BCB must invest in proper facilities
West Indies star Ramnaresh Sarwan believes that Bermuda Cricket Board must invest in proper facilities if they want the national team to be successful on the world stage.
Sarwan pointed to the decline of Windies cricket over the past decade as an example of what can happen without proper facilities, and said the recent creation of the High Performance Centre in Barbados was only now geared to arresting that slump.
The Windies star said he thought the natural talent of cricketers in the Caribbean meant that the work needed to develop that ability had been ignored in the past.
“It’s a natural given talent to most of us in the Caribbean, with the majority of the players,” said Sarwan. “You can look at Andre Russell, he’s just a natural cricketer, he was born to be a cricketer. I think that in itself shows that...most of the people who tend to come out of the Caribbean who tend to make it are very natural cricketers.
“The only problem that we have had over the years...we were not able to have the facilities to nourish this talent. Now we have something in Barbados, there’s a quite young group of guys and we’re trying to nourish them so they can come through.
“So, probably that’s they kind of system that Bermuda would have to put in place as well (if they are to get better).”
Sarwan was in Bermuda a week ago to coach some of the Island’s youngsters at the Digicel Summer Clinic, and while he applauded that camp he said it was only a small step towards what was needed to make cricket here better.
“I think that what Digicel is doing to try and work with the Bermuda Cricket Board is pretty good,” he said, “(but) obviously this is just a small step to what they are trying to do.
“I think if you have players like myself, and other international players coming in, or West Indian players, I think it would serve great help to (the Island).”
The Guyana batsman said that while he considered himself to have a natural talent for the game, it was only up to a point, and the mental side of the sport had been far more important once he had made the step up to Test level.
“I think I was natural to be honest, but just up to a point. I think after a while to step it up, natural talent is only going to take you for probably the first year, year and a half,” he said. “When people figure you out I think there is a lot that has to come in, the way you prepare mentally and stuff like that.
“I think for the first year and a half I was probably natural in terms of my ability, but where I am now in terms of knowing and understanding my game, it’s –totally different.”
As well as a lack of facilities on the Island, a lack of motivation among the Island’s players to represent their country has also been pointed to as a –contributing factor in Bermuda’s decline.
Sarwan said he thought it was difficult for the players here to be motivated because there wasn’t the financial need nor tradition in doing so.
“For me personally it was the ultimate goal to play for the West Indies,” he said. “Obviously I didn’t realise that dream until I was 14-15 when I first met Carl Hooper. He was the first one who said to me that I would one day be playing for the West Indies, and that in itself motivated me, inspired me to obviously try and play for the West Indies.
“I think here now in Bermuda it’s a different scenario, the ultimate goal is to represent Bermuda but everyone seems to be very independent, they have their own jobs and stuff like that, so I think it’s kind of different in our situation.
“Back in the Caribbean I think playing for the West Indies is something that you look forward to, you get a reward, not only financially, but there are a lot of things to play for. The history, I think the history that lies with the West Indies, and the past achievements, that in itself inspires players to work for a place.
“I think over here it’s a little different, or difficult to be motivated. But one thing I can advise them (the players) to do is to strive to be the best, and I think if you want to be the best and compete at the highest level, that will bring the best out of you.”