CARDIFF, Wales – Ramaresh Sarwan played a key role when the West Indies won their only ICC Champions Trophy back in 2004. The stylish right-hander was Player of the Series with some outstanding batting performances at the top of the order when the Windies stunned the world to win the trophy.
Sarwan joined the Windies camp on Monday, after spending a month with Leicestershire in the English County circuit, and he is focused and full of confidence as he prepares for the upcoming eight-team ICC Champions Trophy 2013, which will be played from June 6-23.
The 32-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the West Indies team. He made his international debut 13 years ago and has appeared in 179 One-Day Internationals. He has an impressive record of 5,802 runs at an average of over 43 runs per innings, including five centuries with a top score of 120 not out which came against Zimbabwe in Grenada four months ago.
“I was fortunate to be here a little early (playing County Cricket) so I’m basically already acclimatised. It’s a great opportunity for us to do well as a team. I have been striking the ball well. I have spent a lot of time batting at the crease, which is a good sign for me, even though I don’t have the big scores to show for it. I was pleased with the way I was striking the ball in the nets and I will look to perform and contribute to the team’s success,” Sarwan told WICB Media.
“It would be a great achievement to win this tournament. We want to repeat that. When we won back in 2004 we came in as underdogs. We did really well in the T20 format to win in Sri Lanka last year and I believe we have a very sound squad for this tournament. The conditions will play a part as well with the ball swinging and we will have to make the necessary adjustment with the bat. For the younger guys it will be vital that they get used to the conditions and be ready when the matches get started,” the Windies Number 53 added.
“It is important that you start off trying to play the ball as ‘late’ as possible. The good thing about it is that the outfields are pretty quick here, so even if you have sweepers out and you time the ball well enough it will probably go for four. You will get value for your strokes,” Sarwan said.
“The key is to give yourself a chance and try to ‘get in’ and just like everything else it gets easier. That will be the key…to keep wickets in hand at the top and we all know we have a lot of power at the end to capitalise, as we are able to clear the boundaries.”