West Indies determined to silence critics, says Sarwan

Colombo, February 14, 2011

Recalled West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan declared Monday that his side was determined to silence critics who have predicted an embarrassing World Cup flop.

“We are not too concerned about what people say,” the 30-year-old told reporters after a team practice session in Colombo. “We are focused on what we have to do, and that is to play well as a team, and if we do that everything will take care of itself.”

The experienced Sarwan notched a match-wining 123 to guide the West Indies to a comfortable 61-run victory in a warm-up match against Kenya on Saturday after losing four early wickets.

They now take on Sri Lanka in their last warm-up match on Tuesday before the World Cup — jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — starts on February 19.

The West Indies are placed in Group B of the 14-team competition and open their campaign with a tough match against South Africa, in New Delhi, on February 24.

“We are a good team, so discounting us doesn’t bother us, we have to play well as a team and everything will be settled with that and I am sure we have the ability to do well,” said Sarwan, who hails from Guyana.

Sarwan last played for the West Indies in a one-day series at home against South Africa in May and June 2010. He was subsequently dropped due to fitness issues and indifferent form on the domestic circuit and wasn’t offered a West Indies central contract.

But he was recalled for the World Cup for his experience and record, which shows 5,245 runs in 159 one-day internationals. He has also played 83 Tests for his country.

“Of course it was disheartening to be dropped and not being able to play for the West Indies,” he said. “But that’s behind me now and it’s important now to contribute and as a team able to play well in this World Cup.”