen on a cricket field?
Rahul Dravid got hit by Merv Dillon once [back in 2002]. It struck him on the helmet, which was pretty nasty.

If someone came up to you and handed you a book, and you started reading it and realised it was a book about your entire life, would you read it until the end?
No way. There'd be too much stuff I wouldn't want to know!

How does a night out in Guyana compare to a night out in Leicestershire?
It's very quiet in Leicestershire! The music is totally different. Back home in Guyana the music is better to dance to. There'd be a lot more dancing there.

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Posted by mrhamilton on (May 30, 2014, 21:14 GMT)

Sarwan is being very humble.but the truth is at 33 his day has gone as a test player.especially when other underperforming test seniors like Gayle,Samuels,ramdin,best,bravo snr and the great chiv are in the test team.is it 2004 or 2014? Purely on what he has,sarwan deserves a chance.the pathetic tours of India and Nz that undid all Darren sammys good work and cost him his job,the Windies could have done with sarwans class. nz conditions were perfect for him

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 18:20 GMT)

Sarwan is the classiest WI player I've seen over the last two decades or so. As a right hander, I couldn't mimic Lara or Chanderpaul, and so I always wanted to be Sarwan. It's a shame that his career has been cut short.

Even though he's been dropped due to bad form, his career record is still miles better than a lot of so called "seniors" in the current squad. If given the proper attention, he can still devote 5-7 more years to WI cricket.

Posted by kunj777 on (May 30, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

I believe after Lara and chanderpaul .. sarwan is the best possible test player windies had in the past 15 years.. he should definately be called in the test squad!!

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

Sarwan still has it. Look at his run production at Leicestshire for last season ans up to this date this season. He is much better that a few of those on the WI team at this time. But, I suppose with him winning his case against the WICB and being awarded cash, his chance of being selected again is very slim. It is called revenge. Gibson has his favorites in his type of people. Sarwan does not fit Gibson's mold od what a WI player should LOOK LIKE. Sarwan has said that it is hard for him to get back on the WI team because of so many good players are around. Name them! You can count them on the fingers of one hand. After Shiv, Ramdin, Lil Bravo, Gayle, who is/are there.. Take a good look. Indeed the world is missing out inseeing a stylish WI batsman on the international scene.

Posted by tutorial on (May 29, 2014, 21:57 GMT)

Sarwan have a wealth of experience to offer the WI.team, just have to pull his batting together. What "players that are about know" you're talking about? Because i can only see Shiv. Pull your batting together and lets play some cricket, you're only 33 young, get your act together pal, WI.cricket needs you. Best of luck in the future!!.

Posted by FieryFerg on (May 29, 2014, 20:51 GMT)

Didn't Sandip Patil ht 6 fours off a Bob Willis over back in '82?

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (May 29, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

i remember sarwan from his first test match when he faced the likes of Wasim, Waqar, mushtaq and saqlain with amazing skill and patience and maturity. Never going to forget Sarwan because he was the only batsman stood between victory and drawn test in his first test match.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

Sarwan was once a very fine batsman and it's quite unfortunate that he lost his touch so early in his career. He should have averaged from the mid to late 40s and played around 100 test matches. He did get a call back to the WI team after his disastrous performance in the 2011 WC but failed to impress. If you ask me, I'd say he's no longer good enough for international cricket and his days are over.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

best wi 11 for upcoming newzeland match : gayle,krik edwards, dareen bravo, samuels, sarwan, chanderpaul, ramdin, narien, rampaul, nikita miller, tino best .

Posted by coolie on (May 29, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

Word of advise, make some papers in the t20 arena before you get to 40. Practice some reverse sweep, the dilscoop and straight shots -- even Tino at his best will respect you. WI selectors have turned their backs on you when they selected Deonarine in front of you. Be mature and good luck...

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