Pollard-Simmons combo can transform West Indies cricket - Dinanath Ramnarine

Former president of the West Indies players' association, Ramnarine says the captain-coach combo has the leadership qualities to transform the West Indies.

West Indies

Dinanath Ramnarine on the sidelines of Unacademy Road Safety World Series cricket.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A leg-break bowler, Dinanath Ramnarine took his bow for West Indies in Test cricket under Brian Lara’s captaincy at Georgetown against England in 1998. He played alongside pace aces Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose in a career spanning 12 Tests (45 wickets), four ODIs (three wickets). Post-retirement after a career cut short due to off-the-field reasons, he became a voice for players as president of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) for 10 years.

Responding to a query if cricket talent emerging in West Indies cricket will ensure the team becomes a formidable force, the Trinidad-born cricketer explained: “Talent has always been there, no question about that. It takes time to groom them. Governance is one aspect always been lacking significantly in sports generally, we in West Indies have our own share of not-so-good people. The current captain Kieron Pollard, whom I know well, is a fantastic leader. He and Phil Simmons (head coach) bring a lot of positive things to the game, these are good guys. With time, these two have the ability, the skill and leadership to transform cricket in the West Indies.”

Ramnarine was talking on the sidelines of Unacademy Road Safety World Series cricket, featuring greats and famous names from the cricket’s past.  Asked about playing a supporting role to the WI quicks in the squad, he quipped: “You have a role to play and just do that, focus on what is required for the team. There will be wickets for fast bowlers to have a great day, there will be tracks on which spinners will have fun at the expense of the opposition. I was fortunate to bowl with Walsh and Ambrose, there is so much to learn from them as a bowler. I relished that experience.”

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Ramnarine, 44, appreciated the effort of famous cricketers to turn out in the Unacademy Road Safety World Series. Asked about what will interest the young fans about watching past greats at the crease, he said: “The idea of having a Brian Lara, a Sachin Tendulkar coming back to play is interesting for the young people who have not had the opportunity to watch them in best years. This is a great opportunity to watch famous players Jonty Rhodes, Brett Lee, etc. do things they love to do on a cricket field.”

The West Indian added: “This series is not just about cricket alone, it is about awareness of road safety. One cannot over-emphasise the importance of road safety not only in India, but in all parts of the world. It is important to respect (traffic) laws, respect for the other drivers and pedestrians on the road from time to time.”

Ramnarine will turn out for the WI Legends, led by Lara.

The players' voice

Ramnairne is better known in West Indies cricket for being the voice of the players association back home. Replying to a query about the awkward situation in 2014 when the WI national team pulled out of an away tour in India over the payments issues with West indies Board, he said: “I was in charge for 10 years (2002 to 2012), I was not there at that point (2014). Look there are always going to be issues between every association and every cricket board. Respect on all sides is very important, there should be dialogue and proper communication. Once the two parties talk, players speak to the board and vice-versa and there is respect towards reaching a common goal of getting the team to perform, such things will not happen. I recall that series (WI players refusing to play). From the view of the game and fans, it is not nice when these things happen. With dialogue and respect, miracles can happen.”

 

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