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West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan is hoping the ongoing Jamaican Cricket Festival will help him regain full fitness ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 at home starting at the end of the month. Sarwan returned to West Indies midway through the Australian tour late last year after injuring his back and he was rested for the home series against Zimbabwe as a precautionary measure.
"Right now I'm about 80% fit. I've been doing a lot of training for the last couple of weeks and I spent the last few days in Barbados with the guys and it went well," he said. "That really helped me. It's just a matter of getting to match fitness now and hopefully these couple of games will help to get me there."
Sarwan made a return to first-class cricket after the Australia tour, but despite scoring a century for Guyana, the West Indies selectors decided to preserve him for tougher assignments, which include the World Twenty20 and the home series against South Africa.
Sarwan was named in the West Indies XI squad for the Jamaican Cricket Festival, a competition that also involves Ireland, Canada and hosts Jamaica. However, he managed only 5 in the outing against Canada.
"This competition is very important for me," Sarwan said. "Of course I haven't played for a while and I think it is presenting an opportunity for me to prepare myself for the upcoming games but it's also very important for us as a team and we are hoping to get something positive out of this."
Looking ahead to the World Twenty20, Sarwan was confident of his team's chances. "I don't think there will be a problem getting support from our fans," he said. "I think over the years although we have not been at our best, the fans have been very supportive and I think they know that we need their support now. Hopefully we'll be able to have a good showing and go all the way in the tournament."