Time ripe to appoint Sarwan Guyana Skipper
says Sean Devers
September 20, 2003
With 34 Tests and 44 One-Day Internationals to his name since making his international debut in 2000, West Indies Vice Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan should be the automatic choice to lead Guyana in the Red Stripe Bowl Regional One-Day cricket competition which starts October 1.
Sarwan has led Guyana at the under-19 level and was the skipper when Guyana last won the regional under-19 title played locally in 1997. Sarwan, who became the youngest regional first class player in 1996, has been exposed to playing under high quality leaders for Guyana at the first-class level, initially under Roger Harper and then Carl Hooper.
While test players Neil McGarrell, Mahendra Nagamootoo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul have all led Guyana before, it is important that Sarwan be given the job to prepare him in the event that he is called upon to captain the regional side.
In Barbados this year, when Brian Lara was off the field, Sarwan who led the side in Lara’s absence later admitted that he was il- prepared for the job, especially since he had never led Guyana at the senior level.
“I hope to gain valuable experience as a captain by hopefully captaining Guyana in the future,’ Sarwan had told reporters at the press conference after the game.
Sarwan, has been named Demerara captain for the Inter-County series even though both Chanderpaul and McGarrell are in the side which opposes Berbice tomorrow in the one-day final.
He has admitted that he is looking forward to the experience and challenge of leading Guyana in the Red Stripe Bowl, if selected to do the job.
While Sarwan’s appointment, which would be seen as support for his elevation to the West Indies vice-captaincy, seems automatic, that might not be the case when the executive of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) sit to name a captain.
Chanderpaul is the most experienced and reliable batsman in the side and insiders say he was not too pleased when Sarwan was appointed West Indies Vice Captain and did not accept the job of being Sarwan’s vice-captain in the Inter-County tournament.
Sarwan did a good job in his two games as Demerara skipper and is easily the best of the contenders when it comes to dealing with the media and interacting with his fellow players.
While Chanderpaul is not a fluent speaker, he possesses a great knowledge of cricket and his lack of communication skills should not be a major reason for his non-appointment as skipper.
Just recovered from a broken finger and playing on matting tracks in the USA, Chanderpaul needs to concentrate on his batting which will be most needed for the West Indies later in the year.
As the second best batsman in the regional side, Chanderpaul should be told by the GCB that Sarwan’s appointment is not a demotion for him but a positive step in ensuring that a Guyanese once again ascends to the top post on the West Indies team.
Sarwan needs the practice of leadership on the field and has all the qualities of a good captain, so making him Guyana captain is an investment for the future.
At twenty-two and a senior member of the side, Sarwan, who has won wide acclaim throughout the Caribbean for his views on the “All Indian” match organised by the Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA), has a good cricket brain and fantastic communication skills and all efforts should be made to afford him opportunity to become the sixth Guyanese to captain the West Indies in a test match.
The time to appoint Sarwan as Guyana captain is now, even if Hooper returns to play in the Bowl, since practice makes perfect.