Former teammates hail Sarwan’s contributions
Several former teammates have lauded the contribution of Ramnaresh Sarwan to the game of cricket, after the Guyanese right-hander announced his retirement from the sport a fortnight ago.
Sarwan, a former Guyana and West Indies captain, played in 87 Tests, scoring 5, 842 runs at an average of 40.01 with 15 hundreds. His career-best 291 is the highest Test score by a Guyanese.
In 181 ODIs, the middle-order batsman 5,804 runs at an average of 42.67 with five centuries. He also racked up 13,405 runs in First-Class cricket with 33 centuries, while his 265 List A games yielded 8,488 runs with 11 hundreds.
Former Guyana and West Indies batsman Keith Semple, who was Sarwan’s roommate when he made his First-Class debut for Guyana at the tender age of 15, said he spotted the young cricketer’s talent from early, noting that Sarwan’s ability belied his age.
“I’ve known Sarwan from the time he came into the Guyana’s team at the tender age of 15 and have had the privilege of watching him grow from the “baby of the team”, as we called him then, into one of the finest international batsmen Guyana has produced,” Semple reflected.
He added, “What has stood out for me over his career was his exceptional skill level and his ability to score all around the wicket. He was a batsman who played the game in the right spirit and was very difficult to contain – a strength that manifested in him becoming one of the finest finishers in ODI cricket at his prime. I would like to wish him and his family all the best in his retirement and success in his future endeavours.”
Opener Ryan Ramdass, who has played one Test and one ODI for the West Indies, said it was a privilege to share the same dressing room with Sarwan during their stint together with the senior Guyana team.
“For me, he was one of the most elegant batsmen in the world and I had the privilege to play under his captaincy and he was a great leader as well,” Ramdass related.
All-rounder Damodar Daesrath, who led Guyana senior team for a period of time, commended Sarwan on his cricketing accomplishments. Daesrath, who has also represented Canada at the international level, said Sarwan was a wonderful player and was always willing to give advice to players, whether it was on or off the field.
Wicketkeeper Azib Alli Haniff and opening batsman Hemnarine Chattergoon, both of whom are currently living in Canada, lauded the efforts Sarwan, who made an almost seamless transition from Under-19 cricket to the international arena.
Chattergoon, a former Guyana and West Indies Under-19 player, as well as a senior representative of the Canadian side, declared that Sarwan was a classy batsman from a young age and felt he could have played until the age of forty.
Haniff, who was under the captaincy of Sarwan in 1997 when Guyana’s youth team won the Three-day championship on home soil, stated that the talented Sarwan should have been given a better send-off after dedicating so many years to the game.
“It was a pleasure to play with Sarwan from the Under-19 days to the senior days; I think he was a fantastic leader, both on and off the field. I feel he was poorly treated by the West Indies Cricket Board, but hopefully he can give back something to the game, especially in the Caribbean,” Haniff commented.
Fast bowler Trevon Garraway and opening batsman Krishna Arjune, who now ply their trade in Canada, took the opportunity as well to rate Sarwan as one of the best batsmen to emerge from the Caribbean.
“Was great rubbing shoulders with Ronnie; growing up watching him representing Guyana and the West Indies; it was definitely a pleasure to play alongside him too. It’s unfortunate Guyana and the West Indies didn’t make full use of his potential, nevertheless, I think he had a successful career on the field and wish him the same in his future endeavours,” Garraway said.
Sarwan’s international career spanned 13 years, with his first match being against Pakistan in 2000 when he made 84 not out on debut in Barbados. (Avenash Ramzan)