Chris Gayle is back. Now, Ramnaresh Sarwan says he wants back in too.
The out-of-favour Guyana and West Indies middle-order batsman says he is “fit, available and ready” for a return to top flight international cricket, despite being overlooked by the West Indies Cricket Board selectors for next month’s tour of Bangladesh.
Sarwan, who is currently on a two-year contract with English country side Leicestershire, said that his contractual arrangements did not prevent him from being selected for the West Indies, and he was baffled at his continuous omission, especially after making himself available.
Sarwan, 32, told the media in his homeland yesterday evening that he had contacted chairman of selectors Clyde Butts via email on August 10, 2012, indicating his availability for selection to all formats of the game.
The former West Indies captain said Butts replied the following day acknowledging that he had received the email and had forwarded it to coach Ottis Gibson and captain Darren Sammy. However, Sarwan said he has not received a response from Butts, Gibson or Sammy.
The out-spoken Sarwan added that on September 11, 2012 he again made contact with Butts via email to be updated on the status of his earlier request to the Board to be considered for selection.
Sarwan said he also spoke with president of the WICB Dr. Julian Hunte who suggested that he follow up with Butts on the matter. Sarwan added he had received no response from anyone.
This marks an about-turn from Sarwan, who in May said he was happy to be away from the West Indies team, following difficulties with Gibson.
“The coach said some negative stuff that hurt me mentally and emotionally. Mentally I was broken down, not from the stress of playing, it’s just certain individuals have drained me mentally. It took a toll on my confidence and the way I play.
“I’m away from all those problems, my mind is at ease and I have had nothing to worry about, no coach to say any negative things. At one point I didn’t know which was my back foot and which was my front foot. Now I’m much better, more precise with my movements, everything crystal clear in my head,” he said then.
However, following the recent series against New Zealand Gibson said he wanted to move on and was ready to welcome Sarwan back into the team whenever possible.
“I’ve never had an issue with Sarwan. Never once in my three years here have I had an issue with Sarwan. I was very disappointed to hear the stuff that Sarwan said because I don’t know where there was an issue. But I’ve always said we can’t go where we want to go without our experienced players,” Gibson said then.
Only in July arbiter Seenath Jairam SC, LLM, found the WICB guilty of breaching the selection process and
not operating in a fair and transparent manner with respect to Sarwan. Jairam’s judgement also noted that Sarwan was publicly denigrated and humiliated by the WICB.
Jairam revealed that the Board failed to comply with the appraisal process, breached the principles of natural justice by failing to give Sarwan an opportunity to be heard, and caused him significant loss and damage. The arbiter awarded Sarwan about $1 million in damages.
Sarwan has not played for the West Indies since July 2011.