Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Sarwan using Caribbean Twenty20 as launchpad

Ramnaresh Sarwan is seeking to use the ongoing Caribbean T20 tournament as a catalyst for his re-entry to the West Indies senior team.

The Guyanese batsman, who has been estranged from the West Indies set-up since June 2011, said he wanted to use T20 showpiece as a platform for big scores.

“It feels good to be back in the Guyana team,” said Sarwan, who was recently appointed captain of English county side Leicestershire following a rich vein with the bat which saw him score four centuries this past season.

“Obviously a lot happened last year, but that’s behind me now and I’m focused on what we have to do as a team [in the Caribbean T20]. Of course I will be trying to contribute in whatever way I can.”

The 32 year-old, who has played 87 Tests (Avg. 40.01), 173 ODIs (Avg. 43.41) and 18 T20s (Avg. 22.92, SR 104.19) for the West Indies, said he was confident about his current form.

"I have been striking the ball very well of late, and hopefully I can take the same stuff that I have been practicing over the past month or so, into this tournament and see Guyana win another CT20 title.”

Guyana claimed the first-ever Caribbean T20 title in 2010 with a one-wicket victory over Barbados at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.

Sarwan’s inclusion in Guyana’s squad has been viewed by many as the first step to him regaining his place in the West Indies senior team.

In March, Sarwan won a case against the West Indies Cricket Board(WICB) over comments made about his fitness. He was subsequently awarded US$161,000 in damages after the matter was heard in arbitration by Seenath Jairam.

The public comments made by the WICB, Sarwan said, effectively cost him not only a central retainer contract for the 2010-2011 season, but also damaged his “reputation as a professional cricketer” and “sullied his career as an international cricketer.”

The WICB called the verdict a “highly flawed ruling by the arbitrator” but also said it considered the matter “closed".

The 2012 Caribbean T20, which will be replaced by the franchise-based Caribbean Premier League from next year, got underway at the Queen’s Park Oval last Sunday and will culminate at the Beausejour Stadium in St. Lucia on January 20.

Trinidad and Tobago are the defending champions.

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