Logie: Sarwan still relevant
RAMNARESH SARWAN is far from washed up and can still feature in future West Indies’ Test teams.
That’s the belief of Gus Logie, who last week drafted the stylish out-of-favour Guyana and West Indies middle order batsman into the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force side for the upcoming Professional Cricket League (PCL) in the Caribbean.
“I believe so. You never say never. At 34 years old, once you are hungry enough. Once you are willing to put the work in, I have no doubt his talent will come to the fore once again,” Logie said when asked in an interview following last Monday’s draft at the Accra Beach Hotel whether Sarwan can force his way back in the regional team.
“Once he produces the scores, I think it is up to the West Indies selectors to give him an opportunity but at this point in time, I think he knows he is going to be here and he will want prove his critics wrong,” noted Logie, who will coach the Red Force when the PCL bowls off on November 14 with the first round of four-day first-class matches.
“I am looking forward to that motivation for him to come out there and prove everybody wrong that he’s quality player and that he can produce the goods at the highest level,” added Logie.
The former West Indies batsman and coach also hinted that Sarwan would provide leadership to the team in terms of his experience as a captain of many teams.
“He has captained national and county teams. He comes with a wealth of experience [but] I think his general work ethic is what we are looking for him bringing and I am certain the players will warm to him.”
Logie also reckons that Sarwan could be the catalyst for Trinidadian spectators returning to watch regional cricket.
“Apart from that, you look at even the commercial side of it. Having Sarwan in a country like Trinidad, where there is so much support for Guyana cricket and for Guyanese players of that sort, I think it will be a great fillip for the people to come out and see someone of his class play for Trinidad and Tobago,” noted Logie.
Logie said Barbadian fast bowler Fidel Edwards, who wasn’t drafted by any of the six franchise teams, was also considered for selection.
“I was also tempted to pick Fidel Edwards because Fidel again brings to the table the experience. I think what we want is players who have proven records at that level and I think people like Fidel and Sarwan have proven records at that level.
“But I think the negating factor was that we still have a lot of players available to us, especially our seam attack in a play-for-pay situation. We have [Ravi] Rampaul, Kevon Cooper, so that makes it a little bit more difficult,” Logie said.
Meanwhile, Logie confessed he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of coaching the West Indies team again.
“Well, you never say never but I think that my focus right now is to make sure the Trinidad and Tobago franchise benefits from my experience and my expertise and the players themselves respond in a more positive way,” he said.
But Logie said he has not applied for the West Indies’ head coach job, vacated by the departure of Ottis Gibson.
“I have to talk to my agent and my family first,” Logie said with a laugh. “Well, like everything else, if you are a coach, you aspire. Just like you tell players, you want them to aspire to play for the West Indies when they do their national duties, as coaches, we want to aspire to coach at the highest level and to also bring a level of success, and expertise to whatever position it is.
“Some of us have been there and we’ve done that but at the end of the day, if the opportunity does present itself again, I will just take it in stride,” Logie said.
Logie, who coached the regional team to the Champions Trophy title in England in 2004 but quit soon afterward, said he has put that issue behind him.
“Like everything else in life, you have ups and downs. You win some, you lose some. I think I’ve had a good run like everybody else.
“Even after the Champions Trophy, if I was involved with the West Indies, I wouldn’t have gone to Bermuda and achieved what I did with some of the Bermudian players and the Bermudan cricket landscape. You leave legacies wherever you go. It’s been good so if the time comes again to come back, that’s how it is,” he said.