Will devote energies to WIPA
By Tony Cozier In HARARE
November 29, 2003
Exasperated by his continued exclusion from the West Indies team and with the prospect of a new career, Dinanath Ramnarine has decided to retire from all cricket at the age of 28.
The Trinidad and Tobago legspinner said in a telephone interview yesterday that the prospects of a recall for the imminent tour of South Africa, for which he was named one of the standby players, would not change his position.
He would now concentrate on what he termed his "fulltime job" as president and chief executive of the revitalised West Indies Players Association (WIPA), a position to which he was first elected last year.
"There are a number of reasons [for retirement] but, basically, I haven't been chosen for the West Indies for the last two years and I don't think it was because of my performances on the cricket field," the Trinidad and Tobago legspinner stated.
"I believe the whole Caribbean knew what was taking place but everyone basically allowed it to happen."
He declined to elaborate, noting that he had recorded his views in a letter to president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Teddy Griffith.
It is known that he and then West Indies captain Carl Hooper had an onfield disagreement during the series against Pakistan in Sharjah in February 2002, when Ramnarine played the last of his 12 Tests. The friction intensified during the home series against India last year when Ramnarine was voted in as president of the WIPA which immediately changed the system of sharing sponsorship prize money among players from seniority to equality.
Hooper reportedly cited his objections to the shift in a letter to the WICB and quit the WIPA. He was replaced as captain by Brian Lara before the home series against Australia earlier this year but Ramnarine could not regain his place.
Ramnarine pointed out that he had taken more wickets than any West Indian bowler in 2001, 20 in five home tests against South Africa and ten in three in Sri Lanka, but had played only the one Test against Pakistan in Sharjah since. "At the end of the day, you have to decide what it is you want to accomplish," he said yesterday. "I've been basically playing cricket, day in, day out, for the past two years and not been able to get a chance."
He explained that his life had "certainly moved on" and that it was pointless to continue playing for Trinidad and Tobago with no prospect of further international cricket. "It's better someone else has a chance," he said. "As you would expect, it was not an easy step to take. My family was initially against it but they understood my reasons after we sat down and discussed it."
Ramnarine made his Test debut against England at Bourda in 1998 and his average of 30.73 for 45 wickets in 12 tests is lower than any of the few sparingly used West Indian wrist spinners.
David Holford had 51 in 24 Tests at 39.39 each, Wilfred Ferguson 34 in eight Tests at 34.26 and Inshan Ali 34 in 12 Tests at 47.48.
In 68 first-class matches for Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies, he took 252 wickets at 25.6 runs each.