Former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has been appointed as the third member of the Men’s Senior Selection Panel.
In an announcement today, Cricket West Indies revealed that the 41-year-old former middle-order batsman will join lead selector Desmond Haynes and head coach Phil Simmons on the Senior Selection Panel and former leg-spinner Robert Haynes on the panel to handle youth selection.
After the CWI Board of Directors confirmed the latest appointment during a meeting on Thursday, CWI President, Ricky Skerritt, said he was ‘delighted to confirm that Ramnaresh Sarwan has agreed to accept the post of selector’.
Sarwan, he said, ‘is a student of the game, and knows what is required of our young cricketers in order to achieve international success. The Board of Directors are confident that Mr Sarwan will add enormous value to the cricket system.’
The newly appointed regional selector is currently serving as chairman of the Guyana Cricket Board’s Senior Selection Panel but it would be a conflict of interest for him to continue in that role so he will be stepping down from that chairmanship.
Saying that he ‘look(s) forward to working with my colleagues, The Most Honourable Dr Desmond Haynes and Mr Robert Haynes, and the two head coaches, as well as everyone else involved in the development of this sport we love and respect so much’, Sarwan thanked CWI for the opportunity to serve West Indies cricket in a new capacity and added:
“I’m passionate about the game of cricket, especially West Indies cricket, and once asked to contribute, I didn’t hesitate.”
Ironically, the view has been expressed by some that the West Indies selectors failed to exploit the promising young cricketer’s full leadership potential. Sarwan, a regular member of the regional side between 2000 and 2013, succeeded Brian Lara as West Indies captain in 2007. However, injury forced him out of action for an extended period, curtailing his time at the helm which was eventually restricted to just four matches.
Sarwan was a member of Brian Lara’s West Indies team which won the ICC Men’s Champions Trophy in England in 2004. He was also a major contributor in Antigua in 2003 when another Lara team scored a world record fourth innings 418 for 7 to earn themselves a memorable victory over Steve Waugh’s high-profile Australians.
In that game, the stylish right-hander (24 & 105) outscored his captain (68 & 60) by one run and, with his left-handed countryman Shivnarine Chanderpaul (1 & 104), posted a fifth-wicket 123-run partnership to steer the side close to home in the second innings.
But his highest score, 291, the same score made by Viv Richards in the Oval in 1976, also came against England in February/March 2009.
In his 87 Test innings, he aggregated 5,842 runs at an average of 40.01 and scored 15 centuries and 31 half-centuries. In 181 ODI matches, he scored five centuries and 38 half-centuries to finish with an aggregate of just about 40 runs lower at an average of 42.67.
Since his retirement from active WI duty, Sarwan has played in the CPL and had several coaching stints there. Also, along with Lara, he was memorably called up to help the WI Test team prepare for the India tour of the region in mid-2019.
Sarwan’s contract makes him a member of the Men’s Senior and Youth Selection Panels until 30 June 2024, a period that includes four ICC Global Events, two T20 World Cups (2022 & 2024), the Cricket World Cup (2023) and the World Test Championship Final (2023).
And he gets his first look at some of those whose fate is now partially in his hands immediately. The Kieron Pollard-led West Indies take on Ireland in the first of three ODIs in Sabina Park, Jamaica on Saturday morning.