Friday, 3 October 2014

Ramdin - Braving his way to the top

MUMBAI: These are still early days for Denesh Ramdin as the captain of the West Indian Test squad. Many back in the Caribbean, and especially in his country Trinidad and Tobago, reckon that the 29-year-old has inherited a crown of thorns from Darren Sammy, whose four years at helm has left West Indian Test side in a poorer state.

Given the diversity and inter-island politics that determine the ebb and flow of Caribbean cricket, Ramdin does have an unenviable task. But what works in the wicketkeeper-batsman's favour is the manner in which he has braved the vagaries of life to reach where he is today.

Like many in the West Indies, Ramdin too wasn't born with a silver spoon. There was a time in his life, he says, when he would play with borrowed equipments.

The story goes that he had just one pair of cricketing whites which he would launder every night and hang up behind the refrigerator to dry. It wasn't easy but family support helped him.

"Yeah it was kind of difficult starting off. I didn't have the equipment and other facilities," said Ramdin in an interaction on Thursday. "Once I got the opportunity from the under-15 level I have never looked back. I was called in the team and Ian Bishop was the manager at that time. He guided me through that phase. I went on to captain the West Indies U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, which we lost in the final. I scored a 50 on debut against Sri Lanka (2005).

"I knew I belonged to this level but it was never going to be easy against world class bowlers as they have plans to get you out. There was a part when I didn't perform with the bat and I was dropped and then I came back. I think I did well for myself and cemented my place in the team. Now I am the captain of the West Indies Test team, which was a great team in the past. It is going to be challenging getting back that glory. A lot of hard work needs to be done," he added.

Ramdin was never really in the mix to lead the team. But with winds of change sweeping, he was appointed skipper of the Test side after West Indies sank without a trace against India and New Zealand last winter.

"As a youngster I never expected to captain the West Indies team. But I always wanted to play for West Indies and do well," he said before adding, "I've done pretty ok so far. By the time I end my career I hope I should be happy with my stats. I am in charge now and I would like to drive the team to do well all the time and not be satisfied with mediocre performances and get back to the top of the world." Indian Test squad,U-19 World Cup,Denesh Ramdin,Darren Sammy,Caribbean cricket

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