Ramnaresh Ronnie Sarwan
June 23, 1980, Wakenaam Island, Essequibo, Guyana
Right hand Bat
A nimble, Chaplinesque right-hander, Ramnaresh Sarwan made 84 not out in his first Test innings, against Pakistan, moving Ted Dexter to predict a Test average of more than 50 - quite a millstone to hang around any young player's neck. On his first tour, to England in 2000, Sarwan lived up to the hype by topping the averages. His footwork, which seemed to require no early trigger movements, was strikingly confident and precise.
Then came a horror run of three runs in five innings in Australia, but he recovered against South Africa, and against India in 2001-02 he made four fifties in eight Test innings. Still, Sarwan, who took over as West Indies vice-captain to Brian Lara in March 2003, needed 49 innings to post his maiden Test century - 119 in December 2002, against Bangladesh.
A dream away series against South Africa in 2003-04, where he made two hundreds, was followed by a lean run against England, but he returned to form with an unbeaten 261, against Bangladesh again. West Indies shone in their one-dayers in England in 2004, reaching the final of the NatWest Series, and then winning the ICC Champions Trophy, with Sarwan playing a big hand in both tournaments.
He was one of the players involved in a contract dispute with the WICB and missed the first Test against South Africa in 2005. On his return he scored attractive runs but was again overlooked for the captaincy, which was handed back to Lara. It finally came Sarwan's way following Lara's retirement in 2007, but he was out of the side injured from mid-2007 for about a year, and he was Chris Gayle's deputy on his return to the side for the home series against Sri Lanka - in which he made three half-centuries and a hundred in the two Tests.
In the 2009 home series against England, Sarwan recorded his personal best of 291 in the fourth Test. He made his 15th, and last, Test century against England at Chester-le-Street in May the same year, in a series West Indies lost 2-0.
Sarwan lost his central contract in 2010 and subsequently won damages from the West Indies board over comments made about his attitude and fitness. He played his last Test against India in Bridgetown in June 2011, finishing ten runs short of the career average Dexter predicted. He was recalled for the first time in 18 months in early 2013, for the ODI side, did poorly against Australia, and made an unbeaten 120 against Zimbabwe. Three matches on, his international career was over.
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