GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):Former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after making 286 international appearances for West Indies.Sarwan, 36, made the announcement on Thursday during a ceremony at the Stella Maris Primary School in Guyana, where he launched his career by scoring two centuries in a now-defunct Under-12 competition.Also a former Guyana captain, Sarwan was given a hero’s welcome as students lined up and chanted his name on arrival.”Sarwan always loved cricket. I remember when he was just 10, he was first picked for Stella Marris. He was in third standard and got the Man of the Match award, making 49 in the final,” recalled Surendra Khayyam, Sarwan’s vice-captain at Stella Marris.Sarwan, who made his first-class debut for Guyana against Barbados in the Red Stripe Cup of 1995-96 at the age of 15, had an international career that lasted 13 years.He featured in 87 Tests, 181 one day internationals (ODI), and 18 Twenty20 internationals and boasts 15 Test centuries.”Carl Hooper saw me at Georgetown Cricket Club when I was 14 and told me that I would play Test cricket,” said Sarwan, who launched his Test career in 2000 by scoring 84 against Pakistan in Barbados.HARD WORK”That inspired me to really train and work hard, and here I am today.”Sarwan has identified the high points of his career as his 105 in Antigua which led West Indies to a record 418-run successful chase against Australia in May 2003, his 84 on debut against Pakistan, and his career-best 291 against England in Barbados in 2009.”When I made the Guyana team at 15, my roommate was Keith Semple. I was being peppered by the pacers since I was a little boy from Wakenaam, and I was intimidated by guys who were big and tall and did not do well,” recounted Sarwan, who captained West Indies in four Tests, five ODIs and two T20s, and who finished his career with a total of 11, 994 international runs, spread across all three formats of the game.”I was batting well in practice, but I was afraid to play shots in the games. Semple said I should bat the way I batted in the nets, and I started to do that.”Sarwan’s career was not without controversy.In 2005, he was one of seven players who were dropped for the series against Pakistan and South Africa following a contract conflict between individual sponsor Cable and Wireless and the team sponsor Digicel.Sarwan’s last appearance for West Indies was during the 2013 Champions Trophy, but he was dropped after poor performances against Pakistan and India.
1 Saido Berahino celebrates West Brom captain Darren Fletcher has praised Saido Berahino’s ambition and backed him to become a key man for England in the future.The 22-year-old felt the wrath of Baggies fans after expressing his disappointment that he did not seal a move to Tottenham on transfer deadline day.But he is in the good books again after firing West Brom to victory against Villa on Saturday, and Fletcher is delighted to see his teammate back doing what he does best.“I thought he was fantastic on Saturday. He’s a great player and we want him to be a great player for West Bromwich Albion while he’s here,” Fletcher said.“It’s great he has ambition. I love that he has that and wants to play at the highest level. I think he’ll score goals for England in the future and that’s how highly I rate him.“While he’s here I reiterate to do your best, work as hard as you can and keep the respect of the dressing room because football’s a funny game, you never know what can happen in six months or a year down the line,” he said.“So I reiterated that to him and I thought he was fantastic on Saturday. I’d like to think everything has healed now. If you want to improve as a team then you need everyone in the right direction.“There was a little bit of a mixed reaction last week but Saturday was a great reaction and we want the fans behind the team, behind everyone and pushing in the right direction. That will be best for the club going forward.”
Barcelona’s errors in last week’s 3-0 defeat by Juventus still weighed heavily on coach Luis Enrique’s mind after his side were held to a 0-0 draw in Wednesday’s quarter-final second leg which sealed their elimination from the Champions League.Paulo Dybala’s double and a Giorgio Chiellini header in Turin left Barca with a near-impossible task and despite firing plenty of shots at Gianluigi Buffon’s goal at the Nou Camp, they rarely looked capable of repeating their heroic comeback in the last 16 against Paris St Germain. (None of the other teams will want to play Juventus after ousting Barca: Leonardo Bonucci)”I will remember what happened in the first half in the Juventus Stadium for a very long time,” Luis Enrique told reporters.”Our participation in this tournament this season has been unforgettable but we had a very poor first half in Turin and that has cost us dear.”Barca rattled up 19 shots at goal but only managed to test Buffon once as talisman Lionel Messi sent four shots off target. Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Sergi Roberto hurried attempts to beat the experienced Italian goalkeeper which proved futile. (Neymar in flood of tears as FC Barcelona get knocked out of Champions League)”We needed to be more calm and more lucid. We tried to do everything,” added the coach, who will leave the club at the end of the season after three years in charge.”We had a lot of shots on goal but only had one on target. We had a great attitude and made a huge effort so it’s a shame,2 he added.advertisement”We leave this game feeling sad but we can’t blame anyone. We tried everything until the end and kept fighting to create chances but none of them went in. I’m annoyed we couldn’t win the game because we tried with all our strength but we couldn’t find the path to their goal.”Barca will have little time to mourn their Champions League exit as they visit arch-rivals Real Madrid on Sunday in a potential title-deciding Clasico. (Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique in Twitter battle ahead of El Clasico)Barca have won the last two titles but trail Real by three points in the standings having played one game more.”It’s not a good night nor a good moment for Barcelona fans but we’ll keep fighting until the end,” added the coach, whose side face Alaves in the King’s Cup final next month.”We now have the chance of getting back in the fight for the title. I feel happy to be able to work at a club that always wants to win everything all the time.”