Former West Indies batting star Ramnaresh Sarwan said he has welcomed the invitation to work with the West Indies team ahead of next month’s Tri-Nations One-day International Series in Ireland and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England & Wales.
According to Cricket West Indies, the 38-year-old Sarwan, who played 87 Tests, 181 ODIs and 18 Twenty20 Internationals between 2000 and 2013, will spend the remainder of the week working with the players, especially the batsmen, helping them to fortify their game.
“I have come here to act as kind of a mentor to the players and try my best to assist them in any technical ways and with any shortcomings where I think they can improve, and to offer as much help to the head coach, Floyd Reifer, and his coaching staff,” said Sarwan.
“I am very excited to be here. When I received the call from Jimmy, I was very overwhelmed at being asked to assist West Indies cricket again. I am really grateful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with the players, even though it will just be a few days, and hoping it will help them in some way or other.”
Key batsmen Darren Bravo and Shai Hope led the group that spent long periods working with Sarwan in the nets on Tuesday, the second day of the team’s training camp currently underway at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies.
“I know our batsmen have struggled in the past with rotating the strike, so I am trying to see how best we can get them to improve in this area,” he said. “It’s not an overnight fix, but it’s important to share ideas with them, so that they have something to build on.”
Reifer described as “beautiful” having Sarwan available to work with the batsman, as all roads lead to the World Cup.
“It was very important to have him here,” he said. “Sarwan was a player that was outstanding for West Indies. A very good batsman. A very good ‘finisher’ in limited-overs matches. We thought that a guy like Sarwan, coming into the camp with us whilst planning for the World Cup, would bring a wealth of knowledge.
“We are hoping he can help the batsmen get a better understanding of how to finish games, the mindset, how to approach batting first, how to approach batting last, so we thought that kind of knowledge was very important to share. He fitted in very well. He did a lot of talking and a lot of work with the batsmen.”
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For many years the West Indies team ruled the cricket world, playing undefeated in a Test series for over 15 years. Recently the West Indies team has suffered several losses but with the emergence of new high-calibre players the future for the West Indies cricket team looks very good!
West Indians are passionate about their cricket, quick to cheer when the team performs well but also quick to criticize a poor performance. Thousands of West Indians always turn out to watch their team play .... and hopefully win!
Cricket is seen as a unifying force in the West Indies, bringing together players (and supporters) from across the region. This gentleman's game has brought considerable exposure to the islands of the Caribbean, with the West Indian cricketers being remembered not only for their incredible talent and skills but also for their deportment and sense of fair play.