GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
NEWLY INSTALLED West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan says he is ready to make the necessary adjustments needed for the top post.
The 26-year-old right-hander was chosen to lead the team on the pending tour of England, following Brian Lara's sudden retirement from international cricket.
"I know certain things will have to change now that I am captain. I am fully aware of my responsibilities," Sarwan said recently. "I will continue to enjoy my cricket and my life but there is no way that after all this hard work, I will allow my social life to affect the team or my cricket.
"I have been known to play some rash shots at times and I am confident that the added responsibility will help my batting, especially now that Brian is no longer in the team and we all have to step up and play our part."
Sarwan, who had previously served as vice-captain of the regional side for four years, was heavily tipped to take up the top spot.
He is one of the side's most experienced players with 65 Tests and 124 One-Day Internationals to his name, after making his international debut at age 19.
Against the backdrop ofthe West Indies' recent failings, Sarwan said as captain he was now focused on helping the team move forward collectively.
"When you are not performing, everyone questions how you play, your commitment and what you do in your private life and I guess that's understandable," he explained.
"It hurts when we lose games and maybe everyone should take some of the blame - the players, coaching staff and the administrators.
"This is an important position and I take it very seriously. I feel my biggest challenge is to get the players, coaching staff and the administrators to look in one direction - to work together as one big team for the betterment of the game.
big forward step
"I think that will be a big step in our moving forward as a team and improving the image of West Indies cricket."Sarwan noted that he believed he would have the full support of his teammates, most of whom had already called him to congratulate him.
"Most of the guys have already called to congratulate me and pledge their support. I really appreciated it and it makes me feel special. In fact, I was speaking to Daren (Ganga) only recently and it is good to know that we are all going to England as one united team," Sarwan pointed out.
"I have been fortunate to have played at youth level with most of the guys, which makes it easier now we are on the same Test team.
"The guys also have a good relationship with the junior players and since the younger guys have seen me play when they were 16-year-olds, they look up to me. This makes it easier for me to help guide them in the right direction."
The West Indies team leaves the Caribbean on Tuesday.