Can Gayle hit-it-off with Sarwan?
CRICKET: Georgetown, Guyana, March 22: With the beginning of
the First Digicel Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka here, the
question uppermost on everyone's lips is: How will Chrys Gayle, the new
captain and Ramnaresh Sarwan, the deposed captain get on?
This question has propped up because, the West Indies Cricket Board
originally picked Sarwan as the captain for the South African tour but
an unfortunate injury to Sarwan, saw Chrys Gayle take on the captaincy.
But now that Sarwan has recovered, the consensus is that the former
captain should have been reinstated. But the WICB has kept faith in
Gayle and allowed him to reign in the two Test and three one-day series
against Sri Lanka.
Gayle with his belligerent batting, it seems is better suited to be
the leader. That is because with his aggressive batting style he could
add the urgency that is required to take the attack to the opponents.
And attack he will as he said at a press conference.
Unfortunately for Sarwan, he did not have the opportunities to show
his capabilities as a leader. If not for injury Sarwan would have been
at the helm.
However as the series progresses, it would show whether the scars
remain, or they have been healed for the betterment of the game here.
The Test is being played on the home territory of Ramnaresh Sarwan,
and the coming days will tell how the fans react to the deposing of
their home town hero. This was a similar situation when the dashing left
hander Brian Lara replaced Courtney Walsh as captain ahead of the series
against England in 1998.
Walsh's removal apparently angered his Jamaican fans and Lara was
expecting a backlash from Walsh's Sabina Park faithful. But Walsh the
sport that he was, put an arm across the shoulders of Lara as they came
out to field, indicating to his home town supporters that there was no
bad blood existing between them.
Gayle, at the moment is in a bit of bother here, because of his
public criticism of the umpires and his allegations of anti-Jamaican
sentiment recently. The Gayle-Sarwan situation is something similar to
what took place back home. That was the Marvan Atapattu-Mahela
Jayawardena took over when Atapattu was injured and did enough to
hold his place as captain, although Atapattu had recovered.
The enmity existed underneath although it was not overly apparent and
it came to a boil when Atapattu unable to take, especially his being
ignored from all games in last year's World Cup in the Caribbean, hit
back at his detractors during the tour of Australia when he called the
selectors jokers and muppets which was insensible.