I was dropped too' Clive Lloyd tells Ramnaresh Sarwan By Roger Persaud
Stabroek News
December 14, 2006

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Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd reminded Guyana's Cricketer-of-the-Year Ramnaresh Sarwan that he too was dropped after scoring seven Test centuries and averaging 40 indicating the West Indies can lack vision at times.

Lloyd made the remarks at the Guyana Cricket Board's (GCB) annual awards ceremony at the Umana Yana on Tuesday evening where he was the guest speaker.

Sarwan was recently dropped by the selection panel of the West Indies Cricket Board for the second test of the just concluded three-test series against Pakistan which the hosts won 2-0.

"It's a time for Sarwan to reflect and come back strong," West Indies skipper Brian Lara told the world at the toss. "He is one of our main players. We know that. There's no doubt about it. It's an opportunity for him to spend some time off the field and see what it's like and come out back into the middle maybe more energetic and more purposeful."

He advised Sarwan, who played in the following test match during which he became injured and had to return home to be patient.

Lloyd also commended Colin Klass and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) for their insight in acquiring the skills of Technical Director Jamal Shabazz of Trinidad and Tobago who he said made the obvious difference in the team's preparation and performance.

The `Supercat' as Lloyd is familiarly known had the privilege of watching his son Jason debut in goal for Guyana against the Dominican Republic on the turf where he debuted in cricket 42 years earlier.

He said bold initiatives must be lauded. "We cannot afford to be xenophobic," he said, noting that Guyanese Rohan Kanhai coached in Jamaica, Barbadians Frank Worrell and Wesley Hall coached in Jamaica and Trinidad, and it was Clyde Walcott another Bajan whose legacy is the development of Guyana's cricket to world class status.

The former West Indies captain said Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 offers the perfect opportunity to showcase all of Guyana's 83,000 square miles from Pakaraimas peaks of power to Corentyne's lush land, Lloyd said.

"We must be ready to roll out the carpet to welcome thousands of visitors not only to these shores but those who will view us on multimedia," Lloyd added.

The 2007 Cricket World Cup competition, he noted, is not a rebirth but the reformation of a great tradition that began on the hallowed GCC ground, Bourda, almost 120 years ago.

Lloyd said that although the center of cricket will shift from Bourda to Providence, the legacy of Guyana's rich cricket tradition will continue to reside in that storied icon, the GCC ground.

He reflected on the historic facility's importance to great careers from (Robert) Christiani to (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul, (Joe) Solomon to (Ramnaresh) Sarwan, (Pat) Legall to (Reon) King and (Lance)Gibbs to (Mahendra) Nagamootoo saying it is worthy to note that this icon of international cricket has now become the center for international football as Guyana rises to regional prominence.

He recognized the importance of the contributions made by the entrepreneurs developing both Buddy's International Hotel and Cacique Palace Suites.

"Success is a journey not a destination," Lloyd declared adding that Guyana must construct a state-of-the-art track and field stadium with facilities for all sports to facilitate the hosting of other international sporting events.

He added every time athletes were recognized for their accomplishments in any discipline it is an acknowledgement of the importance of sport in the development of the society.

Sport is on the cutting edge of progress and often a conduit for peace and unity; he said adding that Sport is also capable of providing a nation with economic opportunities of immense proportions.

In this respect, Lloyd said, the 2007 CWC is indeed a defining moment for Guyana

"We must convince the world that this country is safe for industries large and small and that it is the right environment for investment in business or pleasure," Lloyd declared.

He commended the CWC local organizing committee, and added that more than a word of praise is due to the Government of Guyana, the NGOs, the Corporations and all the stake holders and the people of Guyana in anticipation of the completion of the new state-of-the-art facility at Providence.

Lloyd suggested that Guyanese should look at the current building boom spurred by the 2007 CWC as Phase One and to peer beyond those horizons after the event to embark on Phase Two of a comprehensive sports development.

The former Demerara Cricket Club all rounder closed by urging all Guyanese to move forward as one, removing ethnic divisions and to live by the precepts of the country's motto: One People, One Nation, One Destiny!