By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Several Canadian-based Guyanese cricketers who rubbed shoulders with former Guyana and West Indies skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan spoke pleasantly about his cricketing career that came to an end recently.
At the age of 36, one would have hoped that the elegant right-hander could have continued to dominate things on the international stage, but Sarwan seemed happy to announce his retirement from all form of the game.
Having begun his impressive career at the regional level as a 15-year-old lad against a formidable Trinidad and Tobago lineup at Bourda, his home club, Sarwan blossomed into the scene remarkably.
At his Primary School Stella Maris in Georgetown, Guyana where his superb talent was spotted and recognized, the Essequibian-born was able to totally accumulate 11, 646 runs in 87 tests and 181 one-day internationals.
Former Guyana and West Indies batsman Keith Semple who was also in the Guyana team that competed against the Trinidadian in a limited-over match, stated that Sarwan had done well and knew he would have gone on to great heights.
“I’ve known Sarwan from the time he came into the Guyana’s team at the tender age of 15 and have had the privilege of watching him grow from the “baby of the team”, as we called him then, into one of the finest international batsmen Guyana has produced.
What has stood out for me over his career was his exceptional skill level and his ability to score all around the wicket. He was a batsman who played the game in the right spirit and was very difficult to contain – a strength that manifested in him becoming one of the finest finishers in ODI cricket at his prime.
I would like to wish him and his family all the best in his retirement and success in his future endeavors,” Semple declared.
Other players currently residing in the North American country or playing professionally, were more than delighted to express their various views about the impact he made and his role as a captain.
Ryan Ramdass, who also featured in the West Indian colors, mentioned it is a privilege still to have shared the same dressing room with Sarwan on many occasions.
“For me, he was one of the most elegant batsmen in the world and I had the privilege to play under his captaincy and he was a great leader as well,” Ramdass related.
Damodar Daesrath, who led Guyana senior team for a period of time commended Sarwan on his cricketing accomplishments.
Daesrath, who represented Canada too at the international level, said Sarwan was a wonderful player and always gave advises when solicited whether on or off the field.
Wicketkeeper Azib Alli Haniff and opening batsman Hemnarine Chattergoon, both of whom are currently living in Canada, lauded the efforts he made from Under-19 stage to international arena.
Chattergoon, who featured for Guyana and West Indies Under-19 teams and then Canada senior side was well, declared he (Sarwan) was a classy batsman from the young age and felt he could have played until he reached forty.
Hanif, who was under the captaincy of Sarwan in 1997 when Guyana youth team won the three-day championship on home soil stated that the talented Sarwan should have been in a [better position] to say goodbye to the game and for the betterment of West Indies cricket.
“It was a pleasure to play with Sarwan from the under-19 days to the senior days; I think he was a fantastic leader both on and off the field; I feel he was poorly treated by the West Indies Cricket Board but hopefully he can give back something to the game especially in the Caribbean,” Haniff revealed.
Fast-bowler Trevon Garraway and batsman Krishna Arjune, who continue to play in Canada on an annual basis for different clubs took the opportunity as well to rate Sarwan as one of the best batsmen emerged from the Caribbean.
“Was great rubbing shoulders with Ronnie (Sarwan), growing up watching him representing Guyana and the WI; it was definitely a pleasure to play alongside him too.
It’s unfortunate Guyana and the West Indies didn’t make full use of his potential, nevertheless, I think he had a successful career on the field and wish him the same in his future endeavors,” Garraway commented.