Ramnaresh Sarwan is hoping to use his stint as Leicestershire’s overseas player this season to force his way back into the West Indies side.
The 31-year-old Guyana batsman is a former West Indies captain but Sarwan has been in the international wilderness since last July when he lost his place after the home series against India.
Sarwan’s only first-class cricket since then came with two appearances for Guyana at the end of the West Indies domestic season but he hopes that a full season with Leicestershire will produce the weight of runs needed to persuade the selectors to recall him and add to his 87 Test caps.
“That was my main reason for signing this contract and being a part of this team. For me it’s finding my feet. I haven’t played for a while but it’s a great opportunity for me to come and play and experience different players and conditions,” Sarwan said
“It’s going to be challenging and I’m looking forward to those challenges. Hopefully at the end of the season we will be able to do well as a team and I will be able to contribute as well.
“It’s about me enjoying my cricket, having a good time and supporting everybody. I just want to be able to play a full season and score as many runs as I can.”
Sarwan arrived in England on March 31 - the day the weather changed from something approaching Caribbean warmth to north European chill.
He already has experience of English conditions from touring here and a previous brief stint with county cricket and appreciates the importance of playing the ball late.
“The ball will swing, especially early season, so it’s important to try to play the ball as late as possible. Hopefully I can do it on a consistent basis,” he said.
Sarwan was recruited by Leicestershire after former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf opted out of a contract because he wanted time off in August for Ramadan.
Leicestershire were keen to recruit an experienced overseas batsman to bolster a top order that has been weakened by James Taylor’s move to Nottinghamshire and they wanted someone that would be available for most of the season.
“They have got a young group of guys and they want to get a few senior guys around them. I will try to share my experience and help them as much as I can but I will be trying to learn from them as well,” Sarwan said.
“When I spoke to my agent and the coach I felt very welcome. For me it’s about having that peace of mind and having people that want you to play and to try to enjoy the game as much as you can.”