Vol. 5 Num 1046 Sat. May 12, 2007  

Sarwan admits Windies 'turmoil'

Ramnaresh Sarwan believes the tour of England is the perfect opportunity for West Indies, who he admitted were "in a bit of a turmoil", to launch a new era.

Speaking for the first time since arriving in the UK, he said it was important for the team to stick together and shake off the tag of indiscipline which dogged them during the World Cup.

"Both teams are under a bit of pressure, after not playing that well in the World Cup," he said. "We'll have to be very careful what we do against England -- but I think they'll be a bit low on confidence as well. They didn't do that well in the Tests in Australia, so this is an opportunity for both teams to revive themselves."

The West Indies board has gone to great lengths to ensure the players maintain their focus on tour. The players were given a handbook of rules and regulations before they left Barbados, including an 11.30pm curfew, which Sarwan is confident will be adhered to.

"When we were playing at home there was speculation about guys being indisciplined," he said. "Those rumours were unfortunate; when you are not playing well people tend to point fingers. I think the board realised there were perhaps one or two things that could be changed to help to take West Indies cricket forward.

"Discipline plays a major part in sport, and sometimes you have to clamp down on that. We never had a curfew before, and that is in place now. I don't think any of us will have a problem with that."

Despite the retirement of Brian Lara, Sarwan remains confident about his team's chances. "Of course we think we can win this series -- that's why we're here," he said. I want to see us be positive and put in that effort which has probably been lacking in the past. If we can do that I'll be very happy."

He will lean heavily on the likes of Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul who have past experience in England. The squad also includes youngsters Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy and Runako Morton and Sarwan remains realistic about what is possible in a short space of time.

"West Indies cricket is in a bit of turmoil, and it is very important for this group of young guys to pull together as a team and move West Indies cricket forward," he said. "It's not going to happen overnight -- it's going to be a long process."

West Indies don't have much time to prepare with just one match, against Somerset starting on Saturday, before the first Test on Thursday.