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West Indies vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has come out strongly against sporting events that he feels are counter-productive to the goal of nation-healing.
The West Indies batsman, selected to captain Demerara in a Guyana Indian Heritage Association Jahaji cricket festival against Berbice, missed the game because he was on holiday in the United States of America and was unable to return home on time.
The organizers of the match, which has received criticism because of it’s policy of only selecting persons of Indian descent to participate in the match, has called on Sarwan and the Arjune brother Krishna and Vishal to make a public apology for not participating in the encounter.
Sarwan, however, matter-of-factly looks at this episode in his life as just another hurdle to be crossed by a public figure.
“As a representative of the Guyana cricket team and the current West Indies vice-captain, I do not support anything that divides us as a people especially in a country like Guyana where I expect the support of all Guyanese when I am on and off the field,” Sarwan told Stabroek Sports.
Sarwan said at first he viewed the game as just another cricket match.
“When I was told about the match I was under the impression that it was just a normal match and I did not know that the organisers were involved in playing politics. I said I would play because I wanted to play as much cricket as possible before the Red Stripe Bowl. But then I missed my flight in the USA.”
“I never signed any contract to play any match like this and I am sure many of the other players were not told in detail about the nature of the match, “ he added.
Sarwan said he feels cricket should be used to help unite not divide peoples.
“I am proud of my culture but I believe cricket, which is our national sport, should be used to help unite us as a people not divide us more. Of course, that is just my view,”’ Sarwan explained.
Sarwan says his family, which includes his mother, father, sister Roma and brother Ravi, are very important to him.
He stressed that since he was growing up his parents always told him to always do what he felt was the right thing without being afraid of what other people might say.
The stylish right-hander is looking forward to captaining Demerara in the inter-county competition which began yesterday, and to use the experience to make him a better captain if he is needed for the job at the higher level.