Ramnaresh Sarwan has praised Chris Gayle for the way he handled the leadership of the West Indies team in the recent series of limited-overs matches in England and Ireland. Gayle was appointed to lead the West Indies side after Sarwan injured his shoulder in a fall during the second Test against England and had to return home.
"I think he was really outstanding, and you have to commend Chris for the way he handled the team during the ODI series," Sarwan said at the launch of the Digicel youth coaching clinics at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies. "Obviously, he was under a little bit of pressure from the West Indies Cricket Board, and the way he came out showed his maturity, and I thought everyone supported him well which is really good to see."
Though the selection committee had picked Gayle to captain the limited-overs side, the executive committee of the WICB ignored his nomination, and instead chose Daren Ganga, who had led the Test side in the absence of Sarwan. An emergency meeting of all the directors of the WICB then overturned the decision of the executive committee, and Gayle responded by leading the side to a 2-1 series win over England and to the top of the table in a quadrangular series in Ireland.
Sarwan noted that Gayle's "super cool" demeanour more often than not belied the ability and qualities that his team-mate possesses. "When you look at Chris the individual, lots of people have a lot to say about him and his body language on and off the field," Sarwan said. "But it just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover. I think he has shown his commitment to West Indies cricket and the public should not really judge an individual who has wholeheartedly supported West Indies cricket."
Sarwan joins Gayle and Denesh Ramdin in Barbados for the first in the series of Digicel coaching clinics that will take place throughout the region over the next three-and-a-half weeks.