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Sarwan’s move

Ramnaresh Sarwan moving up at Leicestershire.

Out-of-favour West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan could be faced with a tough decision regarding his future long-term involvement in West Indies cricket.

Leicestershire, the English county for which Sarwan filled in as temporary captain in the absence of injured former England fast-bowler Matthew Hoggard early this season, today announced that Sarwan had been appointed as captain of the county for next year’s four-day competition.

The county revealed that Sarwan had committed himself to the county by signing a three-year contract. The development comes as Hoggard’s three-year contract comes to an end next year and following his giving up the captaincy of the county in all three formats of the game.

Hoggard led Leicestershire to a third T20 title†in 2011 but only took 24 first-class wickets at 28.79 in 2012 – the second-lowest haul since his first full season in 1998 – and stood down†from the one-day captaincy in July, with Josh Cobb†taking up the role. Hoggard described his move as the “right time to be handing over the reins”. Cobb will now be Sarwan’s vice-captain.

Leicestershire’s chief executive Mike Siddall said Hoggard’s giving up of the captaincy was an opportunity to “put a succession plan in place for the future” with head coach Phil Whitticase adding: “I’ve really enjoyed working with Matthew over the past three years, especially during our successful T20 campaign. It is important for everyone to get behind Ronnie [Sarwan] as we look to take the Club forward.”

Sarwan has not played for the regional side for more than a year following a fall-out with West Indies coach Ottis Gibson and his stance that he was comfortable at Leicestershire and had no desire to return to the West Indies’ maroon. But he had a change of heart at the end of the county season and informed chief selector Clyde Butts that he was available for the West Indies in all three formats of the game.

However, the England 2013 county season commences on April 10, five days later than in 2012, and goes until September 21 and with WICB stipulations that prospective representatives of the regional side must make themselves available for its tournaments, Sarwan’s elevation at Leicestershire looks likely to affect his participation in regional tournaments on the long-term. ††

Sarwan has been named in Guyana’s team for the Caribbean Twenty20 Championship starting on January 6 and should be available for the entire competition, as well as a number of the early matches of both the Regional 50-over and Four-Day tournaments which start in February and run until April 2013. But as Leicestershire captain, Sarwan is mandated to be part of the county’s pre-season preparations and is likely to miss out on some of the Regional Four-Day tournament.

The West Indies international commitments for 2013 start with a One-Day international series against Australia in February and include series against Zimbabwe in March and the ICC Champions Trophy in June.††

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