CWI confirms Sarwan exit for ‘personal reasons’; ‘instinctive’ Pooran ready for WI captaincy debut

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Former West Indies cricket star Ramnaresh Sarwan has quit his post as West Indies Senior Men’s and Youth Selector after just five months on the job. A Cricket West Indies (CWI) release stated that Robert Haynes, the current head of the Men’s Youth Selection Panel, will ‘act as replacement until a suitable full-time candidate is appointed’.

Sarwan, according to the CWI, informed the regional administrative body that he was ‘no longer able to continue in the role […] due to personal reasons’. There was no accompanying statement from Sarwan, who worked alongside head selector Desmond Haynes and coach Phil Simmons on the senior team panel.

Photo: Former West Indies selector Ramnaresh Sarwan.

“Given the depth of his experience in the game, we are disappointed that Ramnaresh is unable to continue in the role of selector,” said CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams, “but we fully understand and accept his reasons. 

“We are grateful for his contribution during the period he was involved and hope that he will be able to contribute to West Indies Cricket in some capacity in the future.”

At present, the West Indies are in Amsterdam for their first ever ODI series against the Netherlands, which forms part of the ICC ODI Super League. The first game is tomorrow in Amstelveen and marks 26-year-old Nicholas Pooran’s international debut as full-time West Indies white ball captain.

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At a virtual press conference this morning, Pooran said he intends to ‘talk the talk and walk the walk’ at the helm.

“I’m very instinctive—on the field, I like to make decisions on how I feel,” said Pooran, who served as deputy under former captain Kieron Pollard. “My team-mates know I’m very instinctive when I’m batting as well. As a captain, I want to approach it in the same way.

Photo: West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein (right) celebrates the wicket of England batsman Jason Roy with wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran during the fifth T20I at Kensington Oval in Barbados on 30 January 2022.
(via CWI Media)

“[I want to] live in the present, try to be the best version of myself, try to be the best leader I can be. It’s as simple as that.”

Pooran suggested that the Netherlands assignment represents an opportunity for some new faces to cement their places in the West Indies team—in the absence of players like Jason Holder, Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis.

Veteran spinner Sunil Narine, 34, had the second-best economy rate of all bowlers at the 2022 IPL competition. Pooran was asked whether Narine, who last played for the West Indies on 6 August 2019, might make a surprise return for the Australia 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“What Sunil wants, I’m in no control of that,” said Pooran. “But that’s a conversation between him and the selectors—what his aspirations are when it comes to West Indies cricket.

Photo: Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Sunil Narine in action against the Royal Challengers Bangalore during IPL 2021 action at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates on 11 October 2021.
(Copyright Rahul Gulati / Sportzpics for IPL)

“[…] It’s a new time for us. I believe that we have a lot of talented players with us here but we need to really work hard and come up with the goods.”

West Indies ODI Team: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Shermon Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Rovman Powell, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Schedule for West Indies tour of Netherlands

31 May: 1st ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

2 June: 2nd ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

4 June: 3rd ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

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